How careful are you when drawing up a contract for the provision of your products or services? All small business owners understand that they need contractual terms, to safeguard their interests in a commercial transaction. The contract is, of course, a binding agreement, but is it fully reflecting the ability and intention of both parties? Sometimes, a wrong word in the wrong place can spell disaster. What are some of the key areas you need to look at in relation to your contracts?
Template Is the Starting Point
To busy business owners, this may seem pedantic, but each individual clause in a contract has a certain amount of potential risk. It is nevertheless important to come up with a basic template that's always used at the beginning of the contract generation process and to ensure that your legal representative is fully okay with the template terms.
Should any alterations need to be made to the template contract, the lawyer you appoint should be brought in for their advice. Never keep them in the dark and always ensure they have all information necessary to properly advise.
As a business owner, it's your job to negotiate and come to an agreement with the other party. While you may think that you came to the best possible agreement, you may be "putting yourself out there," in terms of some clauses. Try to manage these elevated risks as much as possible.
Have you properly set out all the provisions, stipulations and obligations that need to be met within this document? If you don't do so, the customer could have a reason not to pay you.
If you acquire another business because you will establish a new customer base by doing so, you are now taking on board a whole new batch of contracts. Your legal representative would not have seen these terms and will have had no input into their negotiation. Make sure that each one of these is vetted so that you don't take on potential risks without knowing.
Finally, take advantage of the latest document storage trends in order to keep everything nicely filed and accessible. The days of dusty filing cabinets have gone and you must be able to access any particular document instantaneously. Keep all your records "in the cloud" and don't delay access to crucial files, when it's time for your lawyer to intervene.
Even though those stuffy business contracts can be annoying to many small business owners, always ensure that you work closely with your commercial lawyer so that problems don't arise in the future.Share
16 June 2017
Hello, my name is Jenny and this is my probate law blog. I should say now, I am not a lawyer and I have not had any professional legal training. However, I do know a thing or two about probate. I taught myself a lot after the death of my grandma. My grandma left a lot of money and property behind, but unfortunately, she didn't leave a will. This lead to several family members staking a claim on the inheritance. I instructed a lawyer to act on my mother's behalf to ensure that she was not cheated out of her share.