Business and Commercial Transactions
Successful business and commercial relationships with your customers, suppliers, lenders, employees and others are based upon good contracts between the parties. At Poole & Kane, P.A. we believe that protecting our client’s interests in a business transaction begins before, not after, the contract is signed.
We serve our clients in most business and commercial areas, including:
- Real estate contracts
- Customer contracts
- Employment agreements, including confidentiality and non-compete covenants
- Construction contracts
- Commercial financing
- Contracts with vendors and suppliers
- Commercial leases
- License agreements
- Franchise and distribution agreements
We help our business and commercial clients understand the legal and other ramifications of a potential transaction and make informed decisions before they enter into important legal commitments. Our services cover all aspects of the prospective relationship, including:
- Drafting contractual agreements, commercial instruments and other documents
- Reviewing documents prepared by other parties
- Resolution of disputes
At Poole & Kane, P.A. we believe that it is usually better to get the deal done right in the beginning than to try to fix misunderstandings and other problems later through costly and time-consuming litigation. That is why we strive to help our clients begin each new business or commercial relationship in a win-win position and to keep it that way as the relationship evolves.
Business and Commercial Transaction FAQ
I need a contract drawn up. Do I need a lawyer?A valid and legally enforceable contract need not be written in formal legal language. And most people who wish to enter into a binding agreement know what they want and how to put it in writing. What most lay people find difficult is knowing what ought to be in the contract that they haven’t thought about, and what the law may require for various types of transactions. For example, most transactions between businesses and consumers in Maryland are subject to many legal requirements, and any business that enters into such contracts without full awareness of these requirements does so at its peril. At Poole & Kane, P.A. we help our clients successfully navigate these requirements, and we prepare contracts and agreements covering a wide range of business and commercial transactions, including: real estate transactions, contracts with customers, vendors and suppliers, employment, construction contracts, financing, leases, and licensing, franchise and distribution relationships.
How can my business partner and I protect both our families and the company if something unexpected happens to one of us?The best time to plan for unexpected business contingencies, such as an owner’s death or disability, the decision by one owner to leave and start a new company, or a fall-out among partners, is before those events occur. At Poole & Kane, P.A. we can help you identify the various contingencies that can arise during the life-cycle of your business and formulate creative solutions which protect both the business and its owners in each situation. And we will prepare a shareholder agreement, partnership agreement, operating agreement or similar document that is tailored to your particular circumstances, needs and objectives.
What should I do to protect my business against unfair competition from a key employee who might someday decide to leave? (Or, I am considering a senior position with a new company, and my prospective employer wants me to sign a non-compete agreement. Should I sign?)Maryland law recognizes that non-compete covenants may be entirely appropriate, when an employer has a legitimate economic interest in protecting its business from a former employee’s unfair exploitation of the business contacts, proprietary knowledge or trade secrets that he or she gained as an employee. But such covenants are legally enforceable only if the duration in time and geographic scope of the covenant are no greater than what is reasonably necessary under the circumstances to protect the employer’s legitimate business interests. Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule to determine what is reasonable and enforceable in a particular situation. Whether you are a business owner or an employee, Poole & Kane, P.A. can advise you of your legal rights and help you protect your own interests, and we prepare (or review) employment and related agreements that address a wide variety of situations.