Looking for a guide to tell you which contract you need for your business? Well, I am going to be diving into which contracts you need for your business. It is important to understand what your business NEEDS. And yes, contracts always seem to feel like a luxury and not a necessity – but what we all have learnt in this time is that having the right contract with the right terms is an ESSENTIAL.

Having to choose contracts, or even just know which contracts are right for you can be a daunting task. It is, however, important that you do know which contracts you need and for which relationships.

As a small business owner this can really save you and place in you a position that you would want to be in as opposed to the position landed in because of the lack of contracts.

What does South African Law say

In South African law there are different types of contracts. The law has categories of contracts so that if all of the terms of a contract are not in your contract, certain terms can still be inferred into the contract. To simplify – the law makes say provision for a rental contract.

If you have a rental agreement and you do not have all of the terms usually in this type of agreement and you need to go to court about something. The court would be able to understand the type of relationship that you and the lessor or lessee had in mind. And because of this type of relationship there are certain obligations that would stem from this.

For instance – in a rental agreement rent is payable on a monthly basis. If your tenant then does not pay the court can understand that the idea of the contract relationship was that your tenant would pay each and every month without default for renting the property from you.

 

When choosing a contract, the starting point is always this:

 

WHICH RELATIONSHIPS DO YOU HAVE?

 

A contract is basically a relationship in writing. It is what you and the other person or company have agreed to do and not do. It is a list of obligations, do’s and don’ts. It also gives you that important timeline for payments.

 

If you understand that a contract is a relationship then you can deduct from this that for EACH AND EVERY relationship you have, you need to have a contract in place. That is the basics of a contract.

 

Okay great – so take the time to write down or just think about the relationships that you have in your business. You can ask yourself the following questions:

 

1. Am I renting a place? If you bought a property, then you would already have a relationship with the bank for the repayment of your property.
2. Do I have employees – any employee or worker? This includes domestic workers etc.
3. What about independent contractors? Am I make use of other people to outsource some of the tasks required for certain projects?
4. And social media, or do I have people that do certain elements of this for me? Or other marketing relationships? Influencers?
5. Now for the clients – what type of clients do I have? If my clients are based on a relationship whereby, I have to deliver a service and a type of product that is not just an over the counter sale then it is important to consider which contracts I need for my clients. Do I have just one type of client or does my income result from different types of products and clients?

 

Okay so now you have a basic idea of the type of relationships that you have. It is now basically a column A with a column B type scenario. The content of the contracts will differ for each of your situations but ultimately the type of contract will be more or less what guides the content.

Also have a look at my blog about why it is important to have a contract as a small business owner.