At one time or another, every business will need to explore legal advice and formulate legally binding contracts. But unless your firm or nonprofit has funds to burn, there’s no need to start the process with only a checkbook in hand on a mysterious journey of destination-less exploration in an attorney’s office.
The odds are that you have already identified your business’s situations that you need to guard with legal paperwork. These usually have to do with the commitments you are making about the services you will perform or the goods you will deliver in exchange for a customer’s payment. Those are the basics of any contract – identifying the agreement and the parties and spelling out the responsibilities each party owes the other.
Of course, depending on the type of enterprise you’re in, there are all kinds of factors to study. If you do short, easy jobs, such as repairing household plumbing, cleaning carpets, you can apparently get by with just a work order contract that describes the work you’ll do and the payment your client agrees to give you for that work.
More complicated business systems naturally expect more complex agreements. For example, suppose you’re managing a business that uses or creates software applications and media (such as a software development company, a website design company, or even a freelance content development business). In that case, your legal agreement must specify who owns all the media and software you will assemble or create and describe the usage licenses for each piece and the legal responsibilities to the owner.
Suppose your project is extremely complicated (such as creating a blockchain network or constructing a building). In that case, you may need multiple contracts that explain each portion of the plan and specify approvals and periodic payments when certain milestones have been reached. Of course, in every agreement, all rights and responsibilities must be spelled out in that unique legal language understood by courts and attorneys.
All this legal paperwork can seem scary to non-attorneys. But if you could see through the shut doors of legal firms and watch what contract attorneys do on their laptops, you would see that they usually start off with primary forms that pertain to the general situation. Then they adapt it to the participating parties and specific agreements. Attorneys often have lower-paid interns work on the necessary contracts and then charge you for that time at the attorney’s billing rate.
So here’s the secret to avoiding losing lots of money in legal fees: you can start with those primary forms (the same documents that many law firms buy to save costs and writing time), too. Where? You can apparently locate a few papers on various internet sites for free of cost.
Pick the templates online to save thousands of dollars on attorney fees. This is a straightforward step that you can take.
The contract templates contain the allowed standard legal language and formatting for many situations. They are word-processing files, so you can quickly edit them on any computer to meet your particular needs.
Having a pre-written agreement to start with you will also help educate yourself on possible legal issues you may have to deal with in your business, better preparing you for a more efficient consultation with your lawyer.