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Contracts could help parties understand business relationships

When you first started your business, you may have had the ability to complete the majority of the tasks yourself. However, as your company grew and your success provided you with additional opportunities, you may have found yourself needing to bring in extra help. When hiring employees, you may feel a certain apprehension because you likely hold your business dealings close in order to prevent potential issues from arising.

You may feel that if more people know about your business strategies, then a greater possibility exists for your secrets to land in the ears of others. However, you can take steps to protect yourself and your company on a variety of levels by creating employment contracts. These contracts could provide terms for your prospective employees that will allow them to understand their roles, responsibilities and liabilities.

Types of contracts

A variety of employment contracts exist, and the ones you choose to utilize may depend on your specific needs. You may simply want to create a general employment contract that encompasses a variety of information, or you may want to break down the various information into multiple documents. Some types of contracts and contract clauses include:

  • General employment - This contract basically lets an employee know what to expect from the position as well as from you as an employer. You can include terms regarding health benefits, sick leave, complaint processes and termination information.
  • Confidentiality agreement - You may also want to consider creating a confidentiality agreement if you feel the need to protect trade secrets or other information. This agreement could legally prevent employees from discussing confidential information with outside parties.
  • Ownership of inventions - If your business has need of new ideas and inventions, employees may help in the creation of these tools. However, because these inventions will need to work to the benefit of your company, you may want to draft an agreement that dictates your ownership of any creations.
  • Termination - Because terminating an employee can sometimes become complicated, you may wish to detail ahead of time what type of procedures this process could involve. This information could help you prepare for handling a dismissal while also allowing an employee to understand what he or she could face if this situation comes about.

Contract disputes

Of course, even if you have contracts in place, employees may feel the need to dispute the terms for some reason or another. In hopes of avoiding this type of situation, you may want to ensure that your contracts are legally binding and present enforceable terms. In the event that a legal dispute does arise, you could find it useful to enlist the assistance of an attorney.

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