What You Need To Look For In The Fine Print

Business protection can save your skin when someone is trying to rip you off, when things go awry on the job, when key personnel get sick, but it can't do much for you when you're legally obligated to a contract that you rushed into. This applies to everything from signing with a new wholesaler to making sure that you know what you're agreeing to when you get your new business credit card.

Before signing any contract, you should make sure that your legal team gets a good look at it. If this isn't an option for any reason, then there are certain red flags that you should watch out for on your way down to the dotted line. You're looking for any item in there that binds your hands in a way that restricts your rights. These, in particular, get snuck into way more contracts than you might think:

  • A lack of accountability. You're looking for any item in the contract that essentially says that the person you're signing with assumes absolutely no responsibility whatsoever should something go wrong. We don't always look for this in a contract because we assume that there's no way it's legal to put this in a contract, but it's totally legal. All too often, we sign contracts that would put complete responsibility on ourselves no matter what the other party chooses to do.
  • No legal recourse. Many contracts will have it that you go to arbitration rather than the courtroom, or they may force you to opt out of any possibility of a class action lawsuit. A lot of B2B providers will do this, ensuring that you're effectively not allowed to seek recompense or justice for any wrongdoing on their part.
  • The only binding agreements are on your shoulders. There's never, ever a good reason to sign a business contract that does not hold the other party to any promises.
  • Censorship. Ordinary non-disclosure agreements are signed all the time between employer and employee, attorney and client and so on. There's a difference between a contract that keeps trade secrets from getting out, and a contract that bars you from criticizing the other party or telling your side of the story should things go awry.

If you ever run into anything in a contract that you don't understand, talk to an attorney. If you don't have an attorney, ask any friend with some legal background. If this isn't an option, look it up online. Don't sign anything unless you understand it.

Source http://www.faircontracts.org/content/meet-frog-hog

Need insurance for You, Your Family or Your Business?
We can match you to a qualified, local insurance expert!
Further Reading
We take our local insurance people for granted. Perhaps we think that everyone in interchangeable, or that it's just easier to stick with what we know. These are short-cut thoughts that we often discover are all wrong after it's too late. While there...
Although most Americans with Health insurance are covered under an employer's plan, there are still many employers that don't have Health insurance offerings. Workers of companies not offering insurance are left to find and purchase their own private...
You've started a small business, and everything's going great. In fact, it's time to hire help. Use this checklist to ensure you follow federal and state regulations as you hire your first employee. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) ...
You certainly aren't alone if you find shopping for Life insurance a perplexing, frustrating process. Even for those with a basic understanding, the intricate details of many Life insurance products can be overwhelming for consumers. Term Life insu...
Every day you likely see people make decisions you wish they would reconsider. People make mistakes because they're tired, bored, angry or just plain uninterested in what's happening around them. Appeals were made for those who feel the courts were...