Even seemingly straightforward business decisions come with risks. A properly drafted contract can mitigate liability, protect your interests, and help you save time and hassle. Sometimes, business owners are reluctant to pay contracts lawyers to draft or review an agreement. However, a poorly written contract can be much more costly in the long run.
What is a Contract?
A contract is a legally binding agreement that sets forth obligations between involved parties. Some common types of contracts include:
- Sales agreements
- Intellectual property contracts
- Employment contracts
- Partnership agreements
- Non-disclosure agreements
- Commercial and residential leases
- Real estate sales agreements
- Equipment leases
- Service contracts
A Contracts Lawyer Understands the Vital Elements of an Agreement
Whether creating something from scratch or reviewing an existing document, the best contracts lawyers carefully assess all aspects of an agreement. There are several vital elements that go into most contracts, including:
Essential terms The fundamental terms of the contract specify each party’s obligations and what constitutes a breach of contract. When the essential terms are made clear, a breach of contract may be less likely.
Provisions Stipulations or provisions in a contract offer added clarification of specific points. Some standard provisions include matters such as payment terms, confidentiality, liability issues, disputes, and remedies, governing law and jurisdiction, and contract termination.
Adherence to the law For a contract to be legally binding, it must adhere to all local, state, and federal laws. Generally, for it to be valid and recognized by the courts, a contract must include an offer, acceptance, consideration, mutual agreement, authority and capacity, and certainty. State laws regarding contracts vary widely and change frequently, so it is critical to hire a contracts lawyer near you.
Clear Language is a Must
It is more likely for disputes to arise if the language in the contract is not clear to the parties. If a contract is not drafted correctly, it leaves room for interpretation, and disagreements can arise regarding what specific terms mean. Contract attorneys possess the knowledge and experience necessary to draft a contract that is legally binding and free of loopholes, so all parties have a deep understanding of its terms.
When the language in a contract is clear, concise, and unambiguous, it speaks for itself. That means that if a dispute arises, an arbiter, judge, or jury will determine whether a party has breached a contract based solely on the words in the contract. If language is vague or errors are made, intent comes into play, which can make issues much more complex and challenging to resolve.
Negotiating a contract before signing it protects your interests and can help ensure you get the best terms possible. A contracts lawyer can identify risks, terms that may not be beneficial, and potential legal issues. Having an attorney helps you negotiate favorable terms and enables you to make well-informed decisions.
If you need assistance with drafting a contract or settling a legal dispute, our experienced business contracts attorneys can help.