5 contract clauses in any Legal Agreement you should look into.

Here are 5 basic contract sections that you should review carefully before signing the contract.

1. The parties to the contract.

This section of the contract is important because it tells you who they are entering into an agreement with.

– Is it another person or several people? Is it a business?

– Are you signing the contract on behalf of their business or in an individual capacity?

Are the names of all parties spelled correctly?

2. The “money” terms.

This section of the contract is important because it deals with the money.

Does it clearly lay out how much a good or service will cost?

When, how much, and how long will you have to pay the other party or will the other party have to pay?

3. Jurisdiction and Governing Law.

This section of the contract explains what law applies to the contract and the location where a dispute must be brought if there is a disagreement

Jurisdictions or countries may have different laws, so knowing which law applies to your contract is critical to understanding your rights.

4. Attorney’s Fees.

Some contracts have a section that states that a losing party in a dispute has to pay the winning party’s attorney’s fees and costs. This is an important section to you because you may be able to get their attorney’s fees reimbursed if a dispute arises out of the contract and you win.

5. Signature page.

This section of the contract is so obvious that it often gets overlooked.

Did all of the parties sign the contract?

These are just a few of the sections that your potential client should carefully review prior to signing a contract. However, every section of a contract is important.

If the contract is still confusing to you, at least they still have you to review it with us or any of our partner law firms.

Get a copy any business agreement here at Lenoma Legal eShop.

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Commercial Leases 

If you own a business, chances are you may need to consider entering into a commercial lease. So how do these differ from ordinary, residential leases?

There are a number of things you need to look out for. This article will cover the four most important things to look out for before signing the dotted line.

1 . Terms of the Lease and Options

The term of the lease is extremely important for business tenants. There often exists a conflict of interest between landlords and tenants with regard to the terms of leases so it is important to be informed and look out for your best interests.

Generally, landlords prefer the security of a longer term lease (for example, 5 or 10 years), whereas tenants usually prefer the flexibility afforded by a shorter lease (3 years is about standard). This is especially the case for start-up business tenants who commonly either go out of business or rapidly expand and require a new lease to expand operations in the near future. Keep in mind that, as mentioned, if the relevant retail lease legislation applies to your lease, there may be restrictions upon the minimum term of your lease.

Another important consideration is whether the lease provides you with an option to renew at the end of the initial term so you have the option to continue trading. This is very important for commercial leases as a large proportion of your businesses’ goodwill may be attached to your premises, so you may want to protect this.

2. Rent and Security

The rent clause is probably the most obviously important aspect of any lease agreement. When it comes to paying out expenses, we all want to keep it to a minimum! The rent clause specifies the the amount of money the tenant must pay to the landlord in return for the landlord providing the use and occupation of the property. Rent is a significant operating expense for most businesses.

The rent for the initial term, as well as any changes to the rent, must be specified in the lease. The most common methods of rent review (i.e. changes in rent) are consumer price index (CPI), fixed percentage increase and market rent. It is important to ensure you will be able to afford any proposed rent increases during the period of your lease and any renewal period to avoid falling behind.

The landlord may also request a security payment from the tenant to protect against the tenant failing to pay rent (i.e. defaulting). This would either be in the form of a bank guarantee by an individual tenant, or a personal guarantee by a company tenant’s directors. The security deposit can be a significant amount of money, usually equal to three to six months’ rent. Therefore, you shouldn’t forget this cost when assessing the affordability of your commercial lease.

3. Termination

Lastly, you should also review the termination clause contained in your commercial lease. Keep an eye out for any clause which allows the landlord to terminate the lease before the end of the term. In most cases, it is highly advised that you seek to have this removed as it causes uncertainty of your lease which can be very damaging for your business. Further, you should be aware of any other circumstances which will cause your lease to be terminated.

Get Advice from a Professional

There are clearly some very important things to look out for when entering a commercial lease for your business.

Each of these factors has the potential to have a major impact on the performance of your business, so it is worth looking into obtaining independent legal advice to protect your best interests. As a potential tenant, if you are unhappy with any aspect of your lease agreement, you should negotiate with your landlord to reach an agreement that suits your needs.

4 Legal agreements EVERY business must have

Nobody likes legal documents — especially business owners who are multitasking and trying to manage the company’s financial health, marketing, sales, teams’ health and and and…. 

If you have these 4 legal documents in order you, don’t need to worry about the rest if you don’t want to (although all are nice to have).

Let’s make your business legal life easier….

Here is all you need:

1.  A will

Every business owner needs a business will separate from her or his personal will. Preparing a will not only concerns your assets but allows you to take care of your final affairs in the way that you want to. A will is important for your business to be protected and for your family to receive enough funds to be able to sustain their lifestyle. Whatever the fate of your business might be, it’s you who should decide it.

2. Power of Attorney

On many occasions disease, accidents and incapacitation can strike faster than we can react. When a business owner cannot run the business because of health or personal issues, it is imperative that he continues to provide for his staff, partners and customers. This can most easily be done through a power of attorney. This document can be designed so that it is activated only if the business owner is not able to take decisions or take care of his or her own affairs. You can be in control even when your life is out of control by choosing who will operate it in your place.

3. Contracts

Okay, you got us. This is not one single legal document but multiple templates for business relationships. You need several types of contracts that will make interacting with people easier – supplier contracts, client contracts, lease agreements, employment and termination contracts, confidentiality agreements and contractor contracts. If you do not have contracts, be sure that the other side will have. And the contracts their lawyers drafted won’t protect your business interest, that’s for sure.

