What to look for when reviewing contracts

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Every business owner will have to deal with contracts in the course of doing their business. Two or more parties may seemingly agree on things over discussion but a lengthy document that is the contract may reflect terms that weren't agreed upon. Thus, it is important to review contracts carefully before signing them. A few things to look out for are the following:
Terms - make sure to negotiate terms that are not agreeable to you
Contracting Parties - make sure to know who you are dealing with
Automatic Renewals - make sure you know about notices, penalties, retention/change of terms, etc.

What other elements in a contract do you take time to review on before signing?
 
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I read every word carefully and slowly and have my lawyer review it too. In the end, I think it is worth the extra expenditure. If it is a rushed deal, I will not sign it.

In my contract embroidery business I had to be careful to see who owns the artwork and designs, if I can display samples, put my logo tags in garments, etc. Copyright stuff can be really tricky and dangerous!
 

jona

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My advice is to get a lawyer, this is not the type of thing that you can afford to NOT outsource. You can get away with doing a lot of thing yourself while running your business, even doing the accounting but when it comes to reading, interpreting and signing contracts you need external help. I've heard enough horror stories of people going into contracts that end up costing them even the companies that they themselves created, if you want to read and cry, google what happened to the creator of the game "Ant Simulator"
 
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A signed contract is a legal document that is why before you sign any contract be sure that you know exactly what you are getting into. You should know how to deal and negotiate and don't make it a decision to sign immediately. Read the contract and its details very well. Make sure that all the agreements and claims are written in the contract and don't just rely on verbal agreements. And after you had finally understand well and decided to sign the contract be sure to get a copy of the contract and keep it for reference just in case there will be a problem at a later time.
 
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Get a lawyer. The risk of agreeing to a bad contract is not worth the money you think you'll save by reviewing it on the cheap.
 
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I know I am a bit late, but I am launching a business to help with this issue. Long story short, you're putting your business at risk if you are trying to handle your contracts by yourself and are not a lawyer. There are a lot of things to look for when reviewing a legal contract, and it is very dependent on what type of contract it is and how important it is to your business (risk level). You signing a supplier agreement to buy something like coffee for your offices may not be as important as your contract with your IT provider or real estate lease. So they should be treated differently. Also, hiring a subject matter expert is wise.

Major law firms will charge on average $300 - $500/hour to do this type of work, which is why most people ask their personal networks or try to do it themselves.
 
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VirtualGlobalPhone

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What other elements in a contract do you take time to review on before signing?
Dont you feel its very general question ? Agreement for every small to business large business is different and need to be handled with extreme professional help.

Any amount of self knowledge may not help, yes if you are asking anything specific vertical of business some may be able to help you.
 
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