Post image for Letters of Intent: A Tricky Legal Tangle

You can’t be a ‘little bit pregnant’; can you have a legally non-binding agreement? Full-blown written contracts can be such a chore, can’t they? Especially when you’re at the initial “exploration” stages of a business negotiation. You’re not ready to close a deal–you need more time to work things through and conduct your due diligence–but […]


Post image for Downloading Contracts from the Internet

“Can I? Can I?” I hear you asking. Well, you’re asking the wrong question. The issue is not whether you can download your client contracts from the internet, it’s whether you should.  And once you do (because you know you’re going to do it, right?), how can you get the best use out of doing so? Downloading […]

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More and more, courts are agreeing that email is a perfectly fine way to create a contract . . . or modify one you already have.  This 2008 case from New York, as reported by Brian Beckham, indicates that New York has certainly gotten on that bandwagon. “It’s about time,” some of you may say. […]


Post image for Should You Do Business With Friends?

Adhere to the following 4 ground rules if you want to keep the friendship. Should you . . . or should you not . . . do business with friends? The short and obvious answer is: It depends. Whatever side of the deal you’re on–giver or receiver–here are some ground rules to consider: Only do business […]


Post image for When Can Napkin Notes Become a Binding Contract . . .?

A written contract doesn’t have to be filled with legal mumbo-jumbo in order to bind your business. That was a hard lesson learned by a Missouri company, in the case of Baum v. Helget Gas Products, Inc. In the Baum case, the prospective employee (Baum) took copious notes during his interview, including descriptions of salary, […]

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Post image for Business Law Basics: Contract Essentials

Today, I feel vindicated. I just came across Laura Bell’s post, “Business Law Basics,” which reminds me of my apartment after it’s cleaned: neat, fresh and pleasant. Her point, delivered gently, is that too many entrepreneurs do deals without having a written contract. It’s like bringing a knife to a gunfight: You may be prepared […]


Post image for How Entrepreneurs Should Write a Business Contract

I don’t advocate that entrepreneurs treat their legal work as a DIY project. And neither does California attorney Nina Yablok. But in her post, “How to Write a Contract,” she gives some great pointers in how to get the ball rolling so that your attorney has less rewriting to do (which can then save you money). […]


A commercial lease is nothing more than a kind of contract.  Except this one is for renting space that you’ll use for your business–instead of use for your residence. It’s daunting enough that the print on many leases is often in microscopic font (why do you think so many attorneys wear glasses?). But what do […]


Not knowing what the fine print on your contract says could take a costly bite out of your business. Yes, I know you’re a busy business owner. Yes, contracts can be tedious. And, yes, I know that sometimes the font used on these documents requires an electron microscope to read it properly. But as a […]


Post image for Why Online Businesses Need Contracts, Too

Last month, the Federal District Court in Brooklyn, N.Y., decided a case involving a dispute between a purchaser and a company providing information reports online.  As reported by Eric Goldman in his Technology & Marketing Law Blog, the case of Scherillo v. Dun & Bradstreet confirmed that “acknowledgment check boxes” can provide a powerful defense […]