Recently a prospective client sent me a contract for me to review, and he said in his email, “Boilerplate, isn't it, nothing wrong with that?” Or something like that. Many contracts are “boilerplate” contracts, which means they are a standard form for the goods, or the services being offered in the contract. But this doesn't mean that the contract is acceptable to you as a small business owner. For example, let's say you are offered a contract to lease a facility for a networking meeting. The contract requires you to put down a $500 deposit for damages, and you can be personally responsible for any property damages found above and beyond that amount. You might think, “I can handle this, no problem,” but if you do not have insurance for this kind of event, you should not sign that kind of contract, even if you can afford that $500 deposit.
In today's Freedom Friday blog and email newsletter, I want to answer the question, “Why should an attorney review my small business contracts, even if they are boilerplate contracts, and nothing's wrong with that, right?” There are three (3) reasons why you should ask an attorney to review your small business contracts:
1. Successful Small Business Owners are Busy
The first reason why you should have an attorney review your small business contracts, even if they are boilerplate contracts, is that you are a successful small business owner, and you are busy. Most successful small business owners are busy, and they think that boilerplate contracts are too long, too complex, and too tedious to read. Of course, they're also “boilerplate,” and they can just sign them without reading them. However, as a business owner, you should never sign any document which you do not understand. If you don't have the time to read a contract, you need to ask an attorney to read it for you. Many will do so for a nominal fee. Some attorneys may even offer a program where for a monthly fee, they will review any and all contracts for you while you are enrolled in the program. At Liberty Legal Solutions, LLC, we offer a Contract Review subscription, where for $97/month we will review any contracts you might need to be reviewed while you are a monthly subscriber.
2. Contracts Guarantee Your Small Business Gets Paid
The second reason why you should have an attorney review your small business contracts, even if they are boilerplate contracts, is that contracts guarantee your small business gets paid. A written contract is your biggest protection as a small business owner to make sure you get paid. Contracts can get written in a way to keep you from getting paid the money you are promised. This may not be apparent you, and if you just read the contract yourself, you might not see potential pitfalls.
3. Lawyers Help Your Small Business Avoid Loopholes
The third reason why you should have an attorney review your small business contracts, even if they are boilerplate contracts, is that lawyers help your small business avoid loopholes. When a lawyer reviews a contract for your small business, he or she can help your small business avoid loopholes. When I review a contract for a client, the first thing I am looking for is any language that can harm my client's small business, or anything that would present a liability for my client. The person who wrote the contract might not be intentionally creating unfair circumstances, but contracts naturally favor those who write them. The most important reason why you should ask an attorney to review a contract for your small business is that the attorney will find the loopholes that prevent your small business from getting paid, or present other liabilities for your small business. Maybe you as a small business owner are okay with these loopholes, but sometimes you can negotiate these clauses to your advantage.
At Liberty Legal Solutions, LLC, we offer contract review, drafting, and negotiation services. Our contract review services start at $100/page; or for $97/month we can review any contracts you send to us, with a 12-month commitment as part of a Contract Review subscription plan. Our contract drafting services start at $75/page. We also offer flat fee contract negotiation services for $600, which is all inclusive.
If you are interested in starting a small business anywhere in Oklahoma, or you are interested in taking your small business to the next level, please contact me at [email protected] to schedule a FREE strategy session.
For more information about Liberty Legal Solutions, LLC, please visit our website at http://www.libertylegalok.com/