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While verbal agreements are adequate in some scenarios, most businesses need to get written contracts. These commitments protect them and their operations from exploitation.
Therefore, if you are new to the world of entrepreneurship or are looking to take your small but growing business to the next level, here are the main types of contract you’ll need. These documents will have a positive effect and keep your organization safe.
Often referred to as an NDA, this type of contract can be vital to avoiding upset in the event that you work with an outside consultant or contractor. By getting third parties to sign an NDA, you will be able to secure your business’s intellectual property against unwanted distribution. This will save your trade secrets from being accessible to competitors.
Sites like Docsketch offer non-disclosure agreement templates. This way, you can quickly create custom contracts to issue as and when needed.
A contract between your business and each new employee who joins the team on a permanent or temporary basis will be key to ensuring that there are no concerns or ambiguities that might come back to bite either party in the future.
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That’s because an employment agreement will lay down a lot of important factors associated with the conditions of the position in question. This can include things like the salary that the employee will receive. Also, it can list the inclusive perks and expectations of the role as well as the obligations they must fulfill and a number of other aspects.
Settling any disputes which could arise will be much easier with a signed employment agreement to refer back to.
Intellectual Property Agreement
A non-disclosure agreement will stop inside information from leaking out into the wider sphere. However, an intellectual property agreement will prevent employees, contractors, and anyone else who works for your business from claiming ownership over the things they create while they are under your purview.
In short, this type of contract will outline the fact that the undersigned is handing over the rights to any intellectual property (IP) they develop or uncover during the time of their employment with your organization.
Safeguarding Your Firm’s IP
For example, this can include everything from software algorithms to business processes and branding. In short, this gives you a broad degree of protection from IP theft. Given that the cost of such theft spirals into the hundreds of billions of dollars annually, it is definitely sensible to shore up your firm against the likelihood of underhanded activities of this nature.
An all-purpose contract covering any service your business provides will often be useful. Plus, it is applicable across many different industries, from IT to accounting and beyond. Like the other kinds of contracts mentioned so far, the purpose of a service contract is to set in stone the requirements, expectations, and conditions of a relationship between two or more parties.
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For example, in the case of selling the services of a graphic design business, such a contract could cover multiple items. This might include the costs of the work, the schedule within which it will be delivered, the rights of the provider and the client in relation to the services. Also, it should include any other relevant caveats that might need to be added.
This can keep your business safe from any attempts to subvert the original agreement. Plus,it can give you the ability to charge fees if payments are late.
Release of Liability
Steep costs and complications can face businesses in the event of injury, theft, and property damage. Sometimes, customers, clients, service users, and visitors could come to you with these types of complaints. Additionally, other parties, either on site or at events which are in some way associated with your organization might have similar issues.
Having a release of liability contract available for individuals to sign can be a great help in avoiding lawsuits. That’s because such a contract passes the responsibility on in circumstances which are difficult to control effectively. This can be relevant in a number of different contexts. For example, you might want to have a release of liability contract available at charity activities you have organized, services you run, or community schemes you sponsor.
People often expect to sign a release of this kind in many cases. Therefore, it is perfectly acceptable to offer up such a contract to keep your firm safe from litigation. Costs of combating lawsuits have risen steeply in the past two decades, so don’t ignore this.
Similar in some ways to an employment agreement, this type of contract will allow you to take on interns to work within your business without facing any issues associated with their involvement.
An internship contract will let you outline the timeline of the internship itself. Additionally, you can include the responsibilities that the participant will be expected to fulfill and any compensation, expense allowance, or additional features you will include.
In all aspects of running a business it is never wise to leave things to chance. However, with the right contracts, you should be on a solid footing to avoid common pitfalls.