How to write a contract

Contracts are documents that make personal and business agreements official and binding, ensuring both parties' safety in entering such an agreement. Contracts are invaluable tools that help both you and the contractor understand the terms of your agreement and your individual obligations. So before you enter into a business agreement, learn how to write an effective, legally binding contract.

Negotiate the specific amount and type of work to be done and the specific price and payment arrangements. Make sure that each party clearly understands the nature of these. Once you've reached an agreement, translate these important arrangements into the content of your contract.

Keep the wording in a contract as simple and straightforward as possible. Especially when they deal with technical information, contracts can become quite long and difficult to read. If you have this type of contract, get legal counsel to oversee the drafted contract; an attorney's detail-oriented eyes may catch loopholes or issues you wouldn't otherwise be concerned with. Use her advice to modify the contract as appropriate.

Include in your contract a clearly worded plan that spells out the individual deliverables required and links them to specific dates and deadlines. Schedule progress reports and meeting times to discuss expectations and the quality of the completed work.

Decide who owns the property or other creations designated in the contract once obligations are complete. Both parties may have different views on this, so it's an important point to clarify. This can be especially tricky in terms of intellectual property agreements.

Determine the terms required for each party to get out of the contract if necessary.

Get signatures from both parties.

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This article was created by a professional writer and edited by experienced copy editors, both qualified members of the Demand Media Studios community. All articles go through an editorial process that includes subject matter guidelines, plagiarism review, fact-checking, and other steps in an effort to provide reliable information.

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