Business owners and managers get so used to signing contracts that they often sign them without reading them. Instead of getting into the habit of signing a contract without reading it, you should get into the habit of having your attorney read every contract before you agree to it. Even if the other party insists that they are using a template agreement, it is still in your best interests to have your legal professional read over the contract before you sign it.
Some business professionals who are in a hurry will literally pull a contract template off the Internet, put their information on it, and then ask you to sign it. They insist that it is a template, and they are right. But do they know what is really in that template?
Always be wary of people who put contracts in front of you that they themselves are not very familiar with. You could be agreeing to something that you would never normally agree to, and it could cause problems for your business for many years to come.
When you and your customer originally negotiated this agreement, you know that you gave the customer 30-day terms. But when the contract shows up, it says 60-day terms for payment. Just because a contract is drawn up does not mean that the negotiation is over. That is why you need to take good notes during the negotiation, and then ask your attorney to compare the terms you agreed to with the terms that are in the actual contract.
When you and your customer negotiated your deal, you both have every intention on seeing the deal through to the end. But over time, things can change and you may need to have an agreeable termination clause in your agreement that allows you to get out without much damage.
Termination clauses are extremely tricky because they tend to be very precise, but then very vague at the same time. You should never sign an agreement which has a termination clause that your attorney cannot explain to you clearly. If there is gray area, then it is time to negotiate some more.
Peace Of Mind
Even if your attorney hands a contract back to you and says that it is just fine to sign, it was well worth the investment of time and money. One wrong contract signing could cost your company thousands of dollars, which could mean the end of many small businesses. By taking the time to get each contract right, you can do business with the peace of mind you need to be successful.
The business world can be a merciless place where carelessness and not attending to the details can get your company into a lot of trouble. In a dynamic and potentially caustic environment such as the business world, you and your company need all of the protection you can get. That is why it is critically important that you have every agreement reviewed by an attorney, and have an attorney draw up every agreement you use in conducting your business.