Tips for Negotiating Commercial Agreements With Independent Contractors
In the modern business world, an increasing number of companies are relying on work done by independent contractors. If your Florida business is considering hiring an independent contractor, or any other type of outside consultant, it is crucial that you have a properly structured business contract. There are some unique issues that must be considered when drafting and negotiating agreements with independent contractors. In this article, our Miami business litigation attorneys provide some tips for companies that are preparing for negotiations with independent contractors.
- Carefully Define Your Goals and Objectives
As a starting point, it is essential that your company carefully defines its fundamental objectives. Effective contract negotiation requires knowing exactly what you need to get out of the agreement, and understanding the areas where there is some room for flexibility or compromise. The better you understand your company’s position, the more likely it is that you will obtain a favorable agreement.
- Make Sure the Agreement is in Compliance With Labor Laws
This is extremely important: When negotiating with independent contractors, companies must be sure that they are in full compliance with all relevant state and federal labor regulations. As explained by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), independent contractors are defined by their relationship to an employer. If an employer (company) asserts too much control on an individual independent contractor, that person may end up being classified as an employee for the purposes of federal law. It is imperative that any agreement with an independent contractor must be structured in a manner that allows a company to preserve the lawful relationship with its contractors. You do not want to be hit with unexpected, unanticipated labor costs, or worse yet, an employment lawsuit.
- Consider a Confidentiality Provision or a Non-Compete Clause
When companies work with independent contractors, it may be advisable to consider including confidentiality provisions or a non-compete clause within the agreement. Your company needs to protect its trade secret and intellectual property. In addition, companies may want to pursue an exclusive relationship with an independent contractor. To ensure that a confidentiality agreement or non-compete clause is enforceable under Florida state law, the contract must be properly drafted. The more complicated the agreement, the more a business can benefit from working with an experienced Miami contract attorney.
- Be Ready to Seek Professional Legal Guidance
Taking extra precautions now can sometimes help businesses save a lot of money in the long run. Companies working with independent contractors should never hesitate to seek professional legal support. A qualified Florida business law attorney will be able to represent you in contract negotiations and draft an agreement that truly protects the best interests of your firm.
Get Help From Our Miami, FL Business Litigation Lawyers Today
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our experienced Florida business law attorneys have extensive experience representing companies in a wide range of contract law matters. We can assist with the drafting, negotiation, or litigation of an agreement. With offices in Miami and West Palm Beach, we serve businesses throughout the state of Florida.