The elements of a business contract

This year, thousands of business contracts will be crafted and signed in New York. A contract is essential for protecting a business's interests. There are three essential steps for creating a business contract: identifying the intent, listing the main terms and putting it in writing. The more clear and comprehensive the contract is, the less likely it is that there will be a contract dispute down the road.

The first step in creating a contract is to identify the intention of the agreement. In other words, it should be clear to all parties what they are hoping to accomplish. Next, the key responsibilities of all parties should be set forth. For example, if the contract is with a service provider, the exact services should be listed along with the payment terms. Lastly, the intention, responsibilities and terms should be put into writing and signed by all parties. A written contract can be used to settle future disagreements.

A lawyer with a background in business and commercial law might review a contract to make sure that it includes all of the necessary information and protection for all parties. A lawyer may also help with the process of creating the contract and can explain contract law.

In the event that a contract dispute arises, there are two ways that it can be resolved. One way to resolve a dispute is through mediation. A lawyer might be able to help with the mediation process and work to protect a business owner's interests throughout negotiations. If the dispute cannot be settled through negotiation, the next step in the process is litigation in court.

Source:, "Don't Get Stuck With a Jersey Contract", Matthew Swyers, November 24, 2014

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