Can You Use One-Size Fits All Contracts from the Internet?

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Business transactions and agreements are memorialized in contracts. These contracts are legally binding and should have terms that address every aspect of the agreement. These days, many websites offer contracts for sale online, and it can be tempting to use an online contract instead of seeking help from an experienced attorney. However, in most situations, this can be a big mistake.

Online contracts are general business contracts that have boilerplate provisions. This means the details of the contract are not tailored to a specific situation, which can leave your interests in the agreement unprotected. Vague contracts can result in otherwise preventable losses or liability, and they can also cause confusion regarding the terms as they apply to the transaction. 

While it is possible to use one-size-fits-all contracts, doing so can cause issues and lead to conflict which otherwise could have been avoided. While the contract it might seem sufficient, it can be difficult to navigate the legal jargon of the terms, as well as identify when there are gaps in the provisions that might leave you open to liability. The following are some reasons why consulting with an experienced business attorney is highly preferable to using an online contract. 

Accurate and Appropriate Terms

Lease agreements should contain the exact details and description of the property or equipment in question. For example, an employment contract should describe an employee’s responsibilities and rights relating to the specific job and a service agreement needs to accurately detail the services provided. Many people fail to tailor the terms of the agreement to the situation at hand, which can lead to questions about the obligations of each party under the contract. 

Dispute Resolution

When there is confusion or disagreement regarding the requirements of a contract, conflict can arise between the parties, especially if one party accuses the other of breaching the agreement. If a party decides to take the matter to court, the litigation process can be costly and time-consuming. One way to reduce the resources needed for dispute resolution is to ensure the agreement contains instructions for how to resolve a disagreement. This can include mandatory mediation or arbitration, which can be much less costly than litigation.

Understanding Complex Language

Many online contracts will have boilerplate provisions written in “legalese.” This language can be dense and complicated to understand, even if you have business experience. If someone presents you with a contract, you should have a lawyer at least review the terms so you don’t sign anything that might be adverse to your position. 

Contact a Fargo Business Lawyer for Assistance Today

Many people believe that using a one-size-fits-all online contract can save them money, but it can result in costly liability for many parties. If you would like to learn how our legal team can help with your contracts, email business attorney Stephen Welle directly or call O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss at 701-235-8000 or toll-free 877-235-8002.     

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