Contracts: always a key component, focus for any business enterprise

Small and medium-sized companies are far more than mere participants in the Pennsylvania commercial landscape. Indeed, business enterprises with that denoted scope of operations are the economic lifeblood of local economies at both the state and national level.

Commercial principals ranging from owners of established entities to smart entrepreneurs launching startup firms manage Pennsylvania companies in virtually every conceivable industry. Those operations have distinct and often highly dissimilar plans for growth and profitability, but they also commonly share a number of attributes.

A focus for each is of course selection of an optimal entity type. Company formation is a crucial decision for owners.

Then there are employees. Worker-linked matters – broad-based and always evolving – are constant concerns for business managers.

So too are regulatory issues and linked concerns tied to matters ranging widely from permitting and licensing to environmental compliance, land use/zoning and a score of other considerations.

One of those “other” concerns that ranks consistently high for almost any employer is the contract realm, specifically the drafting, negotiating, review and enforcement of relevant company agreements. That subject matter is spotlighted immediately below.

Commercial contracts: at the core of the business universe

An in-depth legal overview of business contracts leads off with this quick acknowledgement: Commercial agreements cover vast terrain, addressing scenarios of truly comprehensive scope. Following are just a few representative business contracts:

  • Entity choice agreements (e.g., corporation, limited liability company, partnership or sole proprietorship)
  • Buy-sell agreements
  • Business succession contracts
  • Realty property acquisition/leasing agreements
  • Employment contracts (hiring, noncompete, nondisclosure, termination and additional types of agreements)
  • Generalized business contracts, ranging widely from joint venture contracts and indemnity agreements to franchise contracts, settlement agreements and more

Business versus business: the inevitability of contractual conflict

One online legal primer discussing contract challenges in the commercial sphere references a “perfect world” where commercial principals interact. In that universe, “no disputes would arise” and contracting parties would always be satisfied with business outcomes.

Company owners don’t dwell on such a scenario for long. They know that such a world doesn’t exist, and that contract breach is an occasional inevitability. Contracting parties sometimes fail to perform as promised. The goods and/or services they provide are deficient. Sometimes they aren’t delivered as scheduled. Payments are missed.

Over time, a business principal can end up being on either end of a breach scenario, either alleging a material contract lapse or being sued for a performance breach.

A contractual dispute can quickly become disruptive for a business in either case. Moreover, it can be expensive, undercut company performance and mar a professional reputation.

The above primer notes that the optimal way to avoid contractual confrontation is to “negotiate and craft airtight contracts.”

A proven business law legal team can timely work to secure that goal. And experienced commercial attorneys with a deep well of experience in contract matters can also safeguard the rights of business clients and diligently pursue optimal outcomes when a challenging contractual breach emerges.

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