Regardless of the kind of business transaction you are involved in, whether you are forming a new business from scratch, buying a business, merging with another business, or purchasing a franchise, you will face tricky questions.
You and your counterpart might enter into negotiations with the best of intentions but, as you go back and forth, it may not always be clear as to when you have arrived at a legally binding deal. As with miscommunications anywhere, miscommunications over what legally constitutes an offer on one side of a transaction, and an acceptance on the other, can lead to incredibly costly litigation.
Similarly, as you dicker, you and another party might disagree over specific terms to your deal and not even know it. This is a common situation parties face when they give one another different standardized forms that have conflicting terms, or when parties communicate things verbally or over text or email that accidentally conflict with the standard forms they have furnished. If you take for granted one of these promises and mistakenly act on it, you may find yourself looking to collect on a bill the other party did not intend to pay. Even successful litigation can result in legal fees that eat into your accounts receivable.
Do You Know What Is and Isn’t Included in Your Deal?
Imagine you are buying a commercial warehouse that shares a loading dock with other warehouses. Does your contract say when and how you will be able to use the dock? Does the contract warranty against such things as structural failures on the dock, say, or the negligence of other warehouses, that could affect your product? Unfortunately you cannot always count on common sense or industry practices to dictate these terms, and you do not want a court deciding for you what was reasonable to expect and not. The front end costs associated with a legal consult for a transaction can be much cheaper than litigation.
A transactions attorney can help you anticipate issues and define the research and information you need to give yourself the strongest position possible from which to negotiate. During negotiations, they can help you communicate your intentions and expectations effectively and protect your business from costly conflicts. It pays to hire an attorney to help guide you through a transaction before you find yourself in trouble.