How to write a business contract for your company

14 May, 2024
paresh
Paresh @Boloforms
9 min read
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When entering into any business arrangement, it's essential to have a solid legal foundation to ensure all parties understand their duties and obligations. A business contract serves as this foundation, providing a detailed and enforceable agreement that outlines the terms of a business transaction. Crafting a clear and comprehensive contract not only minimizes the risk of misunderstandings but also helps to protect your business's interests in the face of uncertainties. In this blog, we'll guide you through the key steps involved in writing a business contract for your company, from identifying the parties involved to signing the final document. Whether you're a small business owner or part of a larger corporation, these insights will help you navigate the complexities of contract law with confidence.

1. Determine Why You Need a Contract

Before drafting a business contract, it is crucial to clearly understand why the contract is necessary. This foundational step ensures that the contract serves its intended purpose effectively. Here are some reasons to consider:

  • Clarify Relationships and Expectations: A contract lays out specific expectations and responsibilities for all parties involved, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings and disagreements.
  • Legal Protection: Contracts provide a legal framework that can be enforced in court, safeguarding your business interests. This includes defining remedies and actions in case of a breach.
  • Ensure Compliance: For businesses in regulated industries, contracts help ensure that all parties adhere to relevant laws and regulations, preventing legal issues.
  • Manage Risks: A well-structured contract helps manage risks by detailing what happens under various scenarios, including failure to deliver services or products, disputes over payments, and confidentiality breaches.
  • Facilitate Negotiations: The process of drafting a contract involves negotiation that clarifies important points and can strengthen business relationships through fair and balanced terms.

Here’s an in-depth look at some common types of business contracts used in various industries:

Common types of business contracts

Service Agreement
This contract outlines the services one party will provide to another, including the scope of work, duration, payment terms, and termination conditions. It's essential for consultants, freelancers, and contractors.

Sales Agreement
Used for transactions involving goods, this agreement details the quantity, pricing, delivery terms, and warranties to ensure clear expectations and prevent disputes.

Partnership Agreement
This contract defines the relationship between business partners, including profit and loss distribution, roles, responsibilities, decision-making processes, and dissolution procedures.

Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
An NDA protects confidential information shared during negotiations or collaborations by binding the recipient to secrecy. It defines what is considered confidential and the duration of the agreement.

Employment Contract
an Details the terms between an employer and employee, covering salary, benefits, duties, and termination conditions. It may include non-compete and confidentiality clauses.

Lease Agreement
The lease Agreement Governs the rental of property, equipment, or assets, specifying terms such as lease duration, payment conditions, and use restrictions.

2. Define all applicable parties

Legally, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of all parties involved in any contractual agreement.

Before drafting a contract for either an individual or an organization, it’s imperative to gather comprehensive information.

Key details you should collect include:

Key details that should be included in a contract
  • Legal Name: The exact legal name of the entity or individual.
  • Business Address: The official address for correspondence.
  • Primary Point of Contact: A designated person for communications related to the contract.
  • Scope of Work: Detailed specifications of the services or goods provided.
  • Deadlines and Time Limits: Specific timelines for project completion or delivery.
  • Payment Details and Terms: How payments will be made, including amounts and schedules.

These foundational details must be established before you can proceed with drafting your contract. This holds true for any type of agreement, whether it’s a lease agreement for a property or a service contract with a business partner.

3. Include All Essential Elements of a Contract

To be legally binding, a contract must include these essential elements:

Contract Elements
  1. Offer: A clear proposal by one party, communicated effectively to another, indicating a willingness to enter into an agreement under specific terms.
  2. Acceptance: Agreement by the offeree to the terms of the offer in the requested manner, which must match the terms of the offer.
  3. Consideration: Something of value exchanged between parties, such as money, services, or goods, distinguishing a contract from a gift.
  4. Mutuality of Obligation (Meeting of the Minds): Mutual understanding and agreement on the terms and obligations of the contract.
  5. Capacity: All parties must be legally able to enter into a contract, generally being of legal age and mentally competent.
  6. Legality: The contract’s purpose must be legal; contracts involving illegal activities are not enforceable.
  7. Written Form (if required): Certain contracts, like those involving real estate or substantial sums, must be written to be enforceable, according to the Statute of Frauds.

