Business Contracts and Agreements

Any type of value-added business development activity usually involves contracts and agreements of various kinds. Too often value-added groups either don’t formalize a relationship with another party with a contract or agreement or use a contract provided by the other party which they don’t bother to read and understand. Both of these approaches are dangerous. 

If nothing else, an agreement will force the parties to think through the issues involved in a relationship. Further, a written agreement will memorialize the decisions reached relative to these issues. Without written proof, parties either forget the provisions of an agreement or just remember the provisions favorable to their situation. More important, contracts and agreements can provide important legal protection for the parties involved.


Below are several contracts typically used by value-added groups. An overview of the contracts is provided to help you understand the issues involved. Next, a sample contract form is provided that you can use to tailor the agreement to your specific situation.


Overview of Consulting Agreement

Sample Consulting Agreement

Overview of Confidentiality Agreement

Sample One-Sided Confidentiality Agreement

Sample Mutual Confidentiality Agreement

Overview of Letter of Intent
Sample Letter of Intent 

Overview of Uniform Marketing Agreements

Sample Uniform Marketing Agreement


For more information on this topic, see the links listed below of articles posted on related Web sites.

Contracts in General
  • Plain English Guide to Contracts – SBA – A contract is an agreement between two or more parties that creates an obligation to do or not do particular things.
  • Contesting Contracts – -- Sometimes a contract is made, and then one or more parties to the contract decide that the contract was unfair in some way or that they should not be required to perform it.
  • Contract Damages – -- Several kinds of contract remedies are available to you if the other party breaches (breaks) your contract.
  • Assigning a Contract – -- One way to get out of a contract is what’s called assignment, which is finding someone else to take over your obligations.
  • Getting Out of a Contract – -- So what if you want to get out of a contract?
Preparing Contracts and Agreements
Understanding Specific Contracts
  • Understanding Confidentiality Agreements - Journal JOM -- Confidentiality agreements are contracts entered into by two or more parties in which some or all of the parties agree that certain types of information that pass from one party to the other or that are created by one of the parties will remain confidential.
  • Non-disclosure Agreements - NOLO Law for All – Learn about the best way for a business to protect its trade secrets.
  • Non-compete Agreements - NOLO Law for All – Non-compete agreements protect employers from loosing valuable trade secrets and employees.
  • Buy-Sell Agreement FAQ - NOLO Law for All -- Don't forget to write a business "prenup" before putting money into a venture.
  • What is a Surety Bond? – SBA-- Learn what a surety bond is and if it can help your business.
Sites Providing Sample Documents and Forms 
  • – Over 25,000 legal documents and forms.
  • Legaldocs - Legal Business Documents Online.
  • Small Business Tools - Business Owners Toolkit - Ready-to-use business tools, including sample letters, contracts form and policies ready for you to customize. Also included are forms and publications when filing taxes with the IRS or contracting with the federal government.
  • Forms Center - -- Access over 60,000 free state-specific legal forms, documents and sample documents. These forms can be printed right from your home or office at no charge.
  • Legal Forms and Documents –

Links checked July 2014.