As a business leader, it’s crucial that you are represented by an attorney who is familiar with and skilled in the techniques you need to effectively negotiate the business contracts that your company relies on. The business attorney you choose to handle your contracts must be a master negotiator with excellent persuasion skills.
At Hawash Cicack & Gaston LLP, we know what it takes to get what you want out of a contract. Our legal team makes it our priority to know our clients’ leverage points so that we can move beyond fixed positions, prepare for possible hiccups, and make the other side comfortable with what we are putting on the table.
Key Steps to Negotiating a Business Contract
Navigating business contracts is a delicate balance. You have to be both aggressive and persuasive, yet friendly and receptive. That is why it’s important to communicate in a way that shows your interest in working together and understanding the other party’s needs so you can ultimately find a win-win solution that benefits you both.
If you want to successfully negotiate business contracts, try using the following methods:
- Be professional and open to collaboration.
- Know your specific goals and make sure they guide the negotiation strategy.
- Feel out the other party to determine what they would view as a successful or acceptable outcome.
- Take a proactive approach and try to anticipate the other party’s viable options so you can devise a strategic response.
- Use precise and encompassing language when writing up the contract.
- Search for win-win scenarios where both parties can feel successful.
- Move swiftly to capture momentum when the negotiations are moving in your favor.
- Ensure that all of the final documents are properly completed and delivered on time.
Things to Avoid When Negotiating Business Contracts?
To succeed in negotiating your important business contracts, you need to be aware of the following things that you should avoid:
- Never negotiate if you aren’t prepared. If you negotiate without planning or researching the issues, then other party will gain the upper hand.
- Don’t bully the other party and leave them with a contract they resent agreeing to. Your business still has to build a relationship with the party after the contract is signed, so try to leave the negotiations on good terms.
- Never give up your primary goals because you feel rushed to get the contract signed.
- Don’t delay sending your responses to the other party.
How to Create a Business Contract Agreement
If you want to make sure your contract is legally enforceable if any issues arise, then you need to adhere to these guidelines:
- Draft the Contract: Although oral agreements are legally binding in certain situations, they can be very difficult to enforce in court, if they are even enforceable at all. When it comes to business contracts, you need the agreement in writing. A written agreement reduces risks to your business and provides you with a physical document that clearly specifies each party's rights and obligations in case a dispute arises.
- Don’t Use Unnecessarily Complicated Language: Most people think contracts need to include words like "heretofore" and "party of the first part" to make a contract enforceable. However, using concise and clear sentences, as well as numbered paragraph headings is enough to enforce the terms of the contract.
- Negotiate with the Person in Charge: Don't negotiate with a person who has to check with the boss to okay every term. Instead, negotiate with the person in charge of making the final decision. If you're not sure you’re dealing with the right person, then politely, but firmly, ask to be put in touch with their superior.
- Use Legal Names in Contracts: Business people often miss this crucial detail. When drafting a contract, make sure you are writing down the correct legal names of all the parties to the contract. If the business is structured as an LLC or a corporation, then you need to identify it by the correct legal name and not by the names of the people who will sign the agreement.
- Spell the Details: The agreement needs to specify the rights and obligations of each party in great detail. Don't leave anything out just because you talked about it and then shook hands. If you forget to include an important detail in a contract, then you can write up a short amendment.
- Include Payment Obligations: Make sure you specify which party is responsible for paying the other for services or goods delivered. Also include when the payments are due and the conditions for making payments, such as cash, check, or credit.
- Establish Terms for Termination: It is a good idea to write out the circumstances under which the parties can terminate the contract. Termination clauses usually cover failure to meet important deadlines or missed payments.
- Dispute Resolution: The contract should include the steps that can be taken if something goes wrong. Include whether disputes will be handed through arbitration, mediation, or if they must go to court.
- Confidentiality Clause: When businesses hire another party to perform a service, the other party can sometimes have access to sensitive business information. Business contracts should contain mutual promises that each party will not disclose strictly confidential business information it learns while performing the terms of the contract.
Consult with Our Highly Skilled Business Contract Attorneys Today
The comprehensive contract drafting and negotiating services we offer at Hawash Cicack & Gaston LLP, saves our clients the hassle of wasting time and money on potential disputes and future headaches. Our business contract team possesses the extensive knowledge and resources that you need in your corner to draft effective and concise contacts and negotiate complex agreements.
To discuss your contract matters with a qualified attorney, please call (713) 589-7249 or fill out our online form.