FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida. If you are launching your startup or starting your own small business, it is important to protect yourself legally as well as financially. Having strong and sound contracts is essential to protecting yourself and your small business. There are some contracts that every business should have on file before launch. What are they? Here are five:

  1. Confidentiality Agreements and Nondisclosure Agreements. If you will be hiring employees, it is important to protect your trade secrets and client lists. Confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements protect your business interests and allow you to enforce claims if you believe employees are sharing your trade secrets or are using your hard-earned expertise to start their own business. It is important to get your confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements right before you ask prospective employees to sign them. If these agreements fail to be specific enough or are too “boilerplate” they may not be enforceable in court.  Small business lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida who work closely with entrepreneurs and small business owners to create contracts and agreements that will protect them and be enforceable in court.
  2. Sales and Service Contracts. Whether you are making a sale or performing a service, Forbes reports that a good sales and service contract can protect you from liability. If you are performing a service, you don’t want there to be any ambiguity about what is and isn’t included. A strong service or sales contract can protect your interests.
  3. Non-Compete Agreements. If you are hiring employees, another contract you may want to consider having on file is a non-compete agreement. These agreements prevent your employees from working for your competitors and prevent them from starting their own competing business in your area. These agreements, however, must be highly specific to be enforceable, so you’ll want to speak to a contract lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida,  before trying to write one contract up yourself.
  4. Articles of Incorporation. According to Entrepreneur, you run the risk of suffering personal loss and liability without the proper corporate structure in place. Before you hire or make your first sale, make sure that your business structure protects you.
  5. Employment Agreement or Independent Contractor Agreement. When you hire a new employee or contract with outside vendors, having a contract that outlines each party’s responsibilities and rights can protect everyone involved. For example, a strong employment contract outlines your right to terminate the employee at will, while also making expectations clear.

If you are launching your small business, or if you already have a small business and realize that you are missing these important contracts, consider reaching out to a qualified business lawyer today. While many of these contracts are available online with boilerplate language, it can be risky to use a contract that isn’t tailor-made to your business’s needs. Contract lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida who can review your business’s unique needs, challenges, and protect your rights through the drafting of sound contracts.

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