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Advice for business

Business Contracts

Our team of bright experts has the experience to offer the proactive advice you need when negotiating, drafting or reviewing your business' contracts.

The team's expertise is recommended in the Legal 500, the leading independent guide to law firms. 

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From agreements between the members of a partnership or company to consumer contracts and service agreements, contracts are essential to define individuals’ and corporate bodies’ professional relationships and to avoid and resolve conflict.

At Frettens Solicitors, we expertly handle both business-to-business and business-to-consumer issues on behalf of clients across the UK, not just in Christchurch, Ringwood and the surrounding areas of Dorset and Hampshire.

With our vast range of experience and legal expertise, we are able to spot potential problems early, negotiate effectively and help manage risk in your business contracts and documents. Our commercial sensitivity and business acumen means we will quickly get to grips with your strategy and objectives, helping you achieve the best possible outcome swiftly and cost-effectively.

We offer free initial appointments to new clients. So, get in touch with our corporate solicitors in Christchurch and Ringwood now to set up a meeting or discuss your case

Business Contracts in Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, Ringwood and the New Forest

How our commercial and corporate solicitors can assist you

We are proactive in eliminating legal shortcomings in both standard and bespoke contracts and offer practical advice on important contractual issues.

We can help you with a full range of business contracts, including:

Shareholders agreements

Shareholder agreements set out the obligations, rights and responsibilities of a company’s shareholders towards the company and to one another. The positives of creating a shareholder agreement are that the exact terms of the agreement are not made public like other company contracts (such as the articles of association), but breaches of the agreement can be legally enforced between the shareholders.

We can advise on whether creating a shareholder agreement is right for you as well as handling the drafting and negotiation with any other interested parties.

Acquisition and disposal agreements

We can advise on the acquisition and/or disposal of a business both through asset purchase/sale or share purchase/sale. We will provide advice on the procedure and implications of the transaction, for example, conducting due diligence, your tax obligations, and the benefits and drawbacks of warranties and guarantees.

Agency agreements

If your business uses an intermediary to fulfil the sale of goods or service, a solid agency agreement will set out exactly what is expected on them and the scope of their responsibilities. It will also give you an avenue for redress if any conflicts arise or anything otherwise goes wrong. It is therefore an essential agreement to have in place and we will ensure your document promotes your interests and is completely watertight and unambiguous in effect.

Partnership and LLP agreements and dissolution

A partnership agreement will set out how you and the other partners in your business interact and your respective duties and rights. It will also set out provisions for removing or replacing partners, dissolving the partnership, and resolving disputes.

If you do not put a partnership agreement in place, your business will be governed by the Partnership Act 1890 – in many cases, these provisions will not be suitable. We will provide advice about the terms of your partnership agreement to produce a document which protects and promotes your rights.

Sponsorship and endorsement agreements

Sponsorship and endorsement can be a successful and cost-effective alternative to traditional advertising. However, ensure you have appropriate contracts in place to regulate the relationship between the sponsor and the other party and set out the exact terms of the arrangement to avoid conflict later on.

Franchising

A franchising agreement will allow you to run your business under a franchise’s brand. Our advice includes reviewing and negotiating franchising agreements to ensure your rights and commercial interests as a franchisee are adequately protected.

Guarantees

Personal guarantees are common when new businesses and limited companies are initially formed. They typically require the guarantor to pay for any debts should the business get into financial difficulty. Our advice includes drafting personal guarantees, ensuring you fully understand the terms, and reviewing the validity of agreements where a lender is trying to call in a debt.

Joint venture agreements

Embarking on a new business project is exciting but daunting and you will need strong advice on the best way to structure your venture. We can provide advice on setting up limited companies, entering into partnerships, and the relevant contracts which you need to underpin your chosen structure.

Distribution agreements

A distribution agreement is essential to allow you to distribute your products or services within another market or country without establishing a physical business presence in that area. We can help you set up a tailored contract designed to ease your transition smoothly into your new market.

Licensing agreements

Our expertise includes all kinds of licensing agreement, including intellectual property, local authority licensing, trade marking, business property licensing, franchise licensing, and publishing agreements.

Sale of goods and supply of services

A written contract setting out the terms of the sale of goods or supply of services is vital for setting out your relationships with your customers, suppliers and other relevant parties. We will advise on the strict consumer laws surrounding your agreements and how best to navigate your responsibilities and avoid disputes.

