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Partnering Agreements

Q: Does anyone have any tips on putting together partnering agreements? We are looking for pointers on what to include in order to avoid misunderstandings.
[Christine Moore, christine@next-wave.com]

  • No two players have exactly the same strategies. There is no template you can actually use.

    Here are a few suggestions for you to consider:

    1. Getting it on paper eliminates misunderstandings. List out what you want out of the deal, each party’s obligations, and ways to prevent them from hurting your company. Make the points of the business deal as specific as possible. Determine how the two companies will handle confidential material, competition, partnership length, workload, and basis for compensation. Then go to a lawyer for final touch up. The lawyers don't know your business like you do, so just list out the items you want, and they will put the legal jargon around it.
    2. Think about what will happen if things go wrong. Figure out from a business point of view how each company can end the partnership, how to handle disputes, and determine how changes can be made.
    3. If some items are not determined, write this in the agreement by saying the parties will negotiate or determine at a future time.
    4. Find a good attorney and make sure that you have protected yourself. Small business attorneys are usually flexible and will let you pay them upon receipt of funds from the new agreement, or work out a payment arrangement with you.

     

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