Lawyers who have prior experience drafting and executing contracts can be hugely beneficial for a company and their bottom line. If the company is regularly dealing with clients or manufacturers, a contract lawyer can help draft standard form contracts and advise the company as to what contracts they should enter into. Because contract law can be incredibly complex, having a contracts lawyer on retainer that has knowledge about express and implied provisions, valid offers and acceptances, and what to do when a party breaches a contract, is worth all of the fees.
Another advantage of hiring a contracts lawyer is that in addition to being knowledgeable about contracts, oftentimes they are also knowledgeable about business in general and can understand the needs of their clients. Contracts often underlie many aspects of everyday business transactions, and having an experienced attorney can help ensure the best interests of the company are protected.
A contract is an agreement between you and one or more people lawfully binding you all to some agreement. Contracts pop up in personal and business transactions, and it’s important to make sure they’re done right. If you need a contract, consider hiring a contract attorney to facilitate the process.
What Does a Contract Attorney Do?
A contract attorney draws up and revises legal documents and contracts.
How Do I Know If I Need a Contract Attorney?
In legal contracts, the wording and format often have to be very specific to be legally binding. Working with a contract attorney will ensure that your documents are legal, admissible in court, and are free of loopholes. If you’re drawing up any sort of legal document, you may want to bring on an attorney to at least review, if not draft, the document. A contract attorney can also give guidance if you believe someone has broken a contract you’ve entered into or if you would like to get out of a contract.
If you need to go to court, you’ll probably need to seek out another attorney who specializes in litigation.
What Type of Attorney Should You Hire?
If a company is looking for a lawyer for business contracts, it is probably worth the time and effort to do a little background research before spending money to have an attorney on retainer. It is becoming more and more common for attorneys to end up specializing in specific issue areas, as opposed to working on all different areas of the law. Thus, it is important that a company hires an attorney who has a certain set of skills related to what the job entails. For instance, a company looking for an attorney to draft contracts should not hire an attorney who focuses on family law.
For business purposes, a company should try to find an attorney who specializes in at least one of the following legal areas:
• Business Administration
• Real Estate
• Intellectual Property
Retaining an attorney who specializes in more than one of these legal topics would be ideal. Oftentimes, a law firm has at least one attorney who focuses on each of the topics listed above. If the company does not wish to hire a law firm, there is still a good chance of finding a solo practitioner who has expertise in one of the above issue areas.
How Much Does a Contract Attorney Cost?
Many contracts attorneys charge by the hour to write, review, or consult on legal contracts. In addition, sometimes attorneys use flat rate services, often for matters that don’t require excessive effort. The rate that you’ll be charged depends on how your lawyer bills, where you live, and what type of matter you’re dealing with. Set a rate with your lawyer up front to avoid any costly surprises.
A contract attorney hourly rate is that rate that a contract attorney charges per hour of work and varies depending on how much experience an attorney has.
A contract attorney hourly rate is that rate that a contract attorney charges per hour of work. This rate varies depending on how much experience an attorney has. New York City used to be the town of the top salaries, but that’s now changed. There are many contractors in New York City that are begging others to not take a job for less than $230 an hour, so they don’t set the rate lower. A new attorney can charge anywhere from $435–445 an hour, while an attorney with more experience can make up to $1,250.00 an hour.
There are different laws in Utah, which means employers have caps on how many hours you can work each day or each week. With many $40 per hour jobs, the limit for working each day is eight hours and in a week is 40 hours per week unless there’s an unusual deadline. Boston and other East Coast cities have $30 an hour as a standard, while Kentucky averages $24 an hour. If you work in Dallas, Texas, you can expect $20 an hour along with free parking.
What Should I Expect from Working with a Contract Attorney?
When your document is finished, you should expect that it is legally binding and will hold up in any court of law. Your contract attorney should make sure that you understand all of the terms you’re agreeing to and that you’re comfortable with the entire contract. If there are any issues with a document, your lawyer should clear them up so the agreement works for you. With the use of an attorney, you can feel confident in your contract or agreement.
When to Hire a Lawyer for a Business Contract
One of the first steps to take after registering your business is putting a lawyer on retainer. You might enter into agreements and contracts throughout the course of your business that include unexpected obligations. Contract breaches, either on your part or on the other person’s part, can cause serious problems or even bankruptcy. The following situations describe when to hire a lawyer.
When You Absolutely Must Hire a Lawyer
You don’t always have to hire a business contract lawyer. However, before signing a business contract, always have a lawyer look it over and confirm that you’re getting what you expected. This doesn’t mean that the lawyer has to be there when the contract is signed, but at some point, before that, he or she must go over all of the clauses. Stock contracts can even create problems if you don’t get them adapted to your state and local laws. This is because boilerplate language—the basic language included in a stock contract—is quite easy to break in certain states. So, you need to make sure that the agreement protects your interests specifically and not just a general consumer’s.
