Today’s Legal Minute for Small Businesses: The last thing a small business owner needs is to be defending a lawsuit in a state that the small business owner doesn’t live in. Unfortunately, that is exactly what can happen if the small business owner doesn’t have a contract with the people and companies he or she works with that lays out what courts have jurisdiction over any disputes. A well written contract will state both where any lawsuits must take place (i.e. both parties agree to Denver County District Court having jurisdiction) and what state’s laws will govern any disputes (i.e. both parties agree that the laws of the State of Colorado will govern any disputes between them). By having both a jurisdiction clause and a choice of law clause, a small business owner can help ensure that he or she won’t be defending a suit in another state. ***Although, please note, that a jurisdiction clause and choice of law clause may not protect you from defending a suit in another state in all cases. Please check with your attorney to determine if these clauses are helpful for your specific contract!***
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