4. Select the appropriate governing law and jurisdiction.

When drafting a business contract, it's crucial to select an appropriate governing law and jurisdiction to ensure clear interpretation, enforcement, and dispute resolution:

Governing Law:
Choose the specific body of law (state or country) that will govern your contract. This decision influences contract legality, rights interpretation, and breach handling. Typically, you may select the law of the location where the parties operate or the contract is executed. Consistency across multiple contracts and familiarity of your legal team with the law are also important considerations.

Jurisdiction:
Decide which court or arbitration body will handle disputes. The jurisdiction should be accessible and fair for all parties, and possibly specialized in certain types of contracts or industries.

Example Clauses:

  • Governing Law: "This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of [State]."
  • Jurisdiction: "Any disputes arising from this Agreement shall be resolved in the courts located in [City, State]."

By clearly defining these aspects in your contract, you ensure predictability and security in your business dealings.

5. Keep It Simple and Clear

When drafting contracts, especially for small businesses, avoid complex legal jargon and opt for straightforward, clear language. This approach not only expedites deal-making but also enhances understanding and agreement clarity. Here are concise tips to make contracts more accessible:

Points to remember while writing a contract
  • Use clear headings to organize key sections.
  • Write in simple, conversational language.
  • Emphasize important points with bullet lists or bold text.
  • Include initialing features to verify comprehension of crucial clauses.
  • Employ tables and diagrams for better clarity.

Plain language in contracts doesn't compromise their strength or precision; it ensures they are easy to understand without needing extensive guidance. Always write with the customer's perspective in mind, aiming for clarity and reasonableness.

6. Utilize Standardized Templates for Efficiency


Using templates for common contracts, like sales and employment agreements, streamlines the creation process. Once you develop a basic template, you can reuse it for similar situations, only updating customer-specific details as needed.

Benefits of Templates:

  • Speed: Quickly generate contracts by filling in pertinent details in predefined fields.
  • Consistency: Ensure uniform terms and conditions across similar contracts.
  • Ease of Use: Implement document variables in a document builder to update information automatically across the document with a single input.

For example, an employment contract template can be adapted for different hires by simply modifying the variables for employee names and roles. This approach not only saves time but also maintains consistency in your legal documentation.

7. Use Visual Elements in Your Documents

Incorporate various visual tools like tables, lists, and forms to enhance clarity and readability:

Using visual elements
  • Tables: Ideal for presenting pricing and payment options succinctly.
  • Lists: Use bulleted or numbered lists to make your documents easier to navigate.
  • Forms: Efficient for collecting and organizing data.

These elements should be adaptable to allow easy updates, such as adding rows to tables without disrupting the layout. Utilize a robust document creation tool to ensure your documents remain flexible and visually appealing.

8. Address Dispute Resolution, Termination, and Renewal

Disputes are possible in any job, especially when expectations or deadlines are unclear. Your contract should include:

  • Dispute Resolution: Provide a clear method for resolving disagreements, favoring arbitration over court proceedings to save time and money.
  • Termination: Outline the conditions and processes for contract termination within a termination clause.
  • Renewal: For successful partnerships, include options for straightforward renewal or renegotiation to extend the agreement.

By establishing these guidelines, both parties will understand how to proceed in challenging situations or when continuing a successful relationship.


9. Specify Deadlines and Payment Terms

Payments and invoicing are crucial components of any contract. Use clear, structured formats to outline payment schedules, amounts due, and payee details. Depending on the contract type, payments might be tied to hours worked or completion of specific milestones.

  • Flexible Payment Structures: Adjust payment terms based on hours or task completion. Ensure that invoices are issued accordingly.
  • Direct Relation: Payments should correlate directly with the services or goods provided.
  • Penalties for Late Payments: Include terms for late fees to encourage timely payments and completion of work.

