Are formal legal agreements really necessary for SMEs?

Content provided by a guest contributor.

Understanding Services’ Agreements and Confidentiality Agreements

Too often SMEs avoid entering into formal written legal agreements as they perceive such to be a costly exercise. Lawyers are ─ after all ─ not cheap! While there is merit in the argument that lawyers’ fees may, at times, be astronomical, the cruel reality is that ignoring legal risks may be even more costly in the long run, especially if something goes wrong in business dealings.

SMEs providing and receiving services are encouraged to become au fait with these agreements and to understand what their rights and obligations are as

1) providers of services, and

2) receivers of services.

Further, they are encouraged to become aware of unilaterally applicable confidentiality undertakings, bi-laterally applicable confidentiality agreements and confidentiality undertakings by individuals who may be working on particular transactions. The latter is extremely important when protecting intellectual property. They must be aware as to how to limit their liabilities and what insurances to have in place.

To assist SMEs with all of the above, the Legal Agreements JV has prepared an e-pack (available at with a detailed explanation of what all of the above agreements mean, as well as all precedents, to enable SMEs to effectively mitigate legal risks and to negotiate transactions from a more informed perspective.

The e-pack is available at a fraction of what a law firm would charge for similar advice and is in keeping with the legalagreements JV’s vision of demystifying the law and making it more accessible to everyday South Africans.


Article written by Shamrita Singh, CEO of SITL Legal ( and Joint CEO of the Legal Agreements JV (, e-mail The website is a pioneer and innovative site in the offering of digital legal solutions to smmes and in-house counsel.

Copyright (c) 2013, the Legal Agreements JV

No votes yet