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mrjimbo
03-19-2006, 03:35 PM
Hello! I am not only new to this awesome forum but also new to the concept of small business. I have a business in mind that I would like to pursue, but the biggest thing I can't find help on is an answer to my question on contracts:

How can I make a legal binding contract? Do I take a contract template and get it notarized or signed/registered through some legal institution? Or is ANY document that is signed by me and my client considered legal-binding? I'm just not sure about the legal part.

Thanks!

Jim

BusinessMan
03-20-2006, 03:17 AM
As long as it is written correctly it should be legally binding. But the key term is "written correctly". There are exceptions to this of course, but in most scenarios a wiritten signed agreement is binding to the terms contained within.

In terms of the content, it is often wise though to use a template, adjust an existing agreement text, or use a lawyer/etc.

bizguy
05-13-2006, 08:14 PM
Hey there Mr. Jimbo,

BusinessMan is correct for the most part, "written correctly" is huge for written contracts, but there are also legally binding contracts that are not written contracts. Legally binding does not mean written, but that's a whole other topic.

Try "The Uniform Commercial Code", whose original articles have been adopted in nearly every state, it represents a body of statutory law that governs important categories of contracts. It will give you an extensive amount of legal help, but won't write the contract for you.

Buying off the shelf "boiler plate" contract templates is a pretty good way to go, just make sure they have been tailored enough to cover your business and your geographic markets.

The next level is actually having a lawyer look over your contracts that you will be using.

If you are going to be involved in international contracts, in 1998 the United States joined the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods. International contracts would be governed by this convention.

Cornell University has an excellent law library available online, it has a whole section on contracts.

Happy Contracting :!: :D

MLeoCasas
01-28-2014, 09:39 AM
Proof of any agreement, written or oral, can be used to make a part liable toward contract fulfillment. That being said, ALWAYS get important agreements in writing, preferably notarized so there is absolutely no 'he said/she said' disputes over the terms. The reason the business community spends so much on legal assistance in reviewing and documenting contracts is because trying to operate on good faith and.or flimsy wording is an extremely slippery slope. If you don't have the funds to provide for legal advice for your small business then at the very least you should be researching industry-relevant legal precedent and getting EVERYTHING notarized or attested to by a witness.

george.shepard
03-12-2014, 12:48 AM
Make sure all opposite parties are legally ready to participate. In a legal contract, some value has to be exchanged for something else of value like services, cash, goods, or the promise.
http://www.mlsemployment.co.uk/employment-contract.aspx

Lostvalleyguy
03-12-2014, 03:00 PM
A contract doesn't need to be formal to be legally binding. Big, lawyered up contracts generally protect both parties well because they deal with a lot of the "What if" situations.

Your contract needs to clearly spell out what the parties will be giving and receiving (like service and money). It needs to be dated and it needs to be signed by both parties. Ideally you print two copies and each sign both so both parties have a signed copy.

If there are obvious potential issues that are likely to come up, they should be included in the contract. If, for example, you hire someone to redo your leaky roof, you may want to include something to ensure that it is fixed promptly. If it is a service that you provide, you may wish to take into account cancelling or changing dates.

Diorthotis
04-04-2014, 06:44 PM
Easy to use guide to be free from the police.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpxKPJEbyrM

CharlesHarrison
05-14-2014, 03:05 AM
For a contract to be legally binding, it must include some basic elements. Like, the parties to the contract must reach an agreement and must each provide something of value, called consideration. Check with your state or with an attorney if you are unclear, but it’s always good business practice to put every binding agreement in writing.

mattandshana
05-26-2014, 05:05 PM
mrjimbo,

I believe that, as long as BOTH parties agree to the verbiage in the document and it is signed by both parties, the document is binding. Now, if you are entering into a big business negotiation, I would strongly advise research into the types of legitimate contracts that would apply to your situation. I haven't personally done any legal research, since I am primarily involved in affiliate marketing but, I would look into some sites like LegalZoom to see what type of services they offer. You cal also find a lot of useful information in your local library.

Hope this helps.

Best of Luck,

Matt

jemswotsan
05-27-2014, 01:34 AM
Regardless of the size of your business, you must keep your legal documents safe and also, when destroying them, you have to get "Professional Document Scanning Solutions (http://www.capitalcapture.com)" for making duplicates for future needs. That is the main concern herein.

LDonahue
05-27-2014, 12:25 PM
Wow! That's a great question, although answering a question from 2006, now in 2014, makes my answer a bit late. ;-)

With that said, all the above responses are both right and wrong. They are right, in that a contract is a bargained-for exchange of value. That they don't always have to be written to be enforceable, but it really helps to have them written down, stored safe and securely, the UCC is a good place to start, etc, etc, etc.

Where the above responses are wrong, is that simply writing your agreements doesn't necessarily mean they are enforceable. There are literally a hundred different areas where a layperson writing a contract can go wrong. There are many, many rules that apply for contracts, that without training as an attorney, you simply will not know about those rules, and these rules depend significantly on the context and subject matter of the intended bargained-for relationship. I'll give you some examples:

(1) You want to hire an artist, web developer or programmer to do something specific for your business. Unless your contract has the exact phrase "work made for hire," with the right language supporting it, you will NOT own the copyright of the work you paid for, even though you paid for it, and even though your contract otherwise says that you're intending to own the copyrights.
(2) Contracts must have a fixed duration, and cannot "last forever" or in perpetuity. Such contracts are simply void as a matter of law.
(3) Depending on the state you're in (or the other party), you cannot have a non-compete clause, or if you do, it must be very tightly constrained.
(4) If you're intending to obtain a security interest in real estate or "titled property," you probably need specific language and you probably need to file your contract with either the Secretary of State or County you live in.
(5) You cannot charge any interest or penalty you want for lack of performance in a contract, because if it's too onerous or egregious, your contract can get voided for a variety of reasons.

These are just a few examples. The list is almost endless. Therefore (yes, I'm about to make a self-serving statement): If you're dealing with important subject matter, high dollars, a potentially significant risk, or it's a contract you will use over-and-over again because it's your general contract for your business ... don't do it yourself. Hire a business attorney. A good business attorney has many templates to chose from as a starting-point. Like me, they will ask you a bunch of questions, some more difficult than others. Sometimes, there's an iteration to it. But once we have a good idea of what you want, we grab one of our templates, tweak it for your specific situation and circumstances, and THEN you'll have a VERY GOOD, enforceable contract (provided you follow our directions in its execution and performance).

Thank you. Larry.

SeanCole
11-01-2014, 05:28 AM
There is having certain rules and regulations you have to follow before setting any legal binding contracts. Fair contracts will set up both parties who are involved. Every contract is setup a legally binding conditions who will set up to face legal actions. In the contract you should have to mention the name of buyer, and insert the name of seller and from basic information to all the other detail valuable items is mentioned. You have to put each and every legal terms and confidential clause in contract.

SuperPuper
11-25-2020, 07:36 PM
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12-15-2020, 11:24 PM
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