Any time you are drafting a business contract or reviewing one from the past, you need to be acutely aware of each word that goes onto the page. Flying through it and sending it off to your employee, partner, vendor, or whomever else might be asked to sign it can end in a disastrous contract dispute. Sometimes things seem fine in the beginning but months or years later, a major issue in the contract comes up and you still have to fight through a dispute that can harm your finances and business relations.
If you want to do all you can to avoid business contract disputes, keep these three bits of advice in mind when drafting a contract of any sort:
- Say what you mean: Vagueness and business contracts do not get along. If you only outline the general idea of what the contract is meant to establish, you are going to find that the gray area doesn’t benefit you. It will most likely leave the door wide open for different interpretations of the context, which leads to disputes with interested parties.
- Set your expectations: No one writes a contract just to write a contract. If you are drafting a business contract, you have expectations from another party and need them to be upheld. Your contract should clearly state what needs to be done by each party involved in order for them to be within its legal boundaries. Don’t forget to go over quality standards and minimum and maximum accepted timeframes when applicable.
- Plan an escape route: In an ideal world, you will never be disappointed with how a business contract pans out or how a business partner performs. In reality, less-than-ideal business ventures happen all of the time. Hope for the best but anticipate the worst by adding clauses regarding early contract terminations, non-dispute agreements, asset protection, and whatever else pertains to your business that can protect you from losses and backlash.
When All Else Fails, Consult
The best way to handle a problem is to never allow one to arise in the first place, and so planning ahead is critical if you want to avoid contract disputes. At Buckley Beal LLP, our Atlanta business lawyers have more than 85 years of combined legal experience and have handled countless contract drafts and reviews. You can rely on us when you want to be certain that your contract does just as you want, says it clearly, and anticipates possible complications.
Call 404.913.7415 or contact us online today.