When You Probably Should Hire a Lawyer
Whenever possible, hire a business contract lawyer to help you negotiate the key terms of the contract. Lawyers often make excellent negotiators, and a good one can help you get a better deal. She or he can also help you consider alternatives. A finalized contract is less likely to allow additional creative solutions or proposals; most of the time, the lawyer will just go over the terms and clauses that are already present. However, if he or she actively participates in drafting and negotiating the contract, you’re more likely to get one that meets your needs and advances your goals.
How Can a Business Contract Lawyer Assist Me?
Executing and enforcing contracts are a normal part of many businesses’ day-to-day operations, and contracts come in many different forms. For instance, as a business owner, business contracts often cover many facets of daily operations ranging from equipment leases to employment and sales agreements.
The most common types of business contracts include:
• General Business Contracts: Common general business contracts include indemnity agreements, partnership agreements, property and equipment leases, and non-disclosure agreements. All of these contracts cover how a business is generally structured and how the business protects its stakeholders;
• Employment-Related Contracts: Employment contracts are utilized by businesses in order to outline the relationship between an employee and the business. Employment-related contracts outline the duration, benefits, compensation, grounds for termination, as well as specific issues including non-compete agreements and who owns work product that is produced while on the clock; and
• Sales-Related Contracts: Sales contracts (also known as sales agreements) cover how goods and services are purchased and sold, and let both parties know what to expect during the sale of those goods and services. Sales agreements serve to minimize the chances of disputes over the sales of goods and services later on by laying out the legal framework for transferring titles.
It is important to note that failing to properly execute any of the aforementioned business contracts may result in exposure to a variety of legal or financial liabilities. Thus, a properly drafted and negotiated contract is paramount to operating a successful business, as well as minimizing your exposure to lawsuits.
A business contract lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in guiding your business through complex legal agreements by helping you review, negotiate, or even draft legal agreements. This is especially true given the amount of formal and technical language that is often utilized in business contracts.
What are Some Common Elements of Business Contracts?
Although the specifics of business contracts differ, most share similar common elements. Most business contracts will include representations, real covenants, and conditions.
Representations often include a listing of the parties involved in the transaction, the date of the transaction, and the item or service involved in the transaction. The purpose of a contract’s representation is to state clearly the will of the parties, and to clarify the transaction to be made.
Covenants are promises or agreements made by a party to the contract. Examples of covenants include: allowing the other party to investigate their credit or assets, paying taxes on the property, indemnification against third-party lawsuits, covenants not to compete, covenants not to sabotage the business, or even a promise to apply for any necessary permits. Most commonly, the majority of covenants tend to fall on the seller because the seller usually seeks money from the buyer.
A condition is something within a contract that must be true or must occur in order for a deal to close. Common conditions that must occur in contract’s include: proof that the buyer can pay (usually involving a credit check); or a guarantee that every representation made by the seller will still be true at the closing date.
Conflicts in contracts typically arise from the conditions in the contract; however, the issue is whether a small mistake is enough to allow the party to walk away from the deal or seek damages.
What are Common Specializations of Business Contract Lawyers?
Although there are general business contract lawyers that are knowledgeable in a variety of different areas of business law, many business contract lawyers choose to specialize in a certain field of business law.
Some common types of business contract lawyers and fields of specialization include:
• Sales Agreement/Contract Review Lawyers: Sales agreement lawyers are often recruited to analyze a sales agreement and confirm that you are getting what you expect to receive from a contract; or
Further, they are able to guide you through the technical language of a contract and help you understand all of the different clauses contained in the contract to ensure you are aware of all the conditions.
• Licensing/Intellectual Property Contract Lawyers: Sometimes business contracts involve the purchase of intellectual property. Intellectual property is a work or invention that is the result of human intellect, and can include industrial property rights and copyright.
Often contracts involving the purchase of intellectual property involve licensing the property. A license allows the creator (referred to as the “licensor” in the contract) of the intellectual property to charge for the use of their invention by charging the person they license it to (referred to as the “licensee” in the contract) for the use of the invention or work.
There are many more specializations that fall under the umbrella of business contract lawyers including: tax contract lawyers, affiliate agreement lawyers, employment contract lawyers, independent contract lawyers, or subscription agreement lawyers.
Should I Hire a Business Contract Lawyer?
As can be seen, there are a variety of different legal issues involved in the execution and enforcement of a business contract. Further, the language involved in business contracts is often very technical and contains a large amount of dense boilerplate language and that can affect each parties’ responsibilities in the contract.
Thus, it is in your best interest to consult with a well-qualified and knowledgeable contract attorney to review any contract issue that you are facing. A licensed and experienced business contract attorney can draft, review, and help you to understand the technical aspects of executing business contracts.
Business Contract Attorney Free Consultation
When you need legal help with a business contract in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506
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