Seven Important Contracts for Small Businesses

When you are starting a small business, there are certain contracts that are best kept on hand. Because you will likely use the same contracts over and over, keeping a template of those contracts will keep you from having to draft them over and over again. Also, having a lawyer draft these contracts for you will save you plenty of money and stress in the future.

Here is a list of seven contracts that are essential to the success of small businesses:

Small Business Contract #1: Employment Contracts

No employee should ever be offered a position without signing an employment contract. This contract will state the title of the position offered, the key responsibilities, the “at-will” status, any non-disclosure clauses, and the starting salary or hourly wage along with dates for evaluations and raises.

Small Business Contract #2: Invention Assignment Contracts

This is especially important for small businesses that develop, manufacture or improve upon products. Employees should sign an invention assignment contract that expressly states that all products or materials contributed by the employee remain the property of the small business.

Small Business Contract #3: Services Contract

Any small business that provides services in addition to or instead of goods should have a solid services contract, which states the types of services it offers, the provisions of those services, the cost of the services, and any other pertinent information.

Small Business Contract #4: Sales Contracts

A sales contract is more important now than ever before because of e-commerce. When you provide products for sale, a sales contract can be provided in the form of an invoice or order form that explains the prices, warranties, guarantees and other important information about the sale.

Small Business Contract #5: Confidentiality Agreement

This applies to any instance where a small business needs to disclose confidential information to a third party. Having the third party sign a confidentiality agreement means that the other person or entity cannot share any disclosed information with anyone else.

Small Business Contract #6: Distribution Contract

A distribution contract is the agreement between a small business and the distributor of that small business’s products. A distribution contract is essential to ensure that the products are properly and adequately marketed, and that the distributor does all it can to effectively move the products from their store.

Small Business Contract #7: Vendor Agreement

A vendor agreement is necessary for any small retail business that provides products from other sources other than its own manufacturer. A vendor supplies product to the small business, and the small business then sells the products to consumers.

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