Legal smarts without the price tag

08 Mar 2017
We have accumulated a list of things to help you keep running lean on the legal side, without compromising your protection.

Do it yourself - register your company

If you're in business, you better be on the right side of the law. Companies must be registered, and adhere to the legal requirements of the location(s) they operate within. Check out our blog post on types of companies that exists and make sure you pick the one best for you.

Everything can be negotiated

Provided you stay within the boundaries of the law, agreements between suppliers and customers are all negotiable. Don't forget to negotiate. First prepare and consider best case as well as worst case for the following:
  • Service or Product
  • Price
  • Payment terms
  • Delivery terms
  • Ownership
  • Intellectual property and trademarks
Everything is possible, but pay attention to whether worth the effort in terms of time or financial benefit for yourself and for the other party. If you have bigger fish to fry then move on. If this will expedite your journey forward - dig in. Don't forget to lock down the agreement by making a legally binding contract.

Take a read of our blog post "The Game of Business" for more inspiration.

Solidify the agreement

The best relationships often turn out to become the worst relationships. Because where there is pre-established trust parties are less likely to put any agreements down in writing. Unfortunately, when something unforeseen occurs trust often goes out the window.

It is a great advantage to start from a position of trust, so do take care to maintain it: have the uncomfortable conversations from the outset. Discuss the worst-case scenarios and agree on how you will handle them between you. You may find it helpful to replicate standard terms and agreements already established in your industry.

Agreeing to standard terms can also help where there is early suspicion or concerns.

Customise standard contracts to your needs

Standard contracts are widely available on the Internet and can be modified to meet your needs. They are great because they don’t cost a fortune and it can be quick to get setup with the contracts you need to do business. Tact law offers a wide range of legal templates - many of them are free.

Standard contracts can be amended to cater to special circumstances, simply by inserting additional terms in the contract and ensuring there’s no conflict with existing terms described. In those instances it may be worthwhile to have your contracts reviewed by a lawyer – just validate the contract and amendments are fit for your purpose. Using an online service can be a very quick and inexpensive way of achieving this.
At Tact Law we offer a 48-hour contract checking service for contracts in the UK, USA and Canada.

When to ask a lawyer

There are times where you do want to get a lawyers input, for example:
  • You have received a legal document for you to sign but you don’t understand some of the terms.
  • You need legal advice on how to deal with a particular situation you are in.
  • You have intent of doing something and would like to understand what laws and regulations are in place that you must abide by.
If you have received a legal document for your signature but you don’t understand some of the terms. Using an online contract review/check service, such as Tact Law can work to your advantage. It offers a quick way to get access to a lawyer who specialises in that particular type of contracts you have questions to. Simply ask your questions alongside submitting the contract and a lawyer will be able to provide you with clear answers within a day or two.

Enforcing the agreement

So, you have done business with someone and something went wrong or is heading in that direction..
..Now is the time to look up how both parties agreed to deal with this situation. Most times it should be sufficient to follow the agreed cause of action and settle any dispute quickly and in good spirit. Trust is preserved and – hopefully a - deeper understanding between the two parties have been established.

However, there are times when the parties disagree and the agreement must be enforced through other means – often also specified in the agreement. For example, an outstanding invoice is due, but has been disregarded by your client. You have sent reminders and made genuine attempts to mediate the situation, but it is still not resolved. You can then go to the court system for support to enforcing the agreement.

The government web sites will give you comprehensive guidance on how you can do this yourself, as with some tenacity and patience you should be able to navigate through the claims court system, depending on your region. You also have the option of outsourcing this to a lawyer.

Disclaimer: Tact is not a law firm or a substitute for law firm or a lawyer. We cannot provide any kind of advice, recommendation or opinion about possible legal strategies, remedies, rights, defenses or options. At your direction, Tact provides access to self-help services, legal templates and independent lawyers. The legal templates you may obtain from Tact are provided solely as a starting point, not as final, ready-made agreements, and are provided AS-IS and with no guarantees or warranties whatsoever. When working with Tact, you are protected by our Privacy Policy, but not by the attorney-client and work product privileges. Further, use and access to our website is subject to our Terms and Conditions. Tact is a trade name of Check-A-Contract Ltd.

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