From sourcing the raw materials to make their products to leasing or buying the storefronts where they do business, contracts are a daily necessity for most companies. When those contracts are sound, they can help your business grow and protect you from legal concerns in the future. When the court finds mistakes in a contract, however, it can be difficult to uphold or even unenforceable. Avoiding mistakes could be key to protecting your business and your bottom line.
1. Your contract should not be one-sided.
Consumers, employees, partners and business contacts alike enter into a contract with your business for one reason: because it benefits them. As the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation observed, a mutually beneficial contract will help you build long-term relationships and help prevent conflict before it arises. One-sided contracts, on the other hand, may protect your business, but they also could drive the other party away and cut you off from future opportunities.
2. Avoid unclear writing.
Often, legal disputes come down to the way a contract is written—in 2006, one contract dispute was decided based on the punctuation of the agreement. Because of this, the language in these documents Writing that makes your meaning clear and uses well-defined terminology will help your business avoid miscommunications. Clear writing can also help ensure that the courts accept your contract as valid if there is a dispute in the future.
3. Don’t forget about legal requirements.
The legal landscape is complicated for businesses. Not only are there a wide variety of laws that could impact the different areas of your business, but your contract must be legally sound, or the court will consider it invalid in a dispute.
Changing laws are also an important reason to periodically review your contracts. As Forbes notes, tax regulations change frequently, and updating your contracts to reflect those new laws can help you limit your liability in the future.
One key way to avoid these and other contract issues is working with an experienced business attorney. They can help you create contracts that achieve your goals, boost your business and offer you legal protection in the future.