Contracts 101

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A contract is nothing more than an agreement. Contracts can be verbal or written.  A contract should set forth the rights and responsibilities of the parties to the contract.  Simply put, who is going to do what.  Setting forth, in writing, your agreements is a vital exercise for the health of your business and your relationships.  By creating a written contract you are able to manage the expectations of the parties to the contract.  Most importantly, a well written contract will help you to avoid disputes in the future.

The key points that Gordon Law recommends that you have within a contract include a clear statement of which party is doing something and what will that party receive in return for what they are doing.  Are you buying something, then it should be that one party is paying money and the other party is providing a product or service in exchange for that money.  Beyond that, however,  you should make sure that your contracts set forth the timing of the performance of the activity.  What happens if somebody does not fulfill his/her obligation – in other words, breaches the contract.  How disputes will be resolved – will there be mediation, arbitration or litigation.  Where will those proceedings take place?  Who will bear the costs of those proceedings?

You should be certain to keep all contracts.  Gordon Law suggests you review your contracts on a regular basis.  The rights and responsibilities of the parties may have changed over time; the pricing may have changed over time; the decisions-makers or those performing the services may have changed over time.  You should have an attorney review your contracts, as well, to ensure that your contracts are consistent and compliant with applicable law.

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