A contract is a legally binding agreement that establishes and controls the rights and obligations of the parties involved. When a contract fulfils the legal criteria, it is legally enforceable. A contract usually entails the exchange of products, services, money, or a commitment to trade any of these.
Legal contracts are a crucial part of any business, especially for startups in Singapore. They establish the rules and obligations between parties, and protect you from legal disputes. Here is a guide to help you navigate legal contracts in Singapore.
1. What is a legal contract?
A legal contract is a written agreement between two or more parties that outlines the terms and conditions of their relationship. It can be a simple agreement or a complex document with multiple clauses. The purpose of a legal contract is to establish clear expectations, obligations, and rights between the parties involved.
2. Types of legal contracts
There are many types of legal contracts, and startups should be familiar with the following:
- Employment contracts: These are agreements between employers and employees that outline the terms and conditions of their employment.
- Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs): These are contracts that prohibit the sharing of confidential information.
- Service agreements: These are contracts between businesses and service providers that outline the terms and conditions of the service being provided.
- Partnership agreements: These are contracts between partners who are starting a business together, and they outline the responsibilities, ownership, and profit-sharing arrangements.
3. Key elements of a legal contract
Every legal contract should contain the following elements:
- Offer: This is the proposal made by one party to the other.
- Acceptance: This is the agreement by the other party to the proposal.
- Consideration: This is the exchange of something of value between the parties, such as money, goods, or services.
- Intention to create legal relations: This is the intention of the parties to create a legally binding contract.
- Capacity: This refers to the legal ability of the parties to enter into a contract.
- Legality: The subject matter of the contract must be legal and not against public policy.
4. Drafting a legal contract
It is recommended that startups seek legal advice when drafting a legal contract. However, here are some tips to help you get started:
- Use clear and concise language.
- Define any technical terms or jargon.
- Include all necessary details, such as the parties involved, the scope of the agreement, and the payment terms.
- Use bullet points or numbered lists to break down complex terms.
- Ensure that the contract complies with Singapore laws and regulations.
Sample contracts can be found on MinLaw’s website
5. Signing a legal contract
When signing a legal contract, startups should:
- Ensure that all parties sign the contract.
- Keep a copy of the contract for their records.
- Ensure that the contract is dated.
- Ensure that all signatures are witnessed or notarized if necessary.
Bluebox Legal Business Solutions for Startups
While legal contracts are essential to protect your startup, they can be complex and time-consuming to draft. Bluebox offers Legal Business Solutions specifically tailored to startups in Singapore. Our team of experienced lawyers can assist with drafting and reviewing legal contracts, ensuring that your business is protected from legal disputes.
Contact us today to learn more about our Legal Business Solutions for Startups and how we can help you take your business to the next level.
In conclusion, legal contracts are an essential part of running a startup in Singapore. By understanding the types of legal contracts available, the key elements of a legal contract, and the process of drafting and signing one, startups can create solid agreements that serve their business well. However, seeking legal advice is highly recommended to ensure that your contracts comply with Singapore laws and regulations.
Common Legal Contracts Used in Startups and Small Businesses
- Employment Agreement
- Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
- Business Purchase Agreement
- Joint Venture Agreement
- Service Contract
- Intellectual Property Agreement
- Lease Agreement
- Franchise Agreement
- Partnership Agreement
- Non-Compete Agreement