The safest way to do business is with a contract. Contracts allow people to enter into mutual business agreements and both gain the desired benefits. In order to ensure a contract equally protects both parties, make sure to include the following provisions and details when you (or your lawyer) write a business contract.
Define the date of signing and the parties in the first section of the contact. This section is often referred to as the preamble, and lays out the legal agreement between two parties. The following format is that of a simple preamble:
"This **__ (Type of agreement) agreement is entered into as of_ **_(Date), 200, between *_____ (full name of the first person) and_ *________ full name of the second person."
Determine the reason the contract agreement is being created and write down the goals in the recital section. Example phrases could include:
"This agreement is being entered into for the purpose of _____."
"The following ****_ (contract term) is hereby defined to mean ____."
Begin the formation of the body of the contract. This is the portion where all the specific terms and expectations are laid out. The first section of the body is referred to as the duration clause. This clause specifies the exact dates and deadlines for all goals of the contract to be accomplished.
"This first portion of this project must be completed by ****, 2009. If performed late, then **** (penalty) shall be applied"
Write out the obligations. For a contract to be valid, each party must have an obligation of either products, services or monetary compensation. If either party does not have an equal amount of one of the three, then the contract could be held invalid as a gift if later contested.
Examples for phrasing include:
"**** (party name) is hereby obligated to pay **** (party two) **** (monetary amount) for services rendered."
"On (date) (party one) shall deliver **** (amount and product) to **__ (party two) in equal exchange for value of_ **____ (party two's item)."
List any agreed upon remedies should either party fail to perform their portion of the contract. Remedies can include interest, late fees or discounts of products. Also include any penalties for defective or damaged products.
Determine the court where a lawsuit will be filed, should neither party perform their portion of the contract. Typically, it is the most convenient location available.
Draft the signature lines. Signature space should have three lines under each name. The first is for the signature. The second line is for the printed name. The last line is for the date of signing.
Use a copy machine to make a copy of the contract. Courts have held photo copies to be equivalent to the original in legal agreements between two parties.
Sign each contract in blue ink. One copy is meant for each party.