A well-written contract can help you save money, avoid disputes, and, much like fences and neighbors, maintain a good relationship with the other party. But an agreement that is poorly written or that doesn’t fit the specific circumstances can create as many problems as it should be preventing.

Protect yourself

“This is just a simple deal, and we know (and trust) the other side. We don’t need a written agreement.”

When I hear this from a client, my response is: No one enters into a business relationship–large or small–expecting to encounter problems. One purpose of a contract is to protect you from the unexpected, like insurance. You don’t get into your car expecting to have a wreck, but if you do, your insurance is there to help you deal with it.

If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.

Hiring an attorney to write a legal agreement for you or to review one you’ve been given may seem like an extravagant expense, especially if your budget is limited.

But writing a contract without the help of legal counsel, or relying on a form agreement instead of one tailored to your situation, is like playing poker: You may know how to play, but ultimately, your gamble is based on educated guesses about unknown factors.

A well-written contract removes the gamble from your situation, because it eliminates unknowns to the greatest extent possible. You want to be certain that a contract says everything you need it to (and nothing you don’t) and that it means what you think it means. Otherwise, you risk not getting what you intended, making commitments you didn’t intend, or even breaching the contract without realizing it.

With a committed, collaborative, client-focused advocate on your side

Schedule a free phone consultation with us to:

  • Explore your situation
  • Discuss your goals and priorities
  • Understand the approaches you might take and the legal implications
  • Discuss the pros and cons of each
  • Help you make the right business decisions for your company

Schedule your free call now!

When our small creative firm needed help with an intellectual property ownership situation, Gretchen stepped in with sage and timely counsel that clarified the options for all parties. She has worked with us to create a Master Services Agreement and template for Statements of Work that we use with our clients, as well as agreements for our employees and independent contractors to ensure the firm’s ownership of the designs they create for us. She has also reviewed several contracts for us, in one case a compilation of complex interrelated agreements involving multiple parties, providing legal guidance and helping us negotiate with the other parties. She has even helped us revise and update our employee manual. Gretchen’s approach is both professional and personable, a rare and delightful combination that makes our exchanges informative and enjoyable.

Susanne Harrington, Principal, Asterisk Design Group

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