Michael L. Feinstein, P.A.

Elements to look for when creating good contracts

Like businesses across the country, most here in South Florida cannot operate without relationships with other companies and individuals. There is often memorialization of those relationships in contracts in order to outline the agreements between the parties.

As long as both parties fulfill their obligations under the contract, all is well. However, if one party fails to do so, the contract will govern any dispute resolution. For this reason alone, it will greatly benefit your business to make sure your contracts will adequately protect your interests if a dispute arises.

Crucial elements of all your contracts

What basic items need to be in all of your contracts? The list below provides an outline of what a good contract will include:

  • Offer
  • Acceptance
  • Consideration
  • Meeting of the minds
  • Capacity
  • Legality
  • Written documentation

Under each of these categories, you will put the specifics of your particular situation. For instance, you will extend an offer to another party to provide goods or services specific to your business and industry. Then the other party will accept your offer, and the two of you agree on the consideration, or payment, for what you will provide. For many people, these three elements provide the core of the contract. However, the other items provide important information regarding your business relationship.

The need to document your agreements in writing cannot be stressed enough. Verbal contracts are extremely difficult to uphold in court. Even if you are friendly with the other party, it should not deter you from documenting any business agreement you enter into in order to protect yourself. Transactions do not always go as planned, and you will want to make sure that you have protections in place in case you need to enforce your agreement.

Enlist some legal assistance

A primary function of any contract is to provide a reference point in case something goes wrong. The framework of the contract may be all you have if you need to resolve a dispute with the other party. The more detailed it is, the more information a court will have to review the situation and make a ruling that protects your best interests.

Creating the best contracts possible often presents a challenge. Fortunately, you do not have to undertake this endeavor alone. You could consult and work with an attorney knowledgeable and experienced in creating and litigating contracts to help you create agreements that protect your and your company's interests.

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