It’s important to detail the conditions under which penalties apply to prevent misunderstandings and ensure smooth operational flow.

10. Evaluate the Need for NDAs and Non-Compete Clauses

Consider whether to include confidentiality and non-compete clauses in your business contracts. These elements are common but not always necessary.

  • Relevance to Role: Assess if the job genuinely requires secrecy or restrictions on future employment. Non-competes, in particular, are often difficult to enforce due to strict legal criteria.
  • Legal Robustness: Avoid creating NDAs and non-competes that are too broad or vague, as they may not hold up legally.
  • Strategic Use: Only include these clauses when absolutely necessary. Consider adding them through an addendum or selectively based on specific needs.

Overuse of such documentation in every contract may undermine your ability to enforce them effectively when it truly matters.

11. Implement E-Signatures for Efficient Contract Execution

To ensure the validity of a contract, it is crucial to have proof of acceptance and intent to enter into the agreement. While oral agreements are legally valid, they are challenging to enforce due to issues proving intent and acceptance.

  • Written Contracts: These provide clear details and obligations, eliminating ambiguity about the agreement terms.
  • E-Signing Advantages: Use electronic documents and e-signatures to streamline the negotiation and signing process. Digital signatures not only facilitate quicker transactions but also provide a verifiable record of acceptance.
  • Document Management: Platforms like BoloForms Signature allow tracking of document revisions, offering transparency on how contracts evolve over time.

E-signatures enhance security by verifying signer authenticity and preventing disputes over whether a contract was signed or an agreement was made. This technology is vital in defending against claims of non-acknowledgment of contractual terms.

Contract templates and examples in BoloForms

Contract templates in BoloForms

Looking for a head start on drafting your contracts?

BoloForms Signature provides a vast library of more than 750 templates in our template gallery to kickstart your contract creation process!

At BoloForms, we understand that different sectors and personal circumstances require tailored documentation. That's why we offer a comprehensive array of contract templates designed to meet your specific needs across various platforms. Here’s a glimpse into our specialized template categories:

Real Estate Contracts:
Navigating the complexities of real estate transactions requires precision and clarity. Our real estate templates are crafted to support both buyers and sellers, covering everything from lease agreements and rental applications to purchase contracts and property management agreements. These templates ensure legal compliance and simplify the transaction process, making real estate dealings more secure and straightforward.

Business Contracts:
Whether you’re a startup or an established enterprise, our business contract templates cater to a wide spectrum of needs. From partnership agreements and non-disclosure agreements to service contracts and sales agreements, our templates are designed to safeguard your business interests. Each template is customizable, allowing you to adjust terms and conditions to match your specific business context.

Personal and Family Contracts:
For personal or family-related agreements, our templates provide the necessary legal frameworks to manage personal affairs smoothly. This category includes templates for prenuptial agreements, loan agreements between family members, and estate-planning documents like wills and trusts. These templates help ensure that personal arrangements are clearly documented and legally recognized.

Why Choose BoloForms?

Online PDF Editor
  • Customizable Solutions: Each template is easily customizable and editable to ensure it fits your specific requirements.
  • Legally Vetted: All our templates are vetted by legal professionals to ensure they meet current legal standards and practices.
  • Accessible Anytime, Anywhere: Access our templates online from any device, enabling you to handle legal documentation at your convenience.

Start with BoloForms today and experience the ease of managing contracts with professionally designed, ready-to-use templates. Whether you're closing a deal, forming a new business partnership, or managing personal legal needs, BoloForms is here to help you every step of the way.

Conclusion


In conclusion, crafting a well-written business contract is paramount for safeguarding the interests of your company and ensuring smooth transactions with clients, partners, and vendors. By following the steps outlined in this blog, you can create a comprehensive and legally binding document that clearly defines the terms, responsibilities, and expectations of all parties involved. Remember to seek legal advice when necessary, customize the contract to suit your specific needs, and maintain clear communication throughout the process. With a carefully drafted business contract in place, you can mitigate risks, resolve disputes effectively, and foster positive relationships that contribute to the success of your company.

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