Far too often we see small business owners with a business model that has a critical defect: the lack of quality contracts. While Google and other websites can provide basic contract forms that appear useful, these forms have serious downsides. Typically they fail to include provisions that are specific to your business and may even include clauses that might actually be adverse to your business.
Perhaps the biggest reason to draft your own contract (with the help of a capable attorney) is so you understand all the elements of a contract, and why they are important. The availability of contract forms on the internet encourages people to ignore the specifics and assume they are getting a one-size-fits-all contract that is fair to all parties. But just as every business, and every transaction, is slightly different, each contract should be customized to fit the specific need.
I’ve met with new clients, whose businesses are just getting off the ground, who have shown me a contract with a customer or an independent contractor that misses critical elements of the relationship or opportunities to secure protections. Maybe they’re concerned about the cost, or figure that, until the business really gets going, they can get by with flimsy agreements. In fact the opposite is true. Without properly documenting your relationships and designating your rights in advance, your business is likely to be tripped up before it ever hits its stride. The smaller you are, the more important each contract is. So, if you only have two contractual relationships, each one could make or break your business.
If you have recently started a small business, or have questions about existing contracts, I’d be happy to sit down with you to figure out exactly what your needs are, and how they can be addressed cost-effectively. My goal is to help you chart a course that avoids the big problems and lets you focus on providing better services to more people.