A contract can be as short as a paragraph, but rarely is this ever a good idea. Business owner clients often want attorneys to present them with an ironclad document that protects their interest, punishes non compliance with terms, and rewards fulfillment in about 200 words or fewer. There are certain clauses each contract needs to have for your small business in order to protect you and your investment before any parties add their “X”.
Time of Performance
When is the work to be performed, or is there a time consideration at all? Some businesses provide services that where time is of the essence, such as a roofing company or lawn maintenance. Does the contract say when the job will start and the estimated time that the job will take? Does the contract state with specificity the intervals at which repeated work will be done? Instead of “South Texas Gardner’s, LLC will care for your lawn in the summer of 2021,” consider “South Texas Gardner’s, LLC will cut and edge your lawn twice a month during the spring and fall growing seasons, with each cutting being performed no more than 14 days after the previous cut.” Specificity as to time of performance is absolutely crucial when considering interval work that is performed over a course of many months or years.
Work Related Guarantees
Breaking down and carefully crafting your guarantee clause specifically to fit your business and product is crucial to protecting you and your business. Does your contract provide the guarantee for the work being performed, or that there is specifically no guarantee? A criminal defense attorney’s contract should state specifically that there is no guarantee of any particular outcome—the attorney has no way of being able to provide for that guarantee as it is entirely out of their hands. A contract that states such a provision clearly leaves little room for angry clients that believe they were promised a different outcome.
A roofing company may say that their work is guaranteed for a certain period of time after the completion of the repair, but that that guarantee is subject to storms or damaging winds, repairs previously performed higher on the water line by another roofing company, or damage that was not identified on the initial inspection.
As a small business, you will be relying on your contracts with clients every single day you are operating and you should take their construction very seriously. Sending a one or two sentence email or a handwritten letter is simply not enough to protect you and your investment if there is ever an issue. San Antonio Small Business Lawyer Nathaniel Gilbert helps business owners draft contracts that protect businesses, their owners, and assets. To learn more about Texas Business Law, Click Here. To contact Nate directly, Click Here.