Becoming knowledgeable about business contract writing is something that could help many people who run their own business.
In most situations you don’t need a lawyer to do business contract writing for you. With a few simple tips you can produce a good and simple to understand contract. By doing this you’ll save time, as you don’t need to wait for a lawyer to do it, and money, as you won’t need to pay the lawyer’s fees.
If the contract is very important or complicated it would be a good idea to get a lawyer to check it but for most contracts if you write them in plain and straight forward language you won’t need your lawyer.
Often, much business is done with a hand shake and no written record of what was agreed. This can leave both parties open to disappointment or financial risk when they don’t get what they were expecting out of the agreement.
It’s better to have a written record of each agreement you enter into with an employee, contactor, supplier, etc. Even small jobs or deals could benefit from a written contract. And if you’re able to do your own business contract writing (after reading this page) you won’t need to wait. You can produce the contract when you need it.
The contract should protect you and your business, but also be fair to the other party. It should offer protection to both of you and enable you to continue with your business relationship without the worry that something might not happen how you expected it would. You’ve both got the contract to act as a reference for what is required.
The most important part of business contract writing is to write it – Get it in writing. There can be no arguments (due to misunderstandings or bad memories) if the contract is written down and signed by both parties.
When writing the contract use plain language. You don’t need to use complicated legal sounding language that’s hard to understand. The contract needs to be written so that it can be understood by normal people and not just lawyers. If you use complicated language that you don’t understand it could mean that the contract doesn’t mean what you thought it did; and, this could cause you all sorts of problems later.
Make the contract as easy to read as possible. This can be done by numbering each section so that every new topic is in a different numbered section. You can then have numbered subsections if needed, but remember don’t get too complicated.
While using simple language, be as detailed as possible. If you need something on a specific date, include the date in the contract. Details remove ambiguity so the contract will perform its purpose better: to stop arguments and problems in the future.
If the contract needs to be modified in the future add this to the contract as an additional section, that’s also signed. Don’t rely on a verbal agreement.
In business contract writing there are some standard points or sections you should include. These would be:
Once you’ve written the contract you need to make sure that it includes everything. The best way to do this is to wait. Have a break and leave it for a day or two, if you can afford that long. You can then come back and look at it with fresh eyes and brain to check for any missing parts.
This is also the time when you need to proofread the business contract to make sure there aren’t any spelling or grammar mistakes in it. For more help with this see the page about business proofreading or the proofreading section.
If you need someone to help proofread or check your contract I can do that for you, see the page about my proofreading service or contact me through the contact me page or Excellent Proofreading and Writing’s Facebook page.
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By Jolyon Dodgson, copyright © 2011-2017.
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