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Contracts or agreements enable a business owner to set out the terms upon which they will engage with another person or company.  In doing so neither party is left in any doubt as to the intended responsibilities or outcome of the engagement.  Professionally drafted contracts are clear and unambiguous, they focus on the priorities of the relationship and their terms will swiftly see an end to disagreements.

Remember, you cannot file a conversation.

Whether you need a new contract, you need to revise one or you have been asked to sign one, contact Devine Law for expert guidance and advice.


There are a wide range of types of contracts or agreements, a few of which are listed below:

§  Agency & Distribution Agreements

There are many and varied reasons for having an agreement to set out terms of a venture or business relationship.  For example: if you are looking to distribute products for a manufacturer or are looking for someone to distribute your products across the Country and abroad, then you will need an agreement to regulate the terms between you and the person supplying you, or alternatively undertaking your distribution. It is vital to have clear terms indicating amongst others the territory within which the products will be distributed, any minimum targets to be met and the payment terms and any audit requirements.

Devine Law has significant experience of agency and distributorship agreements and will ensure that your priorities are covered and that competition law issues do not hold you  back.

§  Franchising

If you are thinking about taking on a franchise business there are many questions to ask. Having some insight before you start can be invaluable and at Devine Law we have advised many potential franchisees and also advised and assisted some affected by onerous franchise agreements in situations where that essential initial advice was not taken.

Many Franchisors fly their flag under the British Franchise Association banner and this gives some comfort in the knowledge that they accept the Franchise Association terms and have the willingness to showcase their business ideas. From our experience too many franchisees are misled in to taking up franchises with inappropriate terms, excessive Start Up fees and insufficient guidance or knowledge.  A franchise business is only worth as much as the idea that is behind it, the intellectual property and the owners who will support and guide its franchisees.  If the business model is not tried and tested, then the terms of the franchise should reflect this.  A good franchise can be truly breath-taking, but an ill-advised franchisee can end up losing everything!

§  Joint Ventures

It takes two to tango… or perhaps three or more!! A joint venture can arise for many reasons, but usually it starts with parties with complementary skills and qualities wanting to begin something new or achieve a specific purpose. Sometimes a joint venture may be between individuals, but in many cases it will be between two or more limited companies.  The variety of joint venture companies is almost endless because they can be set up to deal with anything, but the one certainty is that they all need terms regulating the structure of the deal and what it means to the parties involved.

§  Other agreements the firm frequently prepares govern:

  • Shareholder and partner relationships
  • Asset, business or share purchases
  • Employment, consultancy or service contracts
  • Outsourcing, distribution and franchising
  • Confidentiality and intellectual property
  • Leases, property contracts or conveyances


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