I'm not a lawyer, however I have one on retainer to review all contracts I'm going to enter into. Attorneys are also great if you get into a scrape. While most people don't like them, as an entrepreneur, you should. They can literally save your business.
I've encountered a number of entrepreneurs that don't use contracts. This is extremely dangerous. Contracts set the tone for your relationship with your client, and set clear boundaries.
If you are operating without a contract, watch this video. I'll show you each item we use in our contracts. Then, find an attorney and have one written for you, and ALWAYS use it.
I understand if you don't find the idea of paying an attorney $250/hr. to write your contract, though it's highly recommended. And while this is not legal advice in any way shape or form, here are a few things you can do to cut down on your expense.
- Find a contract and have an attorney update it. This is what we did, and giving our attorney a starting point saved us around $1,000 in legal fees. This way you're saving some money, and you're sure to be legally covered in your state.
- Though I have never used them and cannot endorse the service, LegalZoom has contract services available.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that you should always use a contract. And seek legal advice when creating yours.
What's Your Experience?
If you've had a negative experience from not having a contract in place, please help your fellow entrepreneurs and tell us your story in the comments below.