Business and Commercial Transactions

Most business owners are, by nature, optimists. Few enter into business contracts expecting the relationship or transaction to fail. It is often uncomfortable for them to think about and predict ways the deal could go wrong and what should happen if it does, but thinking about those possibilities in advance can help avoid them from occurring and, if they do, can avoid expensive litigation to sort them out. Our business attorneys rely on their extensive experience in business law, contract law, and commercial transactions, to help business owners fashion contracts that lead to successful, profitable business transactions and relationships. Some areas we assist our clients include:

Buying or Selling a Business

If you are buying or selling assets or an entire company, or if you considering a complex merger-and-acquisition deal, our team of business lawyers have the expertise to facilitate the transaction. Any deal of this magnitude requires expert guidance, and our years of experience make us an invaluable partner.

Franchises and Franchise Agreements

Franchise agreements are unique from many other types of business agreements. Since they are largely non-negotiable, prospective franchisees should treat the agreement as an integral part of the deal. We help our clients examine agreements from different franchisors to select the most attractive opportunity. The keen eye of an experienced attorney can provide clarity and confidence when making such an important decision.

Commercial Leases

For those not well-versed in commercial leasing, office and retail leases can seem impenetrably difficult to understand. The stakes are raised by the long-term nature of these leases, as well as the importance of location to the success or failure of a business. Most leases are written by the landlord, giving them an innate advantage in negotiations. For these reasons, a tenant should not try to negotiate a lease without the aid of qualified business attorneys.

Construction Contracts

We represent contractors, construction managers, and project owners. Our experience includes stick-built construction and modular construction. Our team has successfully completed design-build agreements as well as traditional design-bid-build contracts, construction service agreements, architectural and engineering design contracts, and construction management contracts.

Confidentiality Agreements

Confidentiality agreements are among the most important contracts a company can have. No matter if they’re called confidential disclosure agreements, or CDAs, or any other name, protecting your trade secrets and other confidential business information must be taken seriously. A poorly written confidentiality agreement can have disastrous results. We can help your company develop a set of confidentiality agreements tailored to your unique circumstances. On the other side of the transaction, signing a confidentiality agreement which is onerous or one-sided, or is written in a context not applicable to your situation can expose you to needless legal risk and liability. Our knowledgeable attorneys can review an agreement to flag problematic clauses before you sign.

Non-Compete Agreements

Non-compete agreements, also called non-competition agreements or covenants not to compete, are a particularly tricky category of contracts. When writing a non-compete agreement for your company, care must be taken so it protects your legitimate business interests without being so broad it becomes unenforceable. When giving a covenant not to compete to another company, making it too broad can effectively prevent you from pursuing fruitful business opportunities. Either way, this balancing act calls for the advice of an experienced business lawyer.

Software and Other License Agreements

A license agreement grants the licensee permission to use some type of intellectual property, such as a patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, or proprietary materials that belong to the licensor. Software licenses are ubiquitous in today’s business landscape, but license agreements arise in contracts for all sorts of services. With modern businesses relying so heavily on licensed products and services, the terms and conditions associated with these contracts have become paramount to a company’s success.

Manufacturing Contracts

Many companies do not manufacture their own products but rather hire contract manufacturers to do it for them. We recognize that, more often than most other types of business arrangements, manufacturing contracts represent long-term relationships rather than single, one-time transactions.


These are only a select few of the many business law areas and commercial transactions in which Harshman Ponist represents our clients. Others include business disputes (including breach of contract and business torts), employment agreements, secured transactions, publishing contracts, software development agreements, outsourcing contracts, other types of commercial real estate transactions, and more.