The Magic of a Contract that Fits Your Business
One of the cheapest and easiest ways a small business can protect itself is to have a good form contract or terms and conditions. Yet, contracts often scare business owners. They don't understand what all the provisions mean (and to be honest, some of them seem to be written in Olde English) and they don't know the “magic language” that will protect them.
Instead of spending a few bucks on a good business lawyer, they try to write one themselves with only the terms they understand or think they need, they borrow one from a friend or relative who may not have the same kinds of risks, they find one on the internet or they go without.
Truth is, a contract doesn't have to have much to be enforceable. It has to have the proper legal names of the parties, be signed by both parties and have a method for determining the price. A contract should be specific enough that a third person could determine what the parties agreed to do.
Some contracts are required to be in writing, such as anything to do with land, contracts for goods worth $500 or more, and contracts for services that cannot be performed in a year.
But a good contract will contemplate where the business deal can go bad, and address these issues. They will allocate the risks between the parties, so you need to know what your worst-case scenario will cost you. They will include provisions on how the contract can be terminated, whether late fees and attorney’s fees can be charged.
My business philosophy is to concentrate on what I do best, and find people I trust to do the parts I don't like or don't understand.
Does your form contract truly protect your business as well as it could? If not, let me do what I do best and help you protect yourself.