What Should You Look for in a Contract?

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If you have ever tried to read a lengthy contract, you know it can be overwhelming. However, if you sign a written agreement without reading it, the law assumes that you not only read it, but that you understood it and agreed to its terms. If you are considering signing a legally binding document that you do not understand, it is important to ask questions or obtain legal assistance from a business lawyer. The term “contract” can include purchase orders, work agreements, sales documents and other similar documents.

It is also essential that you keep a copy of any contracts you sign for your own records. If you fail to do so, it can make it difficult for you to ensure that you (and the other party) are fulfilling your obligations. You shouldn’t rely on verbal promises made by the other party to convince you to sign the agreement. Only the promises and agreements made in the written document will be controlling.

While no two transactions are identical, below are a few basic elements that you should look for in a contract:

  • If money is being exchanged, the full amount to be paid should be clearly shown
  • Any finance charges should be expressed in dollars and cents
  • An detailed list of all services to be provided
  • All due dates or deadlines for payment or other types of performance should be provided
  • A detailed explanation of each party’s duties and obligations should be given

You should never execute a document that is incomplete or contains blanks to be filled-in later. You should also read the fine print. Even though it may be made to seem less important, it is still binding.

Entering into a legally binding contract is a decision that should not be taken lightly. A contract binds you to the other party for a period of time and it imposes a duty on you that you must be willing fulfill. If you do not understand the terms of a contract Faro & Crowder for the guidance you need. We will walk you through each provision of the agreement, protect you from unintended liability, and ensure that you understand what you are signing.


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