When running a business, it is almost always necessary to have a variety of different contracts in place. These contracts will help ensure all parties involved understand their rights and responsibilities, and that there can be repercussions should something not go as agreed. A business will often have contracts in place with partner businesses, vendors, employees, customers, and more.
As the number of contracts grows, the overall cost of creating them can start to add up. This is why some companies start looking at do it yourself contracts to try to save money. While there is no doubt that a DIY contract will cost less up front, they also introduce a number of potential problems that need to be accounted for.
Missing Key Provisions
When creating a legal contract yourself, or even when using a DIY template, it is easy to overlook key provisions. You may fail to cover a possible outcome to the agreement, which would leave you exposed to unnecessary risk. DIY contracts are also much more likely to include imprecise language, which can be disastrous in these situations. Legalese is often complex precisely because it has to be in order to prevent misunderstandings or legal arguments when a problem arises. An attorney will be able to craft the specific language that is needed to ensure you have all the legal protections possible for each contract.
Not State Specific
Each state, and in many cases, even each local area, can have a different set of laws and regulations in place. DIY contracts are often broad enough to be used throughout the country. While this is fine as long as there is never a dispute, it can significantly weaken a contract if it is ever challenged in court. A contract that can’t stand up to scrutiny in court is useless for your business.
May Not Be Enforceable
Some DIY contracts are intentionally written to be as broad as possible so that they can be promoted for use in a huge number of situations. While this makes sense for the company that is selling a DIY contract template, it is not good for those who are going to use the contract itself. In the most extreme cases, the courts will find that the contract is entirely unenforceable and throw it out entirely. More commonly, however, the courts will just find that specific points or sections of the contract are unenforceable, which can still leave you with significant legal exposure.
Could Impose Unintended Obligations
On the opposite end of the spectrum, some DIY contracts may actually impose unintended legal obligations on your business. The generic language included in these DIY contracts will often include requirements that are common to a type of legal agreement, but which you did not intend. If you sign the contract, you are obligated to meet all these obligations, even if you didn’t realize they were there.
Always Work with an Attorney
Whenever you need a contract for your business, make sure that you have an attorney write it up or review it before signing. This may cost a little more up front, but the added protections you will receive are well-worth the investment. Contact Neve Webb to discuss all of the legal needs for your business and learn how we can help you today.
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