While in some cases a handshake agreement may be proven valid if it needs to be enforced, it is better to have a written agreement. Some laws require written contracts, such as certain real estate transactions. Additionally, there are laws that require contracts for agreements that may last longer than one year.
A sample list of business agreements you should get in writing:
If you provide services or perform consulting or freelance work, you'll likely need to be able to professionally invoice your clients. An invoice helps you track payments and income and help your client track payments and expenses. If you're not using invoicing or accounting software, we provide a simple invoice template you can use. When you are first starting out, using our template or creating an invoice using spreadsheet software is the cheapest and easiest way to create a customized invoice. Once you can afford it, accounting software (either online or desktop versions) can create invoices and track your expenses, payments, client information, and much more. Some services will even allow you to process credit card payments.
A business expense is a cost of conducting business. It is in your best interest to deduct legitimate business expenses. It is not in your best interest to deduct expenses that might flag you to be audited. If you are just starting out, it may help you to hire an accountant to help you under the tax laws, to help you set up your books, and to help you configure and file quarterly taxes. Common expenses that may be deductible include employee pay, lease payments, interest paid, taxes, insurance payments, travel and mileage, utilities, business services and technology purchases.
If you have minimal capital to invest in growing your business, you may want to consider some low-cost or free options, such as:
“I use Rocket Lawyer for all my contracts. I love how I can customize each one to my client's specific project. The process is so fluid and intuitive and I think the feature that explains what a specific part of a contract means if you don't quite understand it is great. Using Rocket Lawyer has really helped my business; I've used it many times and will continue to do so.”