When it comes to doing business with the local, state or federal government, particularly when signing a contract, some people will understandably get nervous. After all, the saying “the devil is in the details” seems to have been almost tailor-made for contract issues, and dealing with any level of government can be complicated. That is why, at our law firm, we believe it is important to understand the basic concepts of a contract when negotiating.
For starters, what, in essence, is a “contract”? It is an agreement, memorialized in writing. Oftentimes, there are two parties to a contract, although there can be more in some cases. Those parties might be individuals, or they might be corporate or business entities. A contract is intended to outline the entire scope of the agreement between the parties – nothing should be left out. In a basic sense, the contract tells the parties who is responsible to take what actions. For example, a contract might say that one party performs a certain service, while the other party pays a certain amount for that service.
Of course, for many of our readers in Los Angeles the primary concern about a contract with the government is that there might be a “breach” at some point. This means that one party or the other has failed to comply with the terms of the contract. Some contracts will have clauses that covers how a breach of contract will be resolved. Others leave the parties free to pursue legal options in state or federal court, or via arbitration.
Understanding contract basics can help individuals and companies in Los Angeles get off to the right start when negotiating contracts with the government. However, each contract negotiation, and the wording of any given contract, is unique. Our readers would probably benefit from getting specific information about the options in their own unique circumstances.