Georgia Contracts Lawyersigning a contract

Many of our clients will consider entering into agreements with other businesses at some point, and when they do, they come to us to review the terms that the other side is proposing. Our business attorneys have noticed with dismay that people have become desensitized to signing contracts—and that is not surprising when we sign contracts just about every day!

Consider all of the contracts you sign without really thinking about it: click-through agreements for mobile apps and software, terms and conditions for 15 minutes of Wi-Fi at a coffee shop, joining a gym, signing a residential lease, signing a receipt for a credit card purchase, and many more.

The proliferation of legal agreements can make it seem like signing contracts without reading them (because you have no bargaining power to change the terms anyway) is a necessary part of life. But when it comes to your business, the stakes are much higher. It is crucial that you speak with a Georgia contracts lawyer who can help you understand exactly what you agree to when you sign the document.

Typical Information to Include in a Business Contract

Drafting a fair and valid contract should generally be a mutual effort between you and the other party. To that end, there are several essential components that every formal agreement should include in explicit written form, including:

  • The specific purpose of the contract
  • The names and relevant information for every party involved in the contract
  • “Considerations” for all involved parties—in other words, what valuable thing(s) each party will get out of the contract
  • Every condition that each party to the contract must fulfill, as well as actions that would constitute a violation

In general, the clearer and more straightforward a contract is, the better the outcome will be for everyone who signs it. An attorney in Georgia can provide you with crucial guidance and support when drafting a contract for your specific business endeavors.

What Are Some Red Flags to Look for Before Signing a Legal Agreement?

The most important thing to remember before signing off on any legal agreement is that every term and condition in that document is negotiable. It’s essential to read all contracts thoroughly—ideally with help from an experienced lawyer—and identify any problematic sections before putting pen to paper.

Before signing any legal document, here are some key questions to ask and potential problems to keep an eye out for:

  • Does the contract list every proposed party to it, and are there any parties listed that were not part of previous negotiations?
  • Are there any responsibilities or restrictions the contract would impose that seem unreasonable?
  • Is a majority of the risk placed on the party that is most capable of preventing long-term loss?
  • Are there fair remedies in the event of a breach of contract?
  • Are there provisions requiring confidentiality?
  • Do any of the terms release one party’s liability?
  • Are there provisions allowing for early termination of the agreement?
  • Are there procedures put in place to resolve future disputes?

Once you are presented with a business agreement, be sure to ask yourself these questions. Before signing, make sure you consult with a legal professional to discuss the implications of signing the document.

What Could Make a Contract Unenforceable in Georgia?

Under the Official Code of Georgia §11-2-302, a court may declare part or all of a contract to be invalid if it finds the agreement to be “unconscionable at the time it was made.” In layman’s terms, this means that a contract is unenforceable if:

  • It was signed under duress or undue influence
  • It was negotiated based on false or fraudulent pretenses
  • It included at least one party without the capacity to understand what they were signing

If you find an error in your agreement, that doesn’t automatically make it unenforceable. For the document to be invalid, the error would have to significantly impact the fairness of the contract. If you think your business agreement may be unenforceable, get in touch with one of our knowledgeable lawyers right away.

Legal Agreements Can Protect Your Company

Legal language often has a very different meaning than everyday English. There are thousands of key phrases and specific terminologies used in the legal world that are defined by hundreds of years of court decisions, state laws, and federal statutes. Without a seasoned attorney familiar with the language used in legal agreements, interpreting each specific term of a contract put in front of you can be very difficult, if not impossible. If you miss something, you could lose your business altogether.

Consider Hiring a Georgia Contracts Attorney

Signing an unfavorable legal agreement can be detrimental to your business. If you’re in the process of negotiating a deal, let Sparks Law review the terms listed in the document. Our Georgia contracts lawyers can ensure the provisions protect your best interests.