Contracts are part of a strong foundation for any business. No business can operate without them.
Because of the legal implications and complexities involved with a contract, only an experienced Houston contract drafting attorney can be trusted to draft, negotiate, and review contracts. Contracts help allocate the risks, benefits, liabilities, and more between the parties involved. Properly drafted liability provisions are crucial when something goes wrong, and the parties will look to the contract to ultimately determine who is responsible.
Contracts help businesses obtain supplies, employ workers, and even purchase or rent the space in which they operate. Feldman & Feldman protects its clients’ best interests when drafting, reviewing, and negotiating contracts, ensuring our clients get a fair deal. Our meticulous attention to detail ensures our clients are always well represented with regard to their contracts.
What Is Legally Considered A Contract?
The legal definition of a contract is incredibly broad. For a contract to be binding, it must contain two elements: (1) all of the parties involved must be in agreement, and (2) something of value must be exchanged. This means contracts don’t necessarily have to be written down and that things other than cash can be exchanged. When you enter into a contract, it is important for the parties involved to understand exactly what they are agreeing to.
Generally, if someone agrees to do something in exchange for another’s promise to do something else, this constitutes a legally enforceable contract. You can usually enforce verbal contracts in Texas if both parties meant for the agreement to be binding. So a Texas contract does not have to be in writing to be enforceable. There are exceptions for certain types of contracts, listed in a law called the “Statute of Frauds.”
Beyond verbal contracts, some contracts are not legally enforceable for other reasons, including those that involve:
- A mutual mistake that causes one or more parties to not perform as they’re supposed to
- Lack of capacity
- The plaintiff accepting alternative payment instead of contract fulfillment, as this step discharges the original obligation
- Duress or undue influence
- Mistaken belief such that no party fully understands the terms of the contract
- Replacement of the original contract with a new agreement
- The plaintiff approved the defendant’s action or lack thereof
- Oral contracts in situations where a written contract is required, such as in real estate transactions
- It’s impossible or impracticable to carry out the terms
- Contracts in which pricing, duration, or other material terms are missing
- Misrepresentation, nondisclosure, or fraud
- Public policy concerns
- It is a contract governing something illegal
What this means is that in some cases, an otherwise valid offer and acceptance can lead to a voided contract because at least one party’s consent was, in fact, secured by fraud, undue influence, duress, or mistake.
Types of Business Contracts
While most parties to a negotiation won’t intentionally try to sabotage their future business relationships, non-lawyers should realize contract drafting issues are often invisible to those who don’t focus on them on a regular basis like we do. In fact, many sophisticated people who aren’t attorneys create unenforceable contracts by mistake.
For over 40 years, Houston contract negotiation attorney David Feldman has been helping businesses of all types and sizes with their contract needs. He and his son and law partner Cris Feldman are equally comfortable working with startups and national corporations for all of their legal needs. The lawyers of Feldman & Feldman have drafted all types of business agreements, including:
- Purchase and Sale Agreements
- Dissolution Agreements
- Franchise Agreements
- Partnership Contracts
- Vendor Agreements
- Distributor Contracts
- Manufacturing Contracts
- Employment Contracts
- Buy-Sell Agreements
- Service Contracts
- Releases and Waivers
- Property Agreements
- Shareholder Agreements
- Company Operating Agreements
- Lease Agreements
- Confidentiality and Nondisclosure Agreements
- Non-compete Agreements
- Licensing Agreements
- Master Services Agreements
- Service Level Agreements
- Vendor and Independent Contractor Agreements
How Feldman & Feldman Can Help
A well-written contract can protect you and your business from lengthy and expensive litigation down the road. At Feldman & Feldman, our Houston contract attorneys are with you every step of the way. We work to understand your business so we know exactly how to protect you when drafting contracts. When contracts involve any type of transaction, we will handle the negotiation for you to ensure you get the best deal possible. Our experienced attorneys also review contracts to make sure they don’t jeopardize your business.
Experienced Houston Contract Attorneys
Our lawyers have decades of combined experience helping Houston-area businesses of all sizes with business contracts. Clients just starting out and forming an entity are often cost-conscious. We work closely with our clients to ensure our financial expectations are spelled out in a customized fee arrangement that is satisfactory for everyone involved.
The contract attorneys at Feldman & Feldman have extensive experience in contract matters, regardless of whether a client is presented with a contract that needs reviewing or needs a contract drafted from scratch. When drafting a contract or arriving at its terms, it’s important to have a skilled negotiator on your side. Whether it may be purchasing software, hiring an architect to design a building, buying health insurance for your employees, or engaging a professional for a particular project, Feldman & Feldman can assist you. Call us today to request a consultation.
FAQs: Contract Drafting, Negotiation, and Review
What is contract drafting?
Contract drafting is the act of writing a contract, including all the terms and conditions that have been agreed to by both parties.
What are the elements of a valid contract?
For a contract to be valid, it needs to contain a few specific elements. These include:
- This will state the offer made by one party and the acceptance of the offer by the other party and does not include counteroffers or conditions.
- Each party to the contract must be of sound mind and agree without force or coercion.
- The thing of value that is being exchanged must be stated in the contract. For instance, payment of money or a service provided.
- Both parties must intend to agree.
Can I draft my own contract?
While you can draft your contract, an experienced business transaction attorney will ensure that your agreement contains all of the necessary legal elements and all of the legal protections required to reduce your risk. In other words, investing in a professionally drafted contract now can save you from legal troubles, financial woes, and headaches in the future.
Does a contract need to be notarized to be legally binding?
No, a contract does not need to be notarized to be legally binding, but having a notary involved in your contract execution is highly recommended. It offers proof that each party has agreed to the terms and has legitimately signed the contract.
What does a contract lawyer do?
Contract lawyers are experienced in reviewing, negotiating, drafting, and enforcing contracts.
How can an attorney help me negotiate a contract?
An experienced contract lawyer enters every negotiation with a strategy to gain the upper hand and get you the terms you are looking for. Experience helps the attorney determine the best approach regardless of the situation.
What does a contract lawyer charge?
Contract lawyers charge fees on a case-by-case basis. At Feldman & Feldman, we are transparent about our fees and how they relate to your needs so that you will always have a clear understanding of our customized fee arrangement.
What is the best way to find a contract lawyer?
The best way to find a contract lawyer is to look at the history and experience of the attorney.
Feldman & Feldman has decades of experience in handling all types of business contract needs. Contact our office today to discuss how we can help you and your business ensure you have the best legal protection in the form of valid and enforceable contracts.