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The 4 Foundational Agreements Every Business Needs

Lucere Legal helps small business owners with the core legal agreements

What kind of legal agreements does your business need? That’s a good question, and you’ll be glad to know you’re hardly the only one looking for a good answer to this question. Though you should understand that a great deal depends on the sort of business you operate, there are four foundational legal agreements without which no wise business owner should operate.

We live in a litigious culture and every relationship your business has, necessary though it may be, is a potential source of dispute. A clear legal framework is your best protection. These four agreements are key to keeping your business protected and following the law:

1.  Owner Agreements.  An owner agreement is unavoidable if you are in business with another person, no matter the business structure you’ve chosen. Whatever the form–partnership agreement, operating agreement, founders’ agreement, or shareholders’ agreement–this document will detail the core operation issues of your business from the specific distribution of ownership, to compensation and capital contributions, and even the procedure to follow if one owner decides to pull up stakes.

2.  Employer Agreements.  From its very first employee to the 999th and beyond, a business must lay down a clear set of rules to govern the relationship between your business and those it hires–including independent contractors. Job performance standards and other expectations you place on the employee are of particular importance here. Such rules will help ensure a harmonious relationship between your business and its employees, while offering you solid legal grounds for termination.

3.  Vendor Agreements.  Just as the greatest military minds have seen the logistics going on behind the frontlines as at least as important to victory as the battles fought, so too are your business’ lines of supply vital to your success with clients and customers. To ensure the needs of your business are met as agreed upon, formal agreements contracted with your vendors and suppliers are imperative. When you nail down the issues of exclusivity, indemnification, and liability limitations, the faults of your supplier need not cause you undue damages.

4.  Customer Agreements.  Though they may not think of it as such, every sale made to a customer enters you into a contract–a contract that, properly-made, will provide both your business and the customer with legal protections. If your business engages in online sales, it is also necessary that you have sound, public documentation of your terms of service and privacy policy to detail what customers can expect from your business.

If you are interested in learning more about business protection strategies, call us today at (612) 206-3701 or fill out our contact form to schedule a business consultation session.

Image courtesy of nirots/freedigitalphotos.net

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