When you’re running a business, it’s important to make sure that the contracts you sign, and that you draw up to guarantee labor, expertise, or supply of goods and raw materials actually get you what you want, and don’t leave you liable for additional costs that you’ve not budgeted for.
In situations like this, not seeking legal advice is very much a false economy that could come back to bite you when you are least prepared for it. While you could make an appointment with a traditional business lawyer, there is a new breed of law specialists making life easier for people running a small business: people who might not have the time or budget to schedule an hour meeting with a lawyer whenever they want to have a contract or letter checked over.
Online lawyers are increasingly an attractive option: allowing you to schedule times to suit your needs and conduct your legal business without leaving your desk. If you need to have a single contract checked and returned to you promptly, this is likely to be by far a favorable option for you.
When a lawyer reviews a contract for you, they are making sure that any number of common sense provisions are included, and described in the correct legal language. It’s very important to make sure any agreements you’ve made in the course of negotiations are included in the contract: while you may discuss terms, concessions, and amounts while you are making a sale, or being sold to, the only way to guarantee you will actually receive those things – or give you yourself any legal recourse, is to make sure they are included in the contract you actually sign. The contract supersedes any informal discussions or emails you exchanged before.
A contract review, then, gives an expert in contract law access to your contract to break it down and then explain to you in layman’s terms exactly what that contract will get you. If this doesn’t match your expectations, you’ll need to get the contract amended before signing. If someone is trying to push you to sign a contract before you’ve had the chance to have it reviewed, this can be a sign that you need to read it in detail more than usual: there is no such thing as a ‘standard contract’, and you need to make sure it is specific to you and your situation.