Contracts are the key to your business’s success

In today’s fast paced and streamlined world, we often don’t get the time to sit down and take stock of everything that is happening around us. From social media to 24 hour news updates, so much of what’s going on seems to be happening in the background. We’ve gotten so used to this that one doesn’t often recognise how unconscious some of the most important parts of our life have become, just like contracting in the 21st century.

The simple act of buying a can of cold drink or packet of chips at your local corner store is just such an example. You give the cashier your item, perhaps even a smile, the amount is rung up on the machine. The cashier gestures for your payment, you hand it over, take your goods and slip, and blissfully walk off into the rest of your day. All the while, never taking stock of the fact that you have just entered into, performed in terms of, and concluded a contract of sale without so much as a word. Simple really, however, not everything else in life is the same.

Some things in life are not as unconscious, but just as, if not more important. What does one do when they are uncertain about their assets before entering into a marriage? What happens when my lessor doesn’t hold up his end of the bargain? Will my family get my shares in the business when I pass away?


No matter how much one trusts their partner, there may still be many more reasons to safely allocate the assets, profits and debts of oneself and their partner before a marriage. An ante nuptial contract is entered into before you and your partner become betrothed in order to safely ensure the placement of one’s inheritances, property, and even debts.


It may seem common knowledge to have a formal agreement between yourself and the person whose property you’re staying on, or who you’re letting stay on your own property. But in reality it becomes difficult when one encounters boundaries, or worse, someone is not holding up their end of the bargain. These matters, and the more standard concerns, are all things that should be discussed and determined, before putting pen to paper and concluding a contract. What’s more it is extremely important that one makes sure that the Agreement itself complies with the relevant legislation, such as the Rental Housing Act and even the Consumer Protection Act. The only thing worse than being down and out, is being down and out with no recourse due to non-compliance with the rules.


The sale of immovable property can often turn into a fairly complex and involved task, with so many factors determining procedural elements of any such transaction. Due to the larger value of such transactions, there is very little room for error, especially when mistakes in the content and processing of documents could lead to unwanted and costly delays, or even worse, become fatal to the transaction. It is of paramount importance to ensure that an Agreement is in compliance with any and all relevant legislation, from the Immovable Property Act itself, to the National Credit Act etc., before one’s eagerly anticipated transfer becomes an unlawful and void agreement.


Often the true backbone of a company, a Share Holder’s Agreement can make or break a company. The internal regulations which dictate from what and how shares may be sold and bought, to the involvement of shareholders in company direction, and the dispute resolution mechanisms to any exit strategies which may be available; a Shareholder’s Agreement should be carefully considered and comprehensively planned, not to mention made sure to be in compliance with the Companies Act.


Taking many forms, service level agreements can be seen as some of the most common agreements on the market today. However, while they are not far and few between, this makes it all the more important to determine the duties and entitlements which each party thereto is responsible for. One should carefully consider these eventualities before your graphic design team or construction providers have left you up procedural creek without a right of recourse.


Ultimately, any agreement should always be discussed carefully beforehand, and importantly put into the written agreement in some way shape or form. Some of the provisions of a contract may be common knowledge or even left out in the basis of trust, but more often than not it’s precisely these things that come back to bite us.

At Burden Swart & Botha Inc , we have years of experience in commercial, family, conveyancing as well as litigation in these fields.