Your commercial agreements, be they with clients, suppliers, partners, or other third parties, need to be carefully drafted to manage risk, ensure business relationships run smoothly, keep the cash flowing and to help prevent disputes from arising.
Each business and its trading relationships are unique, so it is important that key commercial arrangements benefit from a bespoke contractual agreement. Whether you are participating in a joint venture or appointing a new sales agent, our commercial solicitors can support your business to protect your best interests and help ensure your commercial agreements comply with all applicable laws.
Our experienced commercial lawyers advise on a wide range of commercial agreements, including:
- Terms and conditions of sale – Having tailored standard terms and conditions for the sale of goods or services will protect your business from the risk of disputes with customers, limit your liability and create certainty over your obligations. Well-drafted terms and conditions will help to ensure that you get paid on time and avoid disputes. Using a set of standard terms and conditions can also speed up negotiations and save your business time and money. The type of terms and conditions your business adopts will depend on your activities.
- Supply agreements – For agreements involving the supply of goods or services, you will need a robust supply agreement to set out the terms of your contract. Supply agreements must cover important provisions around limitation of liabilities and comprehensive details of what is expected of you contractually. You may also need to review and sign a supply agreement prepared by a third party and will need to understand the terms of the agreement and your risk exposure. For example, you should consider critical terms including deadlines, when you will get paid, what happens if the customer fails to pay on time, and how disputes are resolved if things do not go as planned. These are terms we will advise you on and negotiate on your behalf.
- Confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) – Confidential information is a key business asset and its protection during business discussions is critical. In business you will often need to share certain information with third parties, such as suppliers and investors. Entering into a legally enforceable confidentiality agreement (or NDA) will allow you to feel secure and confident when sharing commercially sensitive information, knowing that your information will be protected and giving you the opportunity to set out clear restrictions on the use of your information by third parties. Without a confidentiality agreement (or NDA), your legal rights will be extremely limited if a third party misuses your confidential information.
- Business growth agreements – If you are looking to grow your business, you have several options to collaborate with external partners. Doing so can open you up to new markets and help you achieve fast growth. You may wish to consider working with a distributor or sales agent to sell your products or services. Or, you may want to explore a franchise set up, whereby another business can use your established brand to replicate your operations in new territories. As your business expands, you may wish to work with a logistics company for maximum efficiency – in which case, you will need a detailed logistics agreement to allocate the responsibilities for tasks in your supply chain.
- Joint ventures – Joint ventures allow great potential for business growth, enabling collaborating businesses access to shared resources, markets, and know-how. Joint ventures are not one-size-fits-all arrangements and you will need a joint venture agreement specific to your project, covering key terms including the responsibilities of each party, how profits will be shared and how liability and risk is allocated.
- Outsourcing – Outsourcing business tasks to a third party can help you save significant time and money while benefiting from the experience of a dedicated service provider. For example, businesses often outsource information technology (IT) support services rather than hiring an IT team. However, outsourcing carries particular risks which could seriously impact your business operations, and you will therefore need a bespoke agreement which is aligned with your business objectives and minimises risk.
- Intellectual property (IP) licensing – Licencing can be an efficient way to exploit and commercialise your IP assets. But there are risks, for example loss of control over your IP and how it is used and the risk that a third party will copy or misuse it. Therefore, you will need IP licensing agreements with stringent protections, including restrictions on use of your IP and remedies you can pursue if the agreements are breached.
How our commercial lawyers help with commercial agreements
A commercial agreement must be drafted to protect your business against potential risks, while also remaining acceptable to the other business, customer, or supplier. With many years of experience, our commercial lawyers will support you by:
- identifying key risks;
- seeking to ensure you are legally protected if things should go wrong;
- advising you on issues so that you can make an informed decision;
- using their industry experience to ensure your agreements are competitive and reasonable; and
- negotiating fair terms to help agree any deal quickly and pragmatically.
Why choose Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors?
Our commercial solicitors in Milton Keynes support numerous businesses, ranging from start-ups to multinational companies, adopting a tailored approach to contract drafting and negotiation, identifying solutions and helping you work to achieve your objectives.
Our commercial experience has included drafting:
- standard terms and conditions for a company in the planning and architecture industry;
- a supply agreement for services and products for a company in the pharmaceutical industry;
- standard terms and conditions for a company in the printing industry, with an emphasis on customer approval of proofs and prototypes, including limiting the right to object if the final printed versions matched the proofs and prototypes.
What our clients say:
“Danielle is approachable and was very attentive as she kept me informed throughout the transaction. I found Danielle to be knowledgeable and she dealt with the matter efficiently. Thank you for all your help.” Simon Gristwood
For more information about how we can help, you can read testimonials from our company commercial clients
The Company Commercial Team
Tim Roberts Senior Partner
Company Commercial 01908 689356Tim Roberts is Head of the Department and the firm’s Senior Partner. He began his career as a solicitor in the City of London before moving to Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors Company Commercial department. He has over 30 years of experience in Company Commercial and specialises in all aspects of the sale and purchase of companies and businesses, including management buy-outs, corporate restructuring, banking and corporate finance.