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  • Writer's pictureNicole Bernier, Esq.

Contracts: The Building Blocks to your Business



Contracts are the cornerstone of any business agreement, yet they can seem like complex jargon-filled documents. Don't worry; understanding contracts is simpler than you might think, and their importance to your business cannot be overstated.


What is a Contract?


Contracts put your business deals in writing. A contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties. These parties could be individuals, companies, or a mix of both. Contracts outline the rights and obligations of each party involved in a business deal, providing a clear roadmap for everyone to follow.


Understanding the Basics:


Now, let's break down some of the key elements of contracts:

  1. Parties involved: This section lists who is involved in the contract. It could be your business and a client, two businesses, or any other combination of parties entering the agreement.

  2. Consideration: For a contract to be valid, a party’s obligation (what it gives up) must be paired with a benefit (what it’s receiving). The benefit each party receives in exchange for what it gives up in the contract is the consideration. It is vital for a contract to have consideration in order to make it legally binding on the parties.

  3. Terms and Conditions: These are the specific details of the agreement. This includes what goods or services will be provided, the cost, the timeline, and any other crucial information.

  4. Signatures: Another vital element in a contract is the execution. For a contract to be valid, it needs the signatures of all parties involved. This shows that everyone agrees to the terms outlined in the contract. A contract cannot be enforced against someone who didn’t sign it.


Why Are Contracts Important?


Having a contract in place for your business arrangement is important for many reasons, including:

  1. Clarity: Instead of relying on verbal agreements or assumptions, a contract clearly states what is expected from each party. It eliminates confusion and ensures everyone is on the same page.

  2. Legal Protection: Contracts provide legal protection for your business. If one party doesn't fulfill their part of the deal, the contract gives you grounds to seek legal remedies.

  3. Preventing Disputes: By specifying details like payment terms, delivery schedules, and responsibilities, contracts reduce the chances of misunderstandings. When everyone knows what to expect, disputes are less likely to arise.

  4. Professionalism and Credibility: Using contracts shows that your business operates professionally. It instills confidence in your clients, partners, and investors. It demonstrates that you take your commitments seriously.

  5. Flexibility: Contracts can be tailored to fit the specific needs of each agreement. Whether it's a sales agreement, a partnership deal, or a service contract, the terms can be adjusted to suit the unique requirements of each situation.


In essence, a contract is like a roadmap guiding your business deals. It ensures that everyone is on the same track, towards a common goal. So, the next time you're entering a business agreement, remember that clarity is key. And if possible, have a legal professional help you review or draft the contract to ensure your contract is well-written.


Nicole is an experienced business lawyer with over 10 years of experience with corporate transactions. Learn more about her and reach out here.


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