10 provisions you need in
your business agreements
BY JEANETTE NYDEN, JD
It’s 5: 30 a.m. and your cell phone is ringing. It’s your
meeting planner, calling to tell you that the regional
conference you’ve booked for today has been cancelled
because of an ice storm. Apparently, the participants cannot
drive to the one-day event due to the inclement weather.
You think: Now what? Do I get paid anyway? Do I have
to refund the deposit?
If you have a good contract in place, you and the meeting
planner will know exactly how to resolve these issues. If you
don’t, you run the risk of arguing about who will pay for
what—and potentially lose money on the gig. If you were
fortunate enough to have a good contract in place, you could
simply thank the meeting planner and go back to sleep knowing that the details of your contract have you covered.
What’s in a Contract?
A contract is a document that expresses the relationship
between two parties, whether between individuals or
corporations. That relationship is defined long before the
contract is drafted, let alone signed, so the contract should
simply define that relationship in words. Contracts also serve
another important purpose—they outline in precise terms
the rights, responsibilities, duties and roles that each person
or organization has vis-à-vis the other. Because legal terms,
especially Latin legal terms, can be confusing to the lay
person, it’s hard to imagine a contract ever being clear