For North Carolina companies of all sizes and in any industry, agreements are a fundamental part of doing business. Many affect internal matters, such as the ownership rights and the relationships between and among stakeholders. Other types of agreements cover the company’s rights and responsibilities with external parties, including vendors, investors, business partners, and insurers. With numerous variables and unique circumstances, you can imagine the wide array of types of agreements that companies become parties to over their lifecycle.
Still, there are a few arrangements you will deal with on a daily basis as a business owner. Certain agreements are integral to your operations, so you should entrust the details to Gastonia, NC business and commercial lawyer. The following overview can also help you grasp the basics.
One of the most crucial topics to address early on is creating the “blueprint” for your company through your operating agreement. You are not required by law to execute one, but this document provides structure for governing the internal operations of the business and establishing the relationships among stakeholders. Plus, an official operating agreement lends credibility to your business when working with investors, lenders, insurance companies, and other third parties.
Though the details will vary based upon your needs, an operating agreement should cover such topics as:
- Contributions by owners;
- Terms of distributions to stakeholders;
- The roles and responsibilities of managers, officers, and the board of directors;
- Daily operations; and,
- Decision making on key business matters.
Contracts for Goods and Services
Most businesses are on either the selling or buying end of goods and services, so you will often address these agreements. Many companies conduct such transactions verbally, though there are specific requirements for certain agreements. For instance, the North Carolina’s Uniform Commercial Code applies to transactions between merchants, i.e., entities that regularly deal in specific goods as part of doing business. Therefore, note that there must be some writing when the sale of goods exceeds $500.
You will deal with leases every day if your company is engaged in commercial real estate, but businesses that rent space must also be aware of how these agreements work. Based upon how the least amount is determined, there are numerous options to keep in mind:
- Gross lease, in which the landlord covers utilities, overhead, taxes, and other expenses;
- Net leases, in which the tenant pays a portion of the building’s operating expenses; or
- Percentage lease, where the tenant pays rent as a portion of revenue.
Lease agreements must also be in writing, as they fall under state law on contracts involving land.
Some companies implement agreements for key employees and executives instead of relying on North Carolina employment at-will rules. Employment contracts are effective in outlining job duties and performance, as well as for protecting your business’ intellectual property and intangible assets. When you do incorporate nondisclosure, confidentiality, or noncompetition clauses to safeguard these interests, be aware that there are certain requirements under North Carolina’s statute on restrictive covenants.
Our North Carolina Business and Commercial Law Attorneys Can Assist with Agreements
These are just a few of the basic agreements that you may encounter as a business owner in North Carolina. Because they are so essential to your success, it is wise to count on experienced legal counsel for assistance with drafting, reviewing, and negotiating the the various types of agreements to which you bind your company. For more information on how we can support your needs with oral and written contracts, please call Mullen Holland & Cooper P.A. Business owners throughout Gaston County, Western North Carolina, and Upstate South Carolina can call 704.864.6751 or go online to set up a consultation at our offices in Gastonia, NC.