When was the last time you looked at your company’s standard form documents. Whether it is a Nondisclosure Agreement, Offer Letter, Employee Agreement, Purchase Order, Terms and Conditions, Product Agreement or any other document you regularly use with customers, suppliers, contractors or employees, today is a good time to take a look at what you are sending.
If it has been a while, you should look at the following items:
- Does your form agreement still match your business purpose? If your business has evolved since your form was initially drafted, chances are that your business form no longer does what your business needs. This can place your business in a precarious position when you need to enforce the agreement — or what you thought the agreement provided!
- Do your form agreements contradict each other? If you are like most businesses, your form agreements have developed one at a time. Unfortunately, this means there may be inconsistent provisions in agreements that relate to each other. For example, the terms and conditions in your Proposal may not match the terms and conditions in your Invoice. In this case, which provisions govern. When a problem arises, you can bet that will be an important question!
- Did you just use Google to get a form? If so, it is VERY important to carefully review the document. There are a lot of documents out on the Web, but that does not mean they are good or that they fit your purpose at all. In fact, many forms on the Web are examples of what not to use!
- Do you not have any forms? Although this may be OK while you are a start-up, once you grow beyond a start-up, contract management becomes very important. Effective contract management will save your business considerable time and energy. A basic set of forms tailored to your business is a perfect way to start.
For more information on reviewing or preparing business forms, please contact attorney David Baer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612.767.3311.