“Why Contracts Are Really Your Best Friend”

From Twitter User Melissa Findley (@Mercuralis) https://twitter.com/Mercuralis

I discovered this Tweet back in 2010 and it says exactly what I am telling people on a regular basis:  business relationships need to be documented with written agreements, even if (some would say particularly if) the relationship if with a friend or family.  I am frequently told that requiring something in writing is “to formal” or “not necessary”.  People I encounter regularly feel that asking for something in writing is a sign of distrust.

Why is it distrustful to take an action that protects both parties to the relationship and could prevent a protracted legal dispute?  That is precisely what creating a properly drafted written agreement provides:

  1. It spells out the terms of the relationship removing confusion and doubt;
  2. It defines and clarifies each parties’ ownership of and rights to use the work in the future;
  3. It promotes discussion and negotiation of terms while the parties are on good terms;
  4. It adds credibility to the relationship because each party was willing to “put it in writing”;
  5. It provides a reference to clarify disputes when issues arise.

If you have any questions about these items or want to discuss anything about contracts, please email me or call me.

Posted by Shawn Roberts

On this blog, I write about and try to answer practical Oklahoma legal questions. My focus and most experience is in estate planning and business issues including Oklahoma non-compete law. I make a living as an attorney in the law firm I founded, Shawn J. Roberts, P.C. in Oklahoma City. I live in Edmond with my wife Amy and my two children, Sam (19) and David (11). We live precisely in the path of where the "wind comes sweeping down the plains."


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