• Robin Black

Fear Not the Contract: The Red Flags

If I want to quickly isolate myself, I discuss how much I enjoy reading contracts. Wow do people flee!

It's always amazed me how little regard people have for anything involving contracts. This is odd since contracts lay the foundation for a sound business practice. Think about your lease agreement for your office space. Or the proposal you accepted from your painter.

Contracts are really simple reads. Here are a few simple tips for reading a contract. First, if you do not understand the language of it, send it back. All contracts should be written in simple language. Be wary of a long litany of "whereas" clauses! Those are definitely old school and can be confusing.

Second, all contracts should have similar clauses such as: description of services, duration of the agreement, compensation and payment terms (deposits), limitation of liability, location for litigation and termination. Tip - In my experience, the termination clause is the most important clause of a contract. You should always know how to exit a contract with minimal penalty (for convenience).

Third, with a few exceptions such as real estate contracts, contracts should not be extremely lengthy (more than 20 pages).

These are just a few tips - red flags to watch. Keep checking in on my blogs to learn more about the wonderful world of contracts!

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