It is important to have legal contracts in place to protect your business, your clients, and your interests. In the event the other party fails to uphold their contractual obligations, you will rely on the written agreement to seek legal remedies. Contracts should be used to your advantage. Simply using basic contract standards and off-the-shelf template language, without tailoring them (or asking the other party to change their language), is often not in your best interests.
Every business should create their own custom contract templates that can be edited for each situation. These templates should include consistent language that has been developed specifically for the organization, for use with clients and third-party service providers. This gives the business an opportunity to craft language that protects their interests. The other party may still negotiate changes before signing, but by starting with language tailored to your firm or company, you are in control of where those negotiations begin.
These contract drafting tips can help protect your legal interests:
- Include pricing, payment terms, and penalties for noncompliance in clear, unambiguous language.
- Warranties about the services or products you are agreeing to provide under the contract should have clear specifications that meet predetermined standards.
- Include “force majeur” language for unforeseen events. This language allows you to suspend your performance of the contract if circumstances beyond your control make it impossible, impractical, illegal, or inadvisable to continue.
- Consider including an arbitration or mediation clause, which would require contract disputes to go through alternate dispute resolution procedures rather than through the court system.
- Tailor the choice of law provision to require judicial disputes to be settled in the courts in your country and state, in order to minimize costs.
And remember that your contract could be deemed unenforceable if you include provisions that are unfair.
If you need to start with contract standards that are provided by clients or vendors, then you should analyze the language in those contracts carefully, comparing their provisions to your standard language and identifying any material differences.
The skilled legal professionals at Baer Reed are adept at analyzing and reviewing contracts, helping clients understand their obligations and rights. To learn more about contract analysis and the other services we offer, contact us online today, or call (888) 433-1990.
- On February 13, 2018
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