Terms and conditions of trading

We can provide expert advice in all matters involving the terms and conditions and formation of contracts. We will carefully identify the unique risks, challenges and opportunities facing your business and tailor our advice accordingly to achieve an agreement which fulfils your needs and achieves your objectives.

Why choose Frettens solicitors?

At Frettens, we offer full solution commercial law services to individuals and businesses across Dorset, Hampshire and the surrounding areas.

We work tirelessly to produce positive, commercially-focused results for all types of business across a wide range of industries and sectors. Our first step will be to get to know you and your commercial goals inside out so we can specifically tailor our advice to suit your individual needs.

Our corporate and commercial team, led by Matt Fretten, is highly recommended by the Legal 500 for our work in Dorset and South Wiltshire. Amongst our talented team, Karen Edwards at our Ringwood office is named a “Rising Star”.

Frettens Solicitors is independently regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Frequently Asked Questions about Business Contracts

What is a personal guarantee?

A personal guarantee is a legally binding obligation on an individual to repay a third party’s debt or borrowing. Often encountered in the context of a limited company borrowing funds from or incurring a liability to a third party,  which are then guaranteed by an individual director or shareholder.

We have written a full article on personal guarantees, to find out more click here.

What are heads of terms?

It is often the case in a corporate transaction that the buyer and seller will agree to sign heads of terms (sometimes also referred to as a letter of intent, memoranda of understanding or heads of agreement).

This is a document which sets out the main terms of the transaction, which have been agreed in principle, between the parties during the course of their negotiations. They are prepared and agreed before the parties move to negotiating the main contract.

Read more here.

What is due diligence?

Due diligence is the 'reasonable steps' taken to exercise care taken by an organisation or individual prior to entering into a contract or agreement.

Due diligence takes different forms depending on its purpose and can usually be broken down into business, property and financial elements. 

It is not a legal requirement to carry out a due diligence exercise but rarely it will be the case that a buyer will not be advised to do so. If a buyer is being funded by the third party, the funder may require that certain due diligence is carried out.

What is a partnership agreement?

Partnerships are a set of personal and commercial relationships between individuals (could be family members, close family friends or best friends) carrying on a business in common with a view to profit.

It is advisable that these relations are regulated by a correctly drafted partnership agreement setting out the commercial terms of the business relationship between the partners.

The purpose of a partnership agreement is to:

  • protect the owners’ investment in the partnership;
  • govern how the partnership will be managed;
  • clearly define the rights and obligations of the partners, and;
  • determine the rules of engagement should a disagreement arise among the parties.

A well-written partnership agreement will reduce the risk of misunderstandings and disputes between the owners.

Read more here.

What is a retention of title clause?

Sometimes referred to as a ‘romalpa clause’ or a ‘reservation of title clause’, a retention of title clause is a clause within a contract that allows a seller to retain the legal title to goods that have been sold and delivered to a buyer until such time as certain conditions within the sale contract have been met, usually that the goods have been paid for in full. 

Read more here.

What are force majeure clauses?

Force majeure clauses are clauses in contracts which prevent both parties from being liable when circumstances are out of their control. 

It is up to the parties to the contract in question to define the sorts of events which will trigger any ‘force majeure’ provisions and to detail the specific legal consequences of the clause being triggered will be.

Read more here.

Is COVID-19 a trigger under any ‘force majeure’ clause?

Can the Coronavirus outbreak itself be a trigger under any ‘force majeure’ clause in the contract the business has with its customers or suppliers? If it is deemed a valid trigger allowing the affected party to suspend its performance under the contract or, in some cases, cancel the contract, then usually the affected party will not be liable for a resulting failure to perform its contractual obligations as a consequence of the relevant force majeure event.

Read more here.

What is a shareholders' agreement?

A Shareholders’ Agreement is a written document between two or more shareholders in a private limited company.

It records the terms and conditions on which that company shall carry out business, and how the shareholders shall exercise their rights in relation to the company.

You can make the Shareholders Agreement as bespoke as you believe is appropriate to the particular relationships between the shareholders and the company concerned.

It can be designed to cater for:

Shareholder agreements for startups - Founders of a start-up or early stage business who have already subscribed for shares and invested in the company

Private Equity and VC Shareholder agreements – subscription or investment by single or multiple investors

Shareholder agreements for Joint Ventures -  50/50 shareholders or where there are majority and minority shareholders and to deal with cross border relationships

Read more here.

    Get in touch with our corporate and commercial solicitors today

    We offer free initial appointments to new clients. So, get in touch with our corporate solicitors in Christchurch and Ringwood now to set up a meeting or discuss your case.

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