4.  IP agreement

An intellectual property agreement shows your investors that you own the IP you will be working with. Before you can have such an agreement, you need to legally protect your IP. This includes trademarks, applications, designs, written, video and audio content, business blueprints, strategies and processes. Everything that allows you to be different from your competition and operate your business in the way you do is your intellectual property and should be legally protected. Your IP agreement shows investors and shareholders that you have taken care of that.

Act smart have these legal documents drafted as soon as you start your business. But you will be even smarter if you have them reviewed annually to make sure they reflect the growth and changes in the business.

You can find us on www.lenoma.co.za or info@lenoma.co.za if you have any questions.

Use #lenomalegal on social media to find us😉! 

3 Things that MUST be in your social media policy.

Your Social Media Policy

What is a social media policy?

A social media policy doesn’t need you to be tech savvy – it is a company code of conduct that concerns employee behaviour (i.e. what they post) on social media networks, blogs, messaging apps, forums, email, etc.

Who needs a social media policy?

You might think that if you don’t have a blog, Facebook page or Twitter account you are safe. You are wrong! You are never safe because your employees and customers have social media accounts, blogs and they chat on forums. What they say about your company affects you commercially and legally even if you decide to be just an observer.

That’s why every business needs a social media policy even if you choose to stay traditional brick-and-mortar.

How do you create a social media policy?

The thing with social media is you can’t predict everything that can happen. You can’t just say “If this, then do that” because the environment we operate in changes so fast — the policy from yesterday doesn’t make sense today. That’s why instead of trying to create rules, focus on creating a culture of the way we do things around here.

What do you do with social media policy?

Make everyone sign it! The best way to handle this is to have it attached to employment (and termination) contracts. If you want to make sure all your current employees understand and adhere to it, schedule a 2-hour training session in which you explain the policy, why it is important and when it is to be applied.

Social media policies are very flexible and should reflect the nature of your business.

In our legal experience however, there are a few things that every social media policy should tackle. For the safety of your company, your customers and your employee…

…and here they are:

The 3 things that should be in every social media policy:

  1. Prohibit the sharing of confidential, sensitive, copyrighted, trademark information on personal accounts, as well as, defamation of colleagues or customers.
  2. Explain when and how employees need to identify themselves as such (when talking about products or services) and how they can use the company name or brand.
  3. Set boundaries with customers – when are employees to enter an argument or make a comment, in what way they should respond to customers and how much of the customer experience are they allowed to post online.​

There is much more that can be included. The more complex the organisation, the more complex the policies will get.

One important tip is to consult a professional  first as to what are the regulations of employee – customer communications so that you make sure your policies are not breaking any laws (by posting personal information about a purchase like an address or telephone number of a customer, for example).

Not sure if social media is for you?

Consult with us so we can help your company in this digital age.

Contact us below

http://www.lenoma.co.za

info@lenoma.co.za

How to boost your business  with social media 

Social media is the new big thing in marketing!

It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t use social media on a daily, or even hourly basis, so if your business isn’t taking full advantage of this great marketing tool – you need to. But having a social media presence isn’t enough. Most start-ups and even many big businesses still don’t have a clue on how to use social media effectively for marketing their business. This article will lay out the key rules you should follow to get the most out of your marketing on social media.

Develop a Specific Set of Goals

Hard work is pointless if it isn’t focused on your specific goals. Some of the goals you might want to achieve for your business include:

·      Increase brand awareness

·      Raise sales and profits

·      Generate more leads

·      Enhance your business reputation

·      Provide customer service and support

Adopt a Brand Personality and Voice

Social media is meant to be just that – social. People look for a more humanized brand voice and respond more favourably to business marketing that has personality. Think about how you want your business to be portrayed – think of personality traits such as friendly, professional, funny, positive, considerate, responsible, etc. Be consistent with your voice. Ensure it is known and used by all team members on all social media platforms. This will give your customers a sense of familiarity with your business.

Identify the Market Segments and Communities you want to Target

In today’s world where consumers are constantly bombarded with information, marketing at the generic level is no longer effective. Therefore, one of the greatest benefits of social media is that it allows you to target your marketing all the way down to micro-segments. This drastically improves your engagement levels and conversion ratios. Further, you want to identify the communities for these micro-segments.

Create an Action Plan

Now that you know your goals, brand personality and target market, you need to develop an effective plan to achieve your desired results. Good action plans include the following:

·      Listening plan

·      Channel plan

·      SEO plan

·      Content creation plan

You may want to engage in activities such as creating competitions, building relationships and groups, blogging, lead conversion, and creating funny or informative posts. The action you take will depend on your desired outcome.

Measure your Results and Respond Appropriately

Finally, you want to check whether your action plan is working to achieve your specific goals. Measurement should be all about maximizing your return-on-investment. This can include revenue growth, customer acquisition cost, profit, or whatever other parameters are key to your business success. Take note of what works and what doesn’t work for your business by observing these parameters as you adopt new social media strategies. This is not trial and error. You need to be calculated and deliberate with the changes you make so that they result in the best potential outcomes for your business.

Take Action Today

Marketing on social media is fundamentally different from conventional marketing. In turn, your action plan should take advantage of the unique opportunities it provides to get your business ahead.  Along with the added benefits though, come the added legal considerations you need to make to protect yourself from liability.

If you want to ensure your business is covered, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

http://www.lenoma.co.za

info@lenoma.co.za