Contract Negotiation 101

In business, contracts arise daily. Some seem insignificant, while others can make or break a company.

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Many of our clients often negotiate business deals every day. As ‘handshake deals’ are largely a thing of the past, it’s nearly impossible to negotiate a deal without a contract.

Some contracts are very simple, others are lengthy, complex and contain a lot of boilerplate legal language.

No matter the scale or type of contract, it’s essential to review them carefully and know what is in them. Look for potential issues and hidden consequences. You want to make sure the contract has benefits for both sides. Ensure your interests are protected. If details that are favorable to you are not clearly spelled out, make sure to negotiate that those details are included.

If you rely on agreements or discussions outside of the contract, they will likely be unenforceable. It also is no longer a good idea to take someone at their word, as companies change hands and people change positions frequently.

Also, make sure to know the law. Some terms have default terms under the law, if not spelled out in the contract. This can change a deal for better or worse. It’s essential to discuss your arrangement and contract with an attorney.

When negotiating a contract, it’s important to know your limits. Know what you can accept from the other party and what terms are not agreeable. But also, know your limits for contracting. Make sure to contact an attorney if you don’t have in-house counsel.

Finally, if you can’t come to an agreeable contract, walk away. Unless the contract is essential to your business and there is no other vendor, it’s not worth it to agree to an untenable contract.

Negotiations are tough. Make sure to reach out for the support you need from your legal counsel, business team, and leadership.

If you have questions about contracts, negotiations, or business law, contact Rickard & Associates today!

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Do you need help with updating your Business Associate Agreement or negotiating contracts with third-party vendors? We can help. Contact us today about your Business Associate Agreement, your vendor contracts or your other legal needs!

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