Although nothing is preventing you from creating a DIY contract, you take on risk by doing so. Understanding the pieces of a contract gives you the ability to ask your attorney the right questions.
The law is the law, but attorneys have unique approaches to solving legal issues for their clients. A basic understanding of contracts combined with your attorney’s explanation allows you to know how you are protected.
As a business owner, you may need a contract to lay out the terms of an agreement. Should there ever be a dispute between you and the other party, the contract serves as the solution. But if your contract is flawed, it may not hold any legal weight.
Although the following are pieces that make up a contract, a lawyer can draft it and ensure it is legally enforceable.
What Is Being Exchanged
At the heart of a contract is what is being exchanged. This is referred to as the offer. If one person does X (or doesn’t do X), then the other party will do Y. Think of a person who runs a commercial property that has a contract with a cleaning company. In exchange for money, the cleaning company is expected to do what has been itemized in the contract.
Though the example mentioned above is a deliberate simplification, it is still the basis of what your contract needs to be effective. Contracts must be written very deliberately and intentionally. Being broad and overly general to cover a wide range of contingencies is going to work against you.
The Offeree Has Accepted
Once the offer has been proposed and delivered, the offeree (the person, people, business, etc.) who has received the offer must react. The offer can be rejected or accepted. The phrase “meeting of the minds” can be used to describe how two parties have reached an agreement and understanding. Everyone knows what is being exchanged and the terms governing it.
A contract cannot override laws; it works in conjunction with them. If your contract states that your employees must work 20-hour days for less than minimum wage, it violates labor laws. Even if someone signed it, it isn’t legal.
Even though it is possible, most people don’t attempt to skirt the laws that egregiously. Overlooking a law—or misinterpretation one—will eliminate the protection you assume your contract provides.
Don’t assume unnecessary risk by creating a contract by yourself. The attorneys at Neve Webb have decades of experience. Our command of business law will give you the confidence that your contract protects you in the ways you need it to. Contact us to schedule your consultation.
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