How do you enter into business contracts? If you lived a couple hundred years ago, chances are you’d reach an important business agreement by spitting in your palm and shaking hands with the other person.
By the 20th Century, that evolved into a simple handshake “Gentleman’s Agreement.” No spitting.
Today, many business deals are made by an exchange of emails, i.e. a virtual handshake.
What’s the problem with that?
The Dangers of Email Deals as Business Contracts
The spitting starts when something goes wrong during performance.
You and the other party argue over what’s in the chain of messages back and forth. In other words, you both have very different ideas on what those emails meant. Were they negotiations or did you agree to specific terms?
At a minimum, it’s a loss of time. Too often, it’s a lawsuit and the end of what had been a good relationship.
And if you signed any of those emails as an individual (rather than on behalf of your company), you might find yourself personally on the hook if you lose in court.
A Simple Solution
Many of our clients have found the easiest way to prevent this mess is to systematize their business deals using a professionally prepared written contract designed to protect themselves and their businesses.
We typically prepare a contract for a flat fee — check out our Business Contract Legal Protection Package — and the client uses it over and over again.
For example, if you repeatedly buy or sell a particular service/product, it makes sense to have an experienced business lawyer prepared a customized written “standard agreement” you’ll use as the basis for your deals.