Business Contract FAQ

Should I have an attorney review a commercial lease?

It is recommended to have an attorney review a commercial lease before you sign the contract. In a commercial lease, unlike a residential lease, the landlord can opt out of many statutes that protect the tenant. Landlords also include many clauses in a contract that shift the risk of liability from the landlord to the tenant. A qualified attorney can review a commercial lease and explain your risks of liability, and offer language to minimize that risk. They can also advise you of other ways to protect you from those and other risks associated with your business.

Is an oral contract enforceable?

In California, an oral contract can be enforced, unless by law it is required to be in writing. Often oral contracts are hard to enforce because it is difficult to prove the terms of the contract. Consult with an attorney regarding whether your contract needs to be in writing, the enforceability of an oral contract, and what evidence can be used to prove the contract.

Do Independent Contractor Agreements have to be in writing?

Yes. In California, the first of many requirements of designating a person as an independent contractor is that there is a signed written independent contractor agreement between the parties. The contract should include language that details the independent contractor status, including the rights and responsibilities of each party. The language is helpful for the parties to understand the independent contractor relationship. Consult with an attorney for drafting an Independent Contractor Agreement.

Can I recover attorney fees for breach of contract?

Yes, you can recover reasonable attorney fees in addition to damages through a lawsuit in court or in arbitration when there is a signed written contract with an appropriate attorney fees clause. There are limited rights to collect reasonable attorney fees by statute in other cases. In most instances, there is no right to collect attorney fees on an oral agreements or a non-signed written agreement. There are few exceptions. You should consult with an attorney about your rights to collect reasonable attorney fees and costs in addition to damages.

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