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Should You Make Your Clients Sign a Contract?

Scales of Justice

Many small business owners, negotiate services without writing contracts. They go into business deals as sole proprietors or freelancers and don’t often consider what they would do if a client wanted their money back after delivered services, or even worse if they sued. It’s not wise to ignore this possibility, because somewhere along the way, you won’t be able to please everyone, so protect your business now from disaster later with a client services agreement. A Portland or Seattle business lawyer can help you write a contract to ensure you cover your company in all the right places.

Protect Your Company

All contracts should be written and signed by both parties. A verbal or even emailed agreement does not always hold up in court depending on your state or variable circumstances. Most contracts take a few days to write as you negotiate terms such as cost, length of time, and specifics of the project. If the client does not pay after agreed-upon services are delivered, it is then a breach of contract. You can bring the person to court if necessary to prove your work was completed to the required standard and demand money. Without a written contract though, you may end up with a large monetary and time loss.

Psychological Effects

A written contract does not only protect you financially but psychologically as well. Clients presented with a contract are more likely to see a business that is organized and professional and that wants to ensure both sides are happy in the end. The contract enforces high-quality work because expectations are demanded and must legally be met. In turn, this will offer you emotional security as well. When you know you are protected, it allows you to relax. You should use these for any Washington business setup or client contract write-up.

Written Contract Inclusions

A Portland or Seattle business lawyer should write your contracts for you to ensure they are legally binding. There is a lot of languages that can be confusing for small business owners. In fact, due to this, many write the contracts with simple language so misunderstandings cannot later be argued and void the contract. If you intend to write your own contract, the basics it needs to cover minimally are:

  • Payment amount
  • Services performed
  • Terms of payment (when, who, and how)
  • Materials to be provided
  • Agreement length
  • Terms to terminate agreement
  • Independent contractor terms if necessary

Whether you are just starting your Washington business setup or have been there for years, use written contracts. Your business lawyer should be responsible for writing, reading, and checking the legality of the contracts each time. Your safety, profit and psychological, is important to the success of the company.

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