When it comes to signing contracts with other companies, whether that be a customer, a partner or a supplier — it’s fair to say that all parties will be trying to secure the best terms to suit them and their business.
In most cases, the bigger the company the safer they’ll be, partly for their clout and buying power but also for the fact that most will have a dedicated legal team to closely examine contracts.
But what about the companies that don’t have that luxury?
The Underdog Story
“Startups and SME’s may be lucky enough to take on a big client or use a reputable third-party supplier, but unless they’ve got someone who’s legally trained and familiar with business practices there’s always a chance that they could be doing themselves a disservice,” warns William Blumenthal, Founder of B-Law.
“Large companies often try to wave the big stick and bully smaller companies,” continues William. “For example, if a tech company is providing a platform then the challenge will depend on the size of customers they’re seeking,”
William is a General Counsel and Legal Business Advisor, which means he regularly checks contractual agreements in order to advise businesses on how to negotiate the best terms — whilst ensuring the contract doesn’t leave them open to unnecessary risk.
“If they’re a small company dealing with tier-one companies, giant companies, then the challenge is going to be how to ensure that their contracts are fairer than they might otherwise be.
“Often, this comes down to protecting one’s intellectual property – because that is what underscores the value of any contract.”
Reading the Small Print
“Large companies often try to get one over on their competitors by restricting their suppliers and in turn the business they’re working with.”
“They do this by claiming intellectual property ownership or exclusive rights where they shouldn’t,” concludes William. “For the SME, this can stunt long-term growth.”
To discover how B-Law can help you secure better deals:
For an accompanying read, please visit B-Law Reveals a Key to Fuelling Long-term Commercial Growth