Being in business requires getting acquainted with at least one aspect of the legal system. That aspect? Contracts.
Westchester attorney Richard St. Paul points out that, despite this, many businesses aren’t taking full advantage of the power of contracts, and some don’t make any use of contracts at all.
“Many small businesses may not use written contracts to do business,” St. Paul says. “Some still operate on a handshake. Unfortunately, the world has become more complex and placing your agreement in the form of a contract will only help to protect your business.”
Our complex modern world is one reason that Westchester small business owners need to familiarize themselves with this important element of doing business.
Contracts may be many pages long, in dense legal jargon. And they can also be brief, as short as a single page, and surprisingly clear.
But all contracts have two traits in common:
- All parties must agree about an offer made by one party and accepted by the other.
- Something of value must be exchanged for something else of value. This can include goods, cash, services, or a pledge to exchange these items.
Whether the contract is long or short, muddled or clear, you should never sign one that you don’t completely understand.
Understanding contracts is arguably the best way to protect the sweat equity that you put into your business.
Don’t forget: No one else can sign a contract for you without your permission. It’s up to you to learn how to go about this in such a way as to benefit your Westchester small business, and honor all the years of hard work that have gone into creating or building it.