Business and Commercial Transactions

Our business attorneys have extensive experience in business law, contract drafting, and commercial transactions. We can assist clients in the following types of matters and more.

Buying or Selling a Business

Anyone buying or selling a business needs an experienced business lawyer, whether the transaction is a sale of assets, the sale of an entire company, or a complex merger-and-acquisition deal.

Franchises and Franchise Agreements

Anyone looking at buying a franchise needs a business lawyer who has experience with franchise agreements. Because franchise agreements are largely non-negotiable, prospective franchisees should look at the agreement as simply an integral part of the deal, taking the agreements of different franchisors into account when selecting the most attractive opportunity, and a business attorney who has experience with franchises can help you make that comparison.

Commercial Leases

To someone who has never dealt with commercial leases before, office leases and retail leases can seem impenetrably difficult to understand. Because office and retail leases are often long term, because the location of a business can be a crucial factor in its success or failure, and because the lease is usually written with the landlord's form, giving the landlord a distinct negotiating advantage, a tenant should never try to negotiate one without experienced advisors, including an experienced lawyer.

Construction Contracts

We represent contractors, contract managers, and project owners. We have experience not only with stick-build construction projects but also with modular construction; with design-build agreements as well as traditional design-bid-build contracts; with construction service agreements, architectural and engineering design contracts, and construction management contracts.

Confidentiality Agreements

Whether it is called a confidentiality agreement, a confidential disclosure agreement, a CDA, or some other name, an agreement to protect a business's trade secrets and other confidential business information can be among the most important contracts the company has, and a badly written one can be disastrous. On the other side of the transaction, a confidentiality agreement that is onerous or too one-sided, or one that is written for some context other than the one in which the information is being exchanged can expose the recipient to needless legal risk and liability. We can help your company develop its own set of confidentiality agreements to cover your unique circumstances, and we can review an agreement presented to you by another company before you sign it.

Non-Compete Agreements

Non-compete agreements (also called non-competition agreements or covenants not to compete) are a particularly tricky category of contracts. If your company is being protected, the trick is to write the agreement so that it protects your legitimate business interests without being so broad that it is unenforceable. If you are giving another company a covenant not to compete, giving another company a covenant not to compete that is too broad can effectively prevent you from pursuing other legitimate business opportunities. Either way, parties to non-compete agreements need the advice of an experienced business lawyer.

Software and Other License Agreements

A license agreement is one that gives the licensee permission to use some type of intellectual property (patent, trademark, copyright, or trade secret) or proprietary materials that belong to the licensor. One of the most common today is, of course, a software license, but license terms also arise in contracts for all sorts of services. The terms and conditions associated with a license agreement can make all the difference to either the licensee or the licensor.


The types of transactions listed above are only a few of the business law areas and commercial transactions in which Harshman Ponist’s business law office represents 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.