BLSW’s Senior Litigator shares words of wisdom as we head into the New Year.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it sure seems to be that we can never fully know what the future will bring. Now that we have seen and experienced the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated fallout that it has brought, we have gained some insight on ways individuals and businesses can try to better protect themselves an uncertain future.
Some of these include a careful review and negotiation of any contracts, including everything from lease agreements to operating agreements, that you are considering signing. Many have been severely impacted by the various restrictions and shutdowns brought on by COVID-19, yet their existing business agreements failed to adequately prepare them for these previously unforeseen impacts. Now that the unforeseen has been seen, however, some precautions can be taken to better protect you and your business.
Particular contract clauses, such as force majeure clauses, can help relieve you from some of your contractual liabilities or obligations when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond your control (such as the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting business restrictions) prevents you from fulfilling their obligations under the contract. Although such clauses may not entirely excuse your non-performance, they can still benefit you by suspending or limiting your obligations while the circumstances continue.
With the benefit of hindsight, it makes more sense than ever as we move into 2021 to do everything we can to protect our businesses and ourselves. Before you sign on the dotted line, carefully review any potential agreements for important provisions that they do, and do not, include. Having an attorney review any proposed agreement, and if necessary, negotiate with the other party or parties prior to entering into the agreement is always the safest way to ensure that you are protected. As they say, an ounce of protection worth a pound of cure.
Contact Business Law Southwest today and schedule a time to review your new and existing contracts. Be certain where your business stands going into what could be an uncertain year.