Planning is a crucial part of achieving business success. And that’s what a contract is: a plan. A contract plans out the obligations of the parties, who gets paid what, what happens if something goes wrong, where and how legal disputes will be resolved—and many other possible situations and circumstances. If your business is entering into a relationship with a vendor, supplier, builder, contractor or even a customer, for example, chances are your business will need a contract to govern the relationship.
One of the best overall concepts to understand about contracts is that they can address potential problems before they emerge. If both sides of the contract understand what might happen if they “breach” the terms of the contract, that alone may prevent problems from arising.
And, of course, it is always best to get an agreement in writing to formalize the exact terms that the parties consent to. Contracts can be long- or short-term, can be between two completely different companies, can be between employers and employees—the possibilities are really endless. However, crafting the right contract for any given situation usually requires understanding the exact needs of the parties to the contract.
Understand the terms
Contracts should be easy to understand, but that doesn’t mean that your business shouldn’t use leverage to get favorable terms. The concept of “freedom of contract” means that the parties can make any agreement they want, as long as the agreement is legal. Understanding the terms of a potential contract is crucial, so be sure that your business has an advocate to help draft and execute the best possible contracts to put your business on solid footing.