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3 key points to remember when writing a contract

Before you decide to work with another company, you need to sign a contract. A contract dictates what you expect from the other company and what it expects of you. For example, if you are paying $2,000 cash biweekly for deliveries on a specific date, that should be listed clearly in the contract along with information on what happens if the delivery or payment is not made on time.

If this is the first time you've created a contract, and even if it isn't, your attorney can help you make sure it protects you. There are many things you need to include, and forgetting them could invalidate your contract or put you at a disadvantage. Here are a few things to remember.

1. Address all possible issues

Your contract needs to include terms that state what happens if certain issues arise. For example, if you can't pay on time, do you get charged a fee? Is the above delivery delayed or voided? What happens if the delivery isn't made on time? Does the other company receive less compensation for the goods?

Make sure you address everything that could happen to affect the terms of your contract, so both parties understand what happens when the unexpected takes place.

2. State the terms clearly and make them understandable

You may think the contract needs to be written in legalese to stand up in court, but the fact is that a well-written contract is understandable. Make sure it's written in plain English, so both parties understand the terms. Segment your contract into individual parts, so it's easier to read.

When you write the contract, state the terms clearly so there is no ambiguity. Have your co-founder, attorney or others review the contract for clarity.

3. Be as detailed as possible

Detail is key. Instead of writing that you want your delivery two times a month, specify the dates you want them. For example, state you want deliveries every other Thursday of the month starting with the first Thursday. You may also state that you want the delivery on a specific date each month if you include it in the contract.

There are many other factors to consider when you write a contract as well. Your attorney can help adjust the contract to make sure it meets your needs.

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