Tailor Your Business Agreements To Fit Your Business
You cannot go to the bookstore and buy one book that will give everyone the one and only format for health, wealth, success and happiness in life. As individuals we are all different, with unique needs, goals, and life circumstances. We need advice tailored to our individual needs. We must carefully search through the many books in a bookstore or the library to find those bits of wisdom that apply to us.
Similarly, not all businesses are the same. Businesses have many different variables: They vary by size, locations, number of employees, types of business, products or services, kinds of products or services, expansion goals, the nature of the shareholders involved, the type of entity, and many other factors. There is, therefore, no generic set of business forms one can buy in the office supply store or on the internet that will meet the needs of all businesses. These generic forms are not designed with your business in mind. They are not drafted to anticipate unique situations or disputes you are likely to face with your company. For instance, many of these forms do not provide for an interest amount on any unpaid balance after a certain period of time. Additionally, generic forms may not have an attorney’s fees provision. In the state of Florida, unless there is a contract or statute that provides for the recovery of attorney’s fees, you will have to pay your own attorney’s fees even if you prevail in your claim. In addition, some businesses may want to provide for late fees or penalties. The usury laws vary from state to state and penalties and late fees are often deemed to be additional interest charges. Therefore, you have to be very careful when providing for these charges to make sure that you do not violate the usury laws.
If you have been using form agreements off of the internet or from your office supply store, I recommend that you establish a relationship with an attorney who can help you tailor your business forms to suit your individual business needs. An additional advantage to establishing a relationship with an attorney for your business is the ability to call that attorney to discuss disagreements or business problems or situations that arise at the time to avoid future problems. The old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is especially applicable in the legal field. Many long expensive lawsuits could have been avoided if the parties involved simply asked for an attorney’s advice prior to taking action. If you do establish a relationship with an attorney, it is easier to call that attorney when you have a problem then to try to locate an attorney you have never worked with before. Then, that attorney will know the nature of your business and will be able to advise you how to proceed. Your attorney will have your tailored business form in your file, will be able to review them in light of the circumstances you face and provide you with suggested resolutions to the issues.
If you wanted your business to be like every other business out there, you would not be working so hard to make it unique. Forms and agreements should reflect the unique nature of your business. They should be upgraded as your business changes. It may be as frequently as once a year or as infrequently as once every five or ten years. The cost of tailoring your business agreements to your business needs in the long run will most likely be significantly less than dealing with business disputes that could otherwise have been avoided. Don’t wait, do it now and give yourself the peace of mind knowing that you have done what is best for your business.