Contracts are a vital part of running a business, and many startups and inexperienced company owners end up in big trouble because they fail to understand their importance. Contracts give you protection, ensure everyone knows their responsibilities, and help you against legal threats. Wit this in mind, here are a few tips for small business owners to ensure that they never run into contact issues.
Use A Lawyer
First of all, it’s worth getting the advice of a business attorney about the content of your contracts. You don’t necessarily need to get them to write them, but you do need to understand all of the implications. Many small business owners create simple, easy-to-read contracts that suit both parties, but the reality is that you may miss out some important details if you go it alone. An experienced attorney is the best way to ensure you have the cover you need.
There are plenty of contract templates you can find online and use and adapt to your needs. And in the vast majority of cases, they will work fine. However, as we discussed above, it’s still important to pass over to your lawyer to fine tune and check its contents before issuing the contract. Again, there might be something important you might have missed.
When you have one client and only one contract, things are easy to manage. But as your business grows, things can get out of hand pretty quickly, as Symfact point out. It’s vital to arrange and organize your contracts, so they are easy to access, track, and manage. There are various systems you use, from popular modern software through to the antique filing cabinet, but the important thing to remember is that your contracts need tending to just as you would any other part of your business.
Of course, the likelihood is as a small business you will sign as many contracts as you create. And when it comes to applying your signature to a legal document, there are a few things to bear in mind. Never sign something you don’t understand, for a start. Always ask for clarification if anything is ambiguous. And don’t be scared to ask for changes – no contract is set in stone, and all should be up for discussion. Ultimately, if an unfair contract is imposed on you, it’s probably worth pondering whether this is the right company to work with.
Agree On Termination Circumstances
Not every business relationship you enter into will be a success. And it’s important to leave yourself an ‘out’ if that relationship fails beyond repair. Whether it’s missing a particular number of deadlines or being late with too many deliveries, there must be a way out of your contract that allows you to terminate without any legal wrangles.
Keep It Private
Contracts should be kept confidential, whether or not there is a mention of privacy in it. It’s just a question of mutual respect, and if you go around revealing details, it will soon work against you.
Hope these tips have helped – let us know if you have any more to add!