Contract law is an entire entity all to itself. It governs all aspects of both oral and written agreements pertaining to the exchange of services, money, goods, and property. When these agreements are associated with commercial transactions, the elements can become more intricate and sometimes confusing. That’s where the need for commercial contract lawyers comes in.
What is a commercial contract?
Commercial contracts differ from other contracts mainly in that they pertain to business use. However, when someone uses the term “commercial contract,” they’re usually referring to an agreement between two companies, rather than between a company and a customer. For example, a bill of sale, receipt, or purchase order is typically considered a business contract, while a property lease for a business would be considered a commercial contract.
Types of commercial contracts
There are many different types of commercial contracts, and some are specific only to certain businesses. For example, real estate contracts would be specific to physical businesses since online companies rarely deal with that. Another type of contract is a firm-fixed-price contract that is related primarily to the construction business. With this contract, a contractor charges their customers a fixed rate following the completion of the job.
Corporations usually deal with even more contracts than other businesses. They will enter into agreements that relate to the holdings of their company. Shareholders agreements and joint venture agreements are good examples of this. But they might also have contracts dealing with things like licensing, franchising, NDAs (non-disclosure agreements), and large loan agreements.
What do commercial contract lawyers do?
A commercial contract lawyer can handle any aspect of a commercial agreement from drafting, all the way to litigation. Businesses will commonly retain these attorneys in the beginning to draw up their contracts and review any they receive from other parties. This keeps the business from entering into agreements that could get them in a legal bind down the road.
Throughout the course of any business, disputes can occasionally arise. These can be with customers, business partners, or outside companies. But if you’ve retained an attorney, you’ll be able to turn these matters over to them with minimal stress. In addition, they can help you mitigate your risks by advising you of potential problems before they erupt. Usually, these will happen because of breach of contract matters. If you’ve kept your attorney in the loop, you shouldn’t have many problems with lawsuits. However, if a party you’re in contract with breaches their terms, you may need your lawyer to step in. Often a strongly-worded letter or phone call will take care of the problem.
If you do find yourself on the receiving end of a lawsuit, your commercial contract lawyer can help you negotiate agreements. They will also serve as your mediator so that you don’t have to deal with the matter alone. If your situation happens to go to court, your attorney will obviously handle the proceedings for you. And if you’ve kept them informed, they should already be prepared with your defense and be able to put together a strong case.
How are commercial contract lawyers trained?
In order to understand exactly what a commercial contract lawyer does, it’s helpful to know how they’re trained. First of all, no matter what specialization a lawyer has, the credentials are usually the same. They must first attend law school and get the Juris Doctor (JD), which takes three to four years in addition to their undergraduate education. They then must pass their state bar exam to obtain licensure. Following their education, most lawyers tend to specialize in a particular field. They might focus on divorce, taxation, malpractice, or other areas. What they choose might depend on several different factors. There could be a shortage in the area they want to practice, it could bring in more money, or they simply might have a particular interest in it.