Additional resources provided by the author
It is a vitally important question to know the answer to as that will likely determine how the dispute will play out. This is because a contract contains the rules the parties are going to play by. If there is no contract, those rules must be made up after the fact through the adversarial process known as litigation.
Contracts are necessary for a host of different scenarios in the life of a small business. A good rule of thumb is to consider needing a contract for just about any relationship in which another party is providing you a service or good. Similarly, you should have a contract for when you provide a good or service to a third party. The goal is to have contracts in place to govern your relationships with other parties so as to ensure that everyone knows what their obligations are and follows through on those obligations.
Lawyers get a bad rap for their reverence of contracts. Lucky for you, a lawyer who is particularly reverential about a contract, like me, is a great person to associate with because they will help you confect – as in make – a strong, enforceable contract that can save you time and money in the long run. A good contract lawyer can also help you vet contracts that are presented to you for execution, which is just as important.
I have given you a lot of information on contracts and I would not blame you if you thought that you will be just fine using a standard contract off the internet along with what you’ve learned. The problem with this scenario is that you will still need a lawyer – on the back end when there is a dispute and everyone is arguing. This is because not having a lawyer draft the contract in the first place means that details were left out and the terms may not be in your favor. I can help you get out of this contract, but I would much rather have helped you draft it in the first place.