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Business and Law

Welcome to my blog! My name is Johanna. I am a businesswoman who lives and works in the fantastic city of Sydney. When I decided that I wanted to expand my company, I realised I would need to enter into some new contracts. The legal side of this was something which really worried me. However, I spoke to some of my friends in the industry and they recommended a great business attorney who was able to help me. The attorney explained everything I needed to know and then drew up the contracts I needed. I hope this blog helps you to understand business and law.

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Why You Should Always Read the Contract's Small Print If You Want to Ensure Your Exclusivity

by Evan Hanson

If you are a small business owner who operates a retail "bricks and mortar "type of establishment in a downtown shopping centre, then you may be quite pleased with the way things are going and making a tidy profit for yourself. You may think that you always have your wits about you from an entrepreneurial point of view and try to make the right decisions to ensure ultimate longevity.

You may be approaching your lease renewal date and will shortly get into negotiations with the lessor, to make sure that you maintain this all-important location under favourable terms. However, why do need to be particularly careful to look at the small print and make sure that you are interpreting this wording correctly?

Are You Really Exclusive?

You may enjoy a certain amount of exclusivity which has been grandfathered into your lease agreement and may have kept direct competitors from the immediate vicinity. This is great, as it means that you have a captive audience to an extent and don't need to worry about a similar property nearby undercutting your yield.

Always Read the Small Print

However, the lessor may want to revamp your agreement to bring it in line with broader corporate policy, and you need to be particularly careful to look at any clause that affects this area. Otherwise, you could find that you sign a piece of paper that opens up the area to your competition, with potentially disastrous results.

It's All in the Interpretation

Pay particular attention to the competition clause and the rights of the lessor to bring in various different types of trades to the development. It may be, for example, that you are referred to as an independent trader and that the lesser will subsequently agree to give you exclusivity, but does that open them up to other opportunities that could be equally as disastrous? In other words, they may have an overture from another organisation that is in the same line of business as you, but is not, technically "independent." They may be part of a bigger chain of stores or a franchise of some kind, and in legal terms, the lessor is well within their rights to introduce them.

Are You Really Sure?

This is one reason why you should always get a property lawyer to look through your contract before proceeding. It's always best to be safe rather than sorry, as an error such as this could quickly shatter your plans and lead to your demise.

For more information, contact your local property lawyers.

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