When you’re doing a deal, do you have an experienced business lawyer draft the agreement or do you work off of the other party’s agreement?
As a general rule, you get a far better deal when you start with a contract prepared by your business attorney instead of trying to fix unfavorable terms in the other side’s agreement.
And not only do you have to identify what the other party put in the agreement that could hurt your business, you’ll also want to revise the agreement to cover issues that were not addressed…assuming the other side agrees to it.
Don’t assume that “standard terms and conditions” are standard. In most cases, they’re standard only in the sense that the other party uses them all of the time and they generally favor that party (not you).
Yes, it’s easy for eyes to glaze over when reading legalese. However, if a deal is important, it should be done with the right contract to protect you and your business.
What if the other side insists on using their contract as the starting point? In some cases, you have to bite the bullet and use that. However, you can sometimes use the threat of going to their competitor to get the deal papered on your terms instead. It really depends on whether or not the other side needs to do business with you.
Regardless, start your potential deals with an assumption that your contract will be used instead of the other party’s agreement. If nothing else, you may get concessions off the bat in exchange for agreeing to use their contract during the negotiations.