I’m a relationship type of person. I prefer to deal with people I can trust. My word is my bond. I’d prefer to deal with others whose outlook and approach is the same, and whose word is their bond.
Not to be cynical, but even if you are like me, don’t, for a minute, believe that many others are. Folks, it’s a dog eat dog world out there!
I recommend that you reduce all business agreements to writing. The writing can be short and sweet. You may be able to generate it yourself without retaining a law firm, and it doesn’t need to include all of the legal boilerplate.
But if the agreement or understanding relates to business, relates to how you’d like to earn income and support yourself and your family, please reduce a business agreement between two or more people to writing. The basic terms and provisions should be written down and the document should be signed.
- First and foremost, if one party “forgets” the terms and provisions of the agreement or understanding, you can “remind” him or her. This helps prevent “selective memory.”
- You can, if necessary, enforce your rights under the agreement if the terms and provisions are reduced to writing and signed (and if you can enforce your rights you may not have to. In other words, the other party might “come around.”)
- One final note, I think it is particularly important that business agreements and understandings with friends or family members be reduced to writing. Why? I genuinely believe that “misunderstandings” can best be avoided, and important/vital personal relationships preserved and maintained, by “putting it in writing.”
And a post script.
What to do if you neglect to reduce a business agreement or understanding to writing, and you find the other party has no plans to observe the terms and provisions?
As your “agreement” will be difficult if not impossible to prove without a writing, if you neglected to reduce the agreement to writing and a “misunderstanding” develops, just walk away. Walk away but in the future always remember to reduce business agreements and understandings to writing!
Quote of the Week
I don’t care to be remembered as the man who scored six touchdowns in a game. I want to be remembered as a winner in life.
~ Gale Sayers, NFL Hall of Fame Running Back
Center for Free Enterprise Event
Learn about the market for deals for Early-Stage Growth deals, valuation approaches and how to get deals done. An esteemed panel of professionals will share their insights with you. You will also have the opportunity to meet other investors, business owners and senior managers and professionals who have similar interests to your own.
This event is organized by David Brown (also of Red Hawk Associates) and Ben Calkins (The Calkins Law Firm) of the Center for Free Enterprise.
Cleveland Racquet Club
29825 Chagrin Boulevard
Pepper Pike, Ohio
- Karen Spilizewski, RiverVest®
- Todd Federman, North Coast Angel Fund
- Adam Roth. StreamLink Software
- Mark Weisman, Navidar Group & Vistage Worldwide