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  • Writer's pictureRajvin Singh Gill

(RGCOLaw Series: Joint Ventures) Agreements and Key Terms

Updated: Jul 10, 2023

The Joint Venture Agreement

A joint venture agreement is a crucial document that establishes the joint venture between the parties involved. This agreement should clearly define the contributions, expectations, obligations, rights, and responsibilities of all relevant parties to the joint venture. It is important for the joint venture agreement to be drafted comprehensively and for all parties to understand their obligations. A crucial component of a joint venture agreement is outlining how profits and liabilities will be shared between the parties involved. The agreement should also be structured with precision to accurately reflect the intentions of the parties, minimizing the risk of any disputes arising from or related to the joint venture agreement.


Key Terms in a Joint Venture Agreement


Scope and Objectives of the JV Agreement

The goals and boundaries of a joint venture are essential aspects of the joint venture agreement. The primary aim of a joint venture is to achieve a shared business project or activity among the involved parties. To prevent disputes among the parties, the joint venture agreement should explicitly state these shared objectives and scope. Failure to agree on these terms could potentially hinder the success of the joint venture.


Contributions of the Parties

The joint venture agreement must specify the contributions of each party to the joint venture, which will determine how profits and liabilities will be distributed and shared among them. It is crucial for the parties to reach a consensus on this matter and document it in the agreement to avoid any disputes in the future.



Rights, Duties and Obligations of the Parties

It is crucial for the joint venture agreement to clearly outline the rights, duties, and obligations of each party involved in the joint venture since they all have distinct roles to play. These clauses should be comprehensive and cover all aspects of each party's responsibilities. A thorough joint venture agreement helps to minimize the risk of one party accusing the other of not fulfilling their duties and obligations. Since the success of a joint venture is dependent on the joint effort of all parties, any claims of non-performance could cause a significant setback.


Exit Strategy and Termination

The success of a business venture cannot be guaranteed, and it is possible that one or more parties may find that their interests and goals have changed since the start of the joint venture. Therefore, it is important to consider incorporating exit strategies in the joint venture agreement. These provisions help to ensure that the termination of the joint venture is done in a predictable and friendly manner. Common exit strategies may include liquidation, put and call options, or the right of first refusal in an incorporated joint venture. Including an exit strategy in the joint venture agreement can help parties avoid getting stuck in a business situation that is no longer suitable for them.


IP Rights

Parties who enter into a joint venture typically contribute their assets to aid the joint venture in achieving its goals. Moreover, most joint ventures involve the creation of a product that may benefit each party involved. To safeguard the rights of all parties, it is crucial to include a detailed clause in the joint venture agreement that outlines the ownership of any resulting intellectual property. This provision should also address the extent to which the parties can use such intellectual property beyond the joint venture.


Governing Law and Disputes

Parties involved in a joint venture should anticipate the possibility of disputes and take steps to agree on a method of resolving them. Typically, disputes are first addressed through negotiation or mediation, but if these methods fail, parties may need to seek recourse through arbitration or court.

In the case of cross-border joint ventures, it's especially important to include provisions in the joint venture agreement that specify the applicable laws and rules of the jurisdiction that will govern the venture if disputes arise. Parties from different jurisdictions should take care when selecting the governing jurisdiction.


In a nutshell

Although joint ventures can be profitable, parties must exercise caution and take the necessary preparations before entering into such an agreement. Seeking legal advice early in the negotiations process is highly recommended, as it can make a significant difference in determining the most suitable joint venture type for the parties' business objectives and intentions. The negotiation process can be lengthy or swift, but it is crucial to arrive at a well-negotiated and comprehensive joint venture agreement that reduces the risks involved.

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