10 Essential Contracts for Every Small Business

By:  Roberto A. Ramirez with Law Office of Roberto A. Ramirez, PLLC 

Starting and running a small business often involves a staggering number of legal contracts.  Below are a list of essential contracts for small businesses.

1. Business Contracts – You need more than a handshake. Make sure it’s a done deal with a professional Business Contract. When it’s in
writing, it’s easier to prevent miscommunication because the details of your agreement are clearly outlined.

2. Service Contracts – Service contracts outline exactly what you will provide as a business. Service contracts are agreements for
specific acts, such as painting your house or tuning your car, and are distinguishable from contracts for goods.

3. Independent Contractor Agreement- Independent Contractor Agreements are a way of clearly outlining the scope of the work, payment schedules
and deadline expectations of a freelance arrangement. Make sure you have signed agreements with every
consultant or short-term employee you use.

4. Release of Liability – As an operator of a business, use this form to release your company from liability for any injuries or damages
sustained by a participant in an activity either owned or sponsored by your business.

5. Equipment Lease – Use this contract if you will be leasing equipment or plan to lease out your own equipment. You’ll want to
complete your equipment lease agreement before the equipment changes hands. That way, if either party has
any questions or concerns, you can refer to your lease agreement to resolve things.

6. Non Disclosure Agreement – Nondisclosure agreements are fairly common in many business settings, as they offer one of the most surefire
ways to protect trade secrets and other confidential information meant to be kept under wraps. Ask potential
employees or current employees to sign this so your proprietary information doesn’t leave your business.

7. Provisional Patent Application-  Protect your product or invention in advance of a full patent filing. A provisional filing allows you to use the
“Patent Pending” notice and establish an official patent filing date.

8. Noncompete Agreement- Noncompete Agreements are intended to help you protect your business. They restrict your employees, business
associates or clients from directly competing against your company.

9. Employment Agreement- This agreement between an employer and employee specifies the rights and obligations of each party. The
employee’s compensation, job duties, expense reimbursement, benefits, and confidentiality obligations may be
described in detail.

10. Employee Handbook- Employee Handbooks are an important part of your hiring package. They include necessary legal statements,
outline employment expectations, relate your business vision, and define benefit packages.

Upcoming Events

National Small Business Week
April 30 – May 4, 2018
Join The City of Austin Small Business Program for five days of free sessions covering funding, marketing, legal, and business planning.
Check out sessions below and reserve your seat!
Business Planning Sessions: Woman getting advice from a business coach
Tuesday – May 1, 2018
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Business Coaching Open Office Hours
Wednesday – May 2, 2018
9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Test Before You Invest
Thursday – May 3, 2018
10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Writing a Winning Business Plan
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Business Coaching Open Office Hours
List of more offered by the city HERE. 
Other events you may want to be a part of:
April 21st, Saturday 10 AM to 1 PM
Join PeopleFund for a free credit review.  Confidential and personal credit checks are available through the experts at BB&T! On Thursday, April 20th, experts from BB&T will be on site to review your personal credit and evaluate credit reports for FREEAvailable in English or Spanish.
Here’s your chance to access your free credit report, notice any errors or discrepancies, and learn what you can work on to improve your credit!
Contact dbranch@peoplefund.org to reserve your spot.
 April 30th, Monday 8 AM to 10 AM State of Small Business in Austin Breakfast

The City of Austin Economic Development Department will host the 5th Annual State of Small Business in Austin breakfast at the Norris Conference Center on Monday, April 30, 2018 from 8:30 to 10:00am.

As the kickoff to National Small Business Week, the program will focus on small businesses issues in Austin. Keynote speaker Rosa Rios Valdez, President and CEO of Business and Community Lenders (BCL). Ms. Valdez will discuss the role of economic development organizations to ensure equitable economic development for all small businesses (including creatives). Ms. Valdez will discuss how small businesses are dealing with affordability challenges, funding/ finance issues and trends toward social entrepreneurship. Our intention is that Austin’s civic leaders and small business partners will be able to translate this message into actionable items to prepare our entrepreneurs for upcoming opportunities.

Following the discussion, City of Austin Small Business Awards will be presented to recognize entrepreneurial excellence in our community.

RSVP HERE .

May 9th, Wednesday 9th at 9 AM to 12 PM  8 AM to 10 AM Vietnam and Southeast Asia Briefing
Join us for a briefing on Vietnam and Southeast Asia by US-ASEAN Business Council and Becamex IDC. They will present on business opportunities and resources for entrepreneurs looking to expand to Vietnam and Southeast Asia.
Who should attend?
• Manufacturers
• Supply Chains Enterprises (packaging, components, parts)
• Medical Device, Pharmaceutical, Healthcare
Related Industries
• High-Tech, Electrical & Home Appliances
• Electronic & Telecommunication Equipment, IT, Gaming, Software
• Food & Agri-Business (machinery, processing technology, animal feed)
• Property Developers (retail, condo, hospitality, entertainment & sports)
• Investment & Banking

Agenda
9:00 AM Registration & Networking
9:30 AM Welcome & Program
11:00 AM Q&A
11:30 AM One-on-One meetings
This event is presented by in partnership with the Global Business Expansion City of Austin Economic Development, World Affairs Council of Austin, Becamex, and US ASEAN Business Council.
RSVP HERE. 

May 15th