Americans draft contracts for numerous reasons every day. Unfortunately, many of these contracts are not legal or binding, which leaves the individual or business owner at risk should a dispute arise. While there are no specific legal guidelines for drafting a contract, there is no question that this process should be carefully thought out, and when possible, reviewed by an attorney.
Here are contract and corporate law attorney Megan Daic’s 6 tips for drafting a legal, binding contract. To learn more, contact Daic Law today!
- Review Notes: Before you begin writing up a contract, make sure that all parties subject to the terms within the contract are aware of the terms, and have agreed to them.
- Introduce Parties: Always introduce each party subject to the contract in the introductory paragraph. If you plan to use a title like “contractor” or “product”, identify them and provide a clear definition in the introduction.
- Specify Nature of the Contract: Some contracts are general, but most often, it is best to draft a contract with specific terms and language to fit your business, your needs, and what the contract contains. For example, if your contract is between two parties – one providing a service to the other – specify which party is which, and specifically identify their role, obligations, and consequences for failure to meet the obligations (breach of contract), or termination of the contract.
- Set Terms: Specify any timelines, payment terms, performance requirements, etc. in very clear terms. Identify which party is responsible for what, and be specific about the consequences or actions to be taken if the terms are not upheld.
- Protect Your Interests: Be specific in using protective language and terms related to liability. Most contracts include limited liability provisions that are mutual. Include language and protective provisions related to privacy, confidential information, non-compete (if applicable), no solicitation, etc.
- Sign and Seal: Once your contract is drafted, the final step is signing. Sign the contract, and have any other applicable parties sign the contract, which signifies their acceptance of all the terms therein. Depending on the nature and value of the contract, you may find it helpful to have all parties sign in the presence of a Notary Public.
These 6 tips for drafting a contract can certainly provide a foundation for a legal, binding contract that you can count on. However, if you are forming/drafting a contract, you should contact an experienced attorney to assist you. There are many nuances and legal issues that may arise in contract drafting, and it is important for you to have skilled representation.
If you have questions about a contract, need help drafting specific terms, or are in dispute over a breach of contract, contact Daic Law today for a free case review. Call us at (713) 808-5246, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.