Your vendors and landlord of course treat you as their customer, so they write contracts that are favorable to themselves and present them to you for signature. Courts grant much more leeway in the terms of a contract when both parties are businesses. They assume both parties have had a chance to get legal advice before signing. But maybe as many as half of those contracts (but not the commercial lease) you are asked to sign have never been vetted by any attorney, and the terms may range from agreeable, to onerous with a dash of ambiguous or unenforceable.
Commercial leases are almost always prepared by the landlord’s legal counsel. How one sided they are depends on how well the economy is doing. When vacancies rates are low, commercial lease terms become barely tolerable; but if there is a glut of space, expect your landlord to be willing to negotiate.
The number one problem with most businesses have with contracts is the term and termination section; that is how long will the contract last and how do you get out of it? Be wary of penalties on early termination. You should also pay attention to the remedies for breach. It is okay to breach a contract if it is not going well for you, as long as you know and follow the rules set in the contact itself for doing so…and accept the consequences or negotiate your way out of them.
Argent Place Law supports you in contract negotiations by giving you a clearer picture of the relationship being proposed by your vendor, especially the allocation of risks in any contract, and the allocation of liabilities in the commercial lease in particular.
The Argent Place Solution
- Review contracts you have been asked to sign and alert you to problems
- Apprise you of risky and unfair terms
- Propose alternative language and negotiating points
- Argent Place will negotiate the terms for you if you prefer
- You will be better informed and more confident about the contracts you sign
- You will encounter less risk (or at least you will know the risks) in your business relationships