The Top Four Dangers of DIY Contracts for Small Businesses
Contracts are an important tool for managing your small business’s relationships. Most business owners understand the importance of having contracts in place, but too often people assume that a contract just means printing off the first document they find on Google. In today’s blog post, we’re looking at some of the biggest issues to consider when taking contractual drafting into your own hands.
More often than not what you find online are form contracts that are meant to be applied to a wide variety of situations. However the unique elements of a transaction or a business deal can often be difficult to integrate into a form contract you find online. While it’s possible that a form contract might work for a straightforward, cookie-cutter transaction, it’s likely to be inadequate where the parties have negotiated non-standard deal points. Further, because contractual provisions are interrelated, trying to squeeze a customized provision into the template contract without a lawyer’s help may lead to inconsistencies and ambiguities.
Many contracts you find online have arbitration or forum selection clauses that may prohibit or limit a party’s ability to bring a lawsuit in the event of a dispute. Sometimes it makes sense to agree to arbitration, but other times it can be to a party’s disadvantage. Further, such arbitration clauses should be carefully drafted to ensure they comply with the law and provide enough specificity to avoid creating additional disputes.
Form contracts rarely take into account local and State laws and regulations. Failure to address these laws can be particularly problematic in certain kinds of agreements, such as employment or real estate agreements.
Form contracts found online are often poorly drafted and contain internal inconsistencies. Contract provisions that are inconsistent or ambiguous can lead to time-consuming and costly legal disputes, disputes which could have been avoided if an experienced business attorney reviewed the contract before it was signed.
At Bergstein Flynn & Knowlton PLLC, we have the knowledge and experience to help our clients create strong contracts for their agreements with clients, employees, other businesses, and more. We can also help you review your existing contracts to ensure that they are enforceable and truly say what you mean for them to say. If you have questions about contracts, or want to schedule a free consultation, contact us today.