Contracts are the backbone of a business. Kansas entrepreneurs who attempt to transact business without the security of a contract may soon find themselves struggling to get paid or haggling over the details of a verbal agreement. Without a contract, you may soon find that your customers and clients are taking advantage of you, or that you are wasting valuable resources dealing with disputes.
Not only does a contract provide a written memory of your agreement, but it gives you a legal leg to stand on if a customer complains that you did not fulfill your part of the agreement. Creating a solid contract that will benefit your business means including some key elements.
Is my contract valid?
Depending on the purpose of the contract, there may be a variety of provisions. For example, a real estate contract may have its particular elements that differ from a business that offers a service. Generally, a valid contract contains the following elements.
- You and the other party have agreed to make a contract.
- The contract relates to a legal matter and not a criminal activity.
- You have offered to perform a service or provide a product.
- The other party agrees to your offer.
- You and the other party have settled on an acceptable price for the completion of the offer, legally referred to as a consideration.
- Your agreement is in writing.
Because you do not expect to extend this offer indefinitely, your contract may place a deadline for accepting the offer. You may find that a year later, your costs for your services have risen, so you would not want to honor an offer that would lose you money if the other party waits that long to accept it. Your contract may also reserve for you the right to revoke your offer before the other party accepts, but it must explicitly state so.
Once you have a contract in place, you should not just expect your clients to read it. Instead, it is advisable to review the main points of your contract with your client, especially how you expect the client to pay and how the client can make changes to the agreement. Nevertheless, you may find yourself facing a dispute with your client over the details of the agreement. You may find it helpful to seek legal advice and representation for any issues you face related to your contracts.