Americans draft contracts for numerous reasons every day. Unfortunately, many of these contracts are not legal or binding. That 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. Taking a little time to have a legal document reviewed by an attorney can save you a lot of time and money if a dispute does arise.
Tips for Drafting a Contract
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!
Before you begin writing, make sure that all parties subject to the terms within the contract are aware of the terms. Review any notes and make sure everyone is in agreement.
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. Someone reading the document should be able to read it and know who is who.
Specify Nature of the Contract
Some contracts are general, but most often, it is best to draft one 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. Also, specifically identify their role, obligations, and consequences for failure to meet the obligations (breach of contract), or termination of the contract.
Set Contract Terms
Specify any timelines, payment terms, performance requirements, etc. in very clear terms. Identify which party is responsible for what. Be specific about the consequences or actions to be taken if the terms are not upheld. Many legal documents include instructions for what happens if a dispute arises, such as mediation or arbitration.
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 it and have any other applicable parties sign it. This 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 can certainly provide a foundation for a document that you can count on. If you are in doubt about the terms or language of a contract, don’t wait to get help. Make sure you understand any contract you sign, as well as how the document could impact your legal rights.
Get Help With Business Law Matters
If you are forming or 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. Get your free case review by calling us at 877-893-6040. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.