Is Your Contract Worth Less Then The Paper It Is Written On?

A Cheep contract can in fact be worth less then the paper it is written on.  Why, because most folks that write their own contracts are not attorneys, and they don't know the tremendous deference  a wrong word can make.

With a cheap attorney charging over $150.00 an hour it is easy to see why some folks decide "Who Needs 'E'm, I Can Do It Myself".  Add into the mix all those really inexpensive computer programs for doing your own legal stuff and it is easy to give into the do-it-yourself temptation.

Oh, lets not forget the folks that think "hay Joe has a great contract, lets just use his", so they change a name here or there and make it theirs.

In the last 6 months I have seen about ten different contracts that have the same fatale flaw.  And the scary thing is, I know for a fact two of them were written by attorneys (more on that latter).

What am I talking about?  Just the fact that when someone does not do, what they have agreed to do in a contract, you do not want to say something like " ... failure to do so will void this contract...".  I find it hard to believe but folks are using the word "Void" in contracts when they should be using the word "Breach".

Void, Breach, who cares....  You should and here is why. When you are "in breach" of a contract, it means you have violated the contract, but are still bound by it.  As you are bound by it, you can be sued for damages and so on.  But if your actions result in the contract being "Void or Voided", then the contract is void.  Meaning it is like there never was a contract.  So, if a contract states "failure to pay will result in voiding the contract", then if you do not pay, you void the contract, and if the contract is void, then there never was an agreement to pay, and you are off the hook (or out of luck, depending on what side of the contract you are on), because there is no contract.

On the contracts I have seen were an attorney had in fact written them, the problem was no one ever properly proof read it.  So, do yourself a favor, don't cheep out on your contract.  A good contract is worth it's weight in gold.  A bad one is nothing more then a time bomb waiting to explode.  And it could take you and your business with it.

Hay, just when was the last time you even read your own contract. Never?  Do yourself a favor and stop reading BizNet, and read your own contract!

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Last modified: December 30, 2003