A contract is a legally binding arrangement involving two or more people. The use of contracts is very common in just about every aspect of a business. Although some contracts can be as basic as an oral agreement sealed with a handshake or a simple purchase order, other contracts are extremely complicated and involve stakes that are much higher. Listed below are a few recommendations concerning what you should and shouldn’t do when you are drafting or signing any kind of contract.
Do use a boilerplate as an example, and modify it to reflect your current circumstances.
Do use the word “CONTRACT” in the title so there is no misunderstanding as to its purpose.
Do make sure everyone involved is accurately identified at the start of the document and their names are correctly spelled.
Do use headings that are clear and simply-worded. This will make finding specific provisions easier.
Do number or letter each paragraph to facilitate later reference.
Do use plain writing as much as possible.
Do be on the lookout for incorrect punctuation. Even an errant comma could alter the meaning of an otherwise carefully worded sentence.
Do ensure the contract discusses all likely possibilities and nothing is left up to speculation.
Do have an experienced California contract attorney examine any contract before it is signed.
Do sign in colored ink, such as blue, so that the original document is readily distinguishable from any copies.
Do initial each page and ensure the other person does so as well. This way nothing gets overlooked.
Do keep a signed copy for your personal records.
Don’t include lawyer-speak or archaic expressions such as “heretofore,” and “the party of the first part.” They do very little when it comes to clarifying what the contract is really saying.
Don’t assume the other person interprets phrases the same way that you do. State all definitions right in the contract.
Don’t skim the contract over or simply glance over it. Read it thoroughly and make certain that you understand every clause and nuance.
Don’t start operating in accordance with the contract terms until both people have read and signed it.
Don’t agree to any changes in the contract until they are added in writing and signed.
If you are at all concerned about drafting a business-related contract or are expecting to be asked to sign a business contract drafted by someone else in the near future, our California business attorneys are here to help you as much as possible.
We are also able to answer any general questions regarding business and civil law in California. We encourage any clients, old and new, to reach out to us for answers to their questions and concerns regarding California contract law.
You can arrange a free consultation on drafting a business contract in California by giving us a call at 818-519-4465 as soon as you are able. Our attorneys speak both English and Spanish.