Lately, I’ve been a single question several times.
How do you enforce an oral contract?
Answer: It’s difficult but often not impossible.
The question actually raises questions: how are you going to prove you have an oral contract? Will the breaching party admit the to making the contract? Not likely. Do you have notes, emails, texts, anything in writing? Are there witnesses to the conversation? If so, are they reliable? If not, have the parties started performing?
And the questions go on and on trying to build a trail of reliable, admissible evidence to prove up the oral agreement. One must also ask, is attempting to enforce the verbal agreement in court going to be cost effective?
Of course, that depends on the agreement. It likely is not cost effective to file a lawsuit over a low value agreement, but may well be worth the time, money, and effort to enforce a high value contract. There are avenues to try before filing a lawsuit.
Sometimes, a written demand for performance does the trick. Mediation is also a less costly alternative to a lawsuit if the other side is willing to participate. Most people who ask me the question realize it would have been easier to have reduced the agreement to writing.
Thus, this series was born. I’m calling it “Writing It Down.” This series of posts will explore using simple written agreements to support small businesses.
It’s a fact that many small business ventures fail in their first year. There are tons of resources on the web about why so many new businesses fail, and I won’t attempt to recreate them here. However, I’ve noticed five things that many failed businesses have in common. The purpose of this post is to help you avoid these shortcomings when starting your business. Here they are in a nutshell:
- Write a business plan.
- Set goals.
- Get professional help early.
- Understand the difference between employees and contractors.
- Write everything down.
Show me How!
This is a sample policy intended as a general example. This policy is provided as a free service and is intended for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice. Before enacting a weapons free policy, it is a good idea to consult an attorney.
No weapons of any kind are allowed on the premises. This policy applies to all persons entering the premises except authorized security personnel and law enforcement. To be clear, this policy applies to customers and employees, and the policy prohibits all weapons whether concealed or carried openly. Further, all employees including full-time employees, part-time employees, temporary workers, and independent contractors are prohibited from carrying weapons outside the premises when acting in the course and scope of employment. Texas law allows private businesses to ban guns from the business premises even if the gun owner has a concealed carry permit. We have posted the required notices prohibiting handguns at all public entrances. It is a misdemeanor crime of criminal trespass to carry a handgun into a business that has posted the required notice or to refuse to remove a handgun from the business when asked. It is also a crime to intentionally or knowingly display any type of firearm in a public place in a way that is calculated to cause alarm. The law allows handguns to be carried in a parking lot or parking garage only if they are concealed and secured. In other words, the handgun should be hidden from sight, and the vehicle should be locked.
Any employee that carries a weapon into the building will be subject to discipline including immediate termination.
Do not confront someone openly carrying a weapon. If an employee sees a person carrying a weapon on the premises (the violator), the employee should notify security and a supervisor immediately. If the violator is carrying a weapon in a manner that causes concern for safety, call 9-1-1 and request police assistance. Follow the instructions provided by the 9-1-1 operator.