Why does a business need to customized its contracts? Since each type of business is unique, the specific needs of every company cannot be addressed in one standard form. Using online forms or document companies such as Legalzoom results in a form that may not protect the interest of your company or conform with Ohio law.
Why do I need an Attorney to draft my Contracts?
Creating customized contracts with an attorney will allow the business owner to ask important legal questions and receive advice on how the terms reflect the goals of your company. Creation of these contracts can be on a flat fee basis.
Typically, we create a template for the regular transactions of the business. This would include variable provisions to allow changes if there is variation on a given order or transaction. This allows the business owner to protect the company’s interest and avoid the cost of contacting an attorney on every transaction.
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What types of Contracts does a business need?
Types of customized contracts may include:
1. Customer contracts: An agreement with your customers for the purchase of your goods or services,
2. Consulting agreements: Terms which will govern the cost and performance of services from a consultant. It is important to protect against the consultant providing work to your company and then providing the information to a competitor.
3. Confidentiality agreements: a protective agreement that prohibits disclosure of your company’s intellectual property and trade secrets.
4. Employment agreements (including Non-Solicitation agreements and Covenants not to Compete): This type of contract is vital to the protection of your company and retaining your company’s clients/customers. Without an employment agreement with a strong non-compete provision, your employees could leave the company and take all of your customers or clients with them.
5. Independent contractor agreements: Similar to an employment agreement, this protects against a contractor (who gained valuable information while working with your company) from competing with you. It also establishes clear responsibility standards that are necessary to the independent contractor relationship.
6. Vendor agreements (Contracts with Suppliers): These agreements will control the supply and price of goods or services necessary to create your products. It is important to have provisions that will limit the supplier’s ability to circumvent you and sell directly to your customers.
A new business owner should consult with an attorney to choose which agreements are necessary protect the company and limit the likelihood of lawsuits.
Can I use a Form I found Online (or LegalZoom)?
The “form contracts” found online can be dangerous for a business owner. The terms could have been drafted based on the laws of a different state; thereby missing important Ohio specific issues.
In my experience, I have seen some business owners use forms drafted with favorable terms for the opposing side. A business owner will not realize these problems until there is a dispute and it is too late.
Ohio Contract Law and Litigation
Ohio contract law requires the parties act in accordance to the terms specified in each contract. If the parties do not follow terms, the harmed party may sue the other for breach of contract. Customized contracts, which you as the business owner understand, will limit the possibility of litigation.
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