We know that as a small business owner in the field of construction you’re looking for ways to save costs as well as secure and complete jobs as quickly as possible. Although you may have some pretty strong strategies for how to do that, they shouldn’t include negotiating and drafting your own contracts. Even the simplest of jobs can go wrong, and without a strong contract in place, you could find yourself on the losing end of litigation. This can cost you a lot of time, money, and effort. Remember, too, that it only takes one job to go sideways without proper protection to find yourself in big trouble.
What are the risks of drafting your own contracts?
There are a lot of do-it-yourself resources online but utilizing these in the creation of your business contracts can be risky. Here are just some of the pitfalls that DIY contracting can throw your way:
- The contract may not be legally valid if the obligations are unclear or there is a lack of appropriate consideration.
- The contract may not accurately specify which parties have obligations under the agreement, which can be especially problematic when you’re dealing with individuals and their businesses.
- The language used in the contract may be vague or ambiguous in a way that leaves you susceptible to an unfavorable interpretation of the contract’s terms.
- The contract contains boilerplate language that may not comply with state law.
- The contract fails to anticipate everything that could go wrong during a project.
- Your contract may leave gaps in protection that can leave you vulnerable to something less than you agreed to.
- The wording of the contract may mean that you agree to something that you never intended to agree to.
- The contract lacks clear intent that a court can turn to if one or more of the terms of the contract are found to be unenforceable.
- The terms of the contract could create a legal obligation for you that you never intended to take on.
As you can see, there are a lot of ways that a contract can be improperly drafted, leaving you and your business at risk. Keep in mind, too, that unclear provisions and ambiguous language is usually construed against the person who drafted the agreement, so any errors that you make in creating your own contract will be given very little leeway when it comes to interpretation.
Negotiate and draft the contracts that you need to protect your interests
There are a lot of considerations that have to be taken into account when drafting contracts, especially in a complicated business like construction. That’s why it’s imperative that you take the time needed to create the strong contracts that you need to protect your interests. These agreements should be clear and legally binding, ensuring that your intent is unquestionable. That way, there’s no doubt as to your rights and responsibilities under the agreement, and you can take swift legal action if you believe that the other party is in breach.
We know that you want to save time and money. But working closely with an attorney who is experienced in the legalities of contract law and the construction industry very well may help you save that time and money in the long run. So, if you’d like to learn more about what one of these attorneys can do for you, then we encourage you to research your representation options and reach out to the firm that you think will best represent your interests.