Houston Contract Lawyers
Why Hire a Contract Lawyer?
Contracts play a pivotal role in any business. Unfortunately, the language in contracts is often difficult to understand, and misunderstandings lead to costly mistakes. To make sure you know what you're getting into before you sign on the dotted line, you should enlist the help of a contract attorney. Top contract lawyers are equipped to help you with:
- Business formation agreements. If you are forming an LLC, a limited liability partnership, a limited liability limited partnership, a corporation, or another type of Texas business entity, a lawyer helps you put together the necessary contracts to get your business off the ground.
- Confidentiality agreements. These help to protect your sensitive information.
- Leases. Whether you are leasing a warehouse, office space, or a piece of equipment, you need to thoroughly understand what the lease entails and what obligations it sets out for the parties involved.
- Employment contracts. When you're onboarding new workers, you need to have a general employment agreement ready. You should also have an independent contractor agreement and a non-compete agreement.
- Sales-related agreements. Bills of sale, purchase orders, and security agreements are all part of everyday business, and you must be certain that the documents related to these transactions are in order.
Online services may offer many contracts for free or for a small fee. However, keep in mind that laws vary from state to state. A generic agreement that works in one state may be easy to invalidate in Texas. A lawyer helps to adjust the terms of these contracts and add necessary clauses to protect you and your business.
Lawyers who focus on writing and viewing contracts are known as transactional attorneys. Other lawyers may channel most of their energy into contract litigation, which seeks to settle issues related to breaches of contracts.
How to Find the Best Contract Lawyer in Houston
Houston is a thriving metropolis with many lawyers, but you don't want to pick the first attorney you hear about. The first thing you need to do is make sure that a lawyer is a member of the State Bar of Texas. Lawyers who do not belong to the bar are not allowed to practice law in the state.
In addition to confirming that a lawyer belongs to the State Bar, you should:
- Read lawyer reviews. Turn to a trustworthy site like Martindale.com to discover peer reviews of attorneys. You can also search for complaints made against the lawyer.
- Seek professional referrals. One way to find a reputable lawyer is to use a local lawyer referral service. You may get referrals through the State Bar of Texas, the Harris County Bar Association, or the Houston Bar Association.
- Seek personal referrals. The Houston metropolitan area has more than 122,000 businesses, and over 100,000 of those are considered small. Seek out other businesspeople in the area who have used the services of a contract lawyer before. The attorneys they recommend are worth looking into.
- Read lawyer biographies. A lawyer's biography tells you more than where they went to school. It provides valuable information about the types of cases they've handled in the past. Knowing about an attorney's experience is especially valuable if the contract you need help with deals with a specialized industry.
Before you sign up with a Houston contract lawyer, make sure you understand:
- The law firm's structure. Will you mainly work with the attorney you initially speak to, or will your task be passed off to a paralegal or a junior associate with the firm?
- How the lawyer communicates. Are they easy to reach if you have a question? Also, watch out for attorneys that speak over your head. You want someone who takes the time to explain things clearly to you. Your lawyer should never dismiss or minimize your concerns.
- How billing works. Some firms charge a flat fee for certain services, while others stick to an hourly rate. Also, ask about retainers and extra fees that you may have to pay along the way.
Questions for Your Contract Lawyer
- How much experience do you have with writing and reviewing contracts? What about contract litigation and negotiation?
- Should I give you any extra information about my business to help you review the contract?
- What are common loopholes and traps with this type of contract?
- What kind of timeline are we looking at for what I want to do with this contracts?
- How do you charge for your services, and when will I be expected to make payment?
- How deep will you dig when you're reviewing my contract?
Contracts hold you and your business associations responsible for certain actions. They protect you and help your business thrive. Instead of taking a risk with these vital documents, hire a Houston contract attorney who can help you with writing, reviewing, negotiating, and litigating contracts.
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Legal Services Offered by Our On-Demand Houston Contract Attorneys
The Houston contract attorneys & lawyers on UpCounsel are dedicated to helping businesses save time, money, and peace of mind with contract drafting and review, negotiations, litigation support, discovery, commercial business transactions, and more.
Our independent contract attorneys are available on-demand to provide contract legal services for businesses or to support your in-house general counsel to help lighten the load for transactional matters or litigation support.
Although the work of the Houston contract attorneys found on UpCounsel often varies they are highly experienced in legal contract activities such as commercial contract negotiations, document review in response to document subpoenas, request for production of documents, legal research, draft legal briefs, along with providing a full range of other contract legal services to businesses of any size.
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- 7 min read
What is a Trade Secret?
A trade secret is any information about a business that could give a competitive advantage to another person or business. It is something that is not generally known or easily obtainable by others which can include confidential manufacturing, industrial, or commercial information.
A trade secret can also be described as valuable and exclusive knowledge that created by the work of a person or a company that has an economic interest in keeping it. This is usually because the owner gains a competitive advantage in the marketplace as a result of the trade secret.
A trade secret is defined very broadly and can include any of the following:
- commercial methods, such as distribution or sales methods
- advertising strategies
- lists of suppliers or clients,
- 7 min read
What is a Right of First Refusal?
A right of first refusal, also called an ROFR, a first right of refusal, or a last look provision, gives a person or company the opportunity to start a business transaction before anyone else can. It could provide the first chance to buy stocks or real estate at the same price and terms as another offer. If the holder of the right of first refusal declines, the owner of the asset can sell it to whomever they want.
There's even an ROFR in many child custody agreements. It requires that one parent offer the other parent the chance to watch the kids before using a family member or outside child care.
A Right of First Offer: What is it?
A right of first offer or ROFO requires owners to tell the holder first when they plan to sell an asset. Then the holder of the ROFO has the right to make the first offer on the business, stocks, or property. The seller can accept or reject the offer, speak to other buyers,
- 5 min read
LLC Versus C Corp: What Is It?
An LLC is a business entity that is legally separate from its owners, who are known as "members." An LLC can have one member or many members.
A C Corporation refers to any corporation taxed separately from its owners. Unlike S Corporations, taxing of C Corporations occurs twice, once on the earnings and again on the salaries of the owners.
Similarities of an LLC and an S Corp
LLCs and S Corps have several similarities:
- Limited liability protection. In both an LLC and an S Corp, owners are not personally responsible for business debts or liabilities.
- Separate entities. LLCs and S Corps are separate legal entities formed through a state filing.
- Pass-through taxation. Both usually receive the pass-through tax, meaning they are not double taxed.
- 5 min read
Promissory Note: What Is It?
A promissory note is a legal contract that sets out the terms of a loan and enforces the promise for a borrower to pay back a sum of money to a lender within a certain time period. Promissory notes are one of the simplest ways to obtain financing for your company. They are often basic documents with few formalities. A promissory note written on a napkin could be valid if the required terms are included.
Alternative names for promissory notes include: IOU, personal notes, loan agreements, notes payable, note, promissory note form, promise to pay, secured or unsecured notes, demand notes, or commercial paper.
As such, a promissory note must contain the usual standard requirements for a contract, including considerati
- 4 min read
Rule 145: What is it?
Rule 145 is an SEC rule that allows companies to sell certain securities without first having to register the securities with the SEC. This specifically refers to stocks that an investor has received because of a merger, acquisition, or reclassification.
When Registration Is Required Under Rule 145
In addition to allowing certain types of securities to go unregistered, Rule 145 also requires that the following transactions must be registered if security holders vote on such transactions:
- Reclassification of securities that will replace one security for a different one.
- A merger, consolidation, or acquisition where the securities of one corporation or company are exchanged for those of a different company or organ