Starting a new business requires knowledge of several different areas, from accounting to customer service, but one that is often overlooked by entrepreneurs who are just starting out is the ability to read, write, and negotiate contracts. This is an essential skill no matter what type of business you’re in since there will almost always be a situation where you need to enter into an agreement with a company or individual. Not only will learning more about the ins and outs of contracts make the process easier for you, it will ensure that you understand your rights and can protect yourself and your business.
Here are a few things the Bigfork Area Chamber of Commerce suggests you consider when learning more about contracts and how they work:
Research Common Types of Contracts
There are many different types of contracts that a business owner might enter into, including non-disclosure agreements, sales agreements, and agreements with freelance or independent contractors. Do a little reading to find out which types are the most common in your field and find out more about how they’re presented. What are the laws surrounding them? What is your legal recourse if you enter into a similar agreement and an issue arises? While you don’t have to memorize all of this information, it’s a good idea to at least be familiar with the terms and language used.
Prepare as Much as Possible
Once you’re ready to actually enter into a contract with an individual or business, you’ll want to use those research skills to find out more about them before signing anything. Do an online search to learn about their business, their experience, and their history with customers or partners, as this may come in handy when you want to negotiate. Who will you be dealing with during negotiations? What are their motives for entering into an agreement with you? Doing research and preparing ahead of time will help you feel more confident as you begin working out the details of the contract.
You’ll also need to know exactly what your rights and responsibilities are according to the language used. How will you resolve disputes? Can one or either party terminate the contract according to certain terms? When does the contract expire? Depending on the content of the paperwork, you may also want a lawyer present to make sure everything is on the up and up.
Use the Right Tools
When it comes to creating, negotiating, or signing a contract, it’s essential to make sure you’re using the right tools for the job. Because sometimes agreements need to be modified, you’ll want to use an online PDF editor that allows you to make changes directly to the document. With a larger PDF, you can extract individual pages from past contracts and drafts to compile into a new, updated version. This feature can be very helpful if you need to insert rote boiler plate language. Simply open the file in the extraction tool, select the sections you want to pull out, and select Extract.
Double-Check All the Facts
Whether you’re negotiating or finalizing the contract, it’s crucial to make sure all the facts are correct within the document. Legal names, dates, signatures, and other important details can be misspelled or contain other mistakes, which could mean trouble for you down the road. You’ll also want to ensure that the information regarding your responsibilities is correct and that all involved parties receive a copy of the final agreement.
Double-Check All the Facts
Handling contracts can be stressful if you don’t understand them, but doing some research ahead of time will boost your confidence and make the process much smoother. Being prepared with contextual knowledge and editing tools will also ensure that you’re able to stand up for your rights as a business owner and create a fair contract for everyone.
Join the Bigfork Area Chamber of Commerce to connect with local entrepreneurs and resources that can help your business grow.
This Hot Deal is promoted by Bigfork Area Chamber of Commerce.
Explore Bigfork, Montana with our downloadable guide. Fill out the form below to access essential information on attractions, dining, and activities, making your visit unforgettable.