As your legal friend we are advising you to absolutely never ever copy and paste your own contract, for anything whatsoever…ever…ever… That is what this post is going to be dealing with Don’t Copy and Paste Contracts! rather Customize contracts to your exact needs.
My advice on business and customizing contracts:
I know that small businesses tend to do this because Lawyers are expensive and rarely seem to “get” what you need. But this is not an opportunity to scrap book a contract. Do not copy and paste contracts – really just take the time to customize.
The problem that comes into play when you copy and paste is in short this:
You are most probably copying from contracts of other countries.Our law is different to other countries and if you use clauses that are not in line with our law then it won’t be legally binding.
Interpretation of the document becomes difficult. The point of a contract is to have a legal and binding document. And likewise to be able to interpret this document correctly in order to enforce. This is just like having different designers picking up where another left off, the document doesn’t flow and well gel properly.
Your contract is 99.9 % going to be inconsistent. If the terms of your contract are inconsistent then there are…. LOOPHOLES. To fix the loopholes you would have to take into consideration other emails, documents etc. to prove what the agreement was. And then what was the point of taking the time to copy and paste in the first place?
Penny Wise and Pound Foolish…. using a contract that is not legally binding is probably going to result in you losing your contractual claim. That was supposed to be clean cut. If you have to prove the contents of your contract because it is, well all of the above points, then you might be saving pennies now. But when it matters most it is going to cost you pounds to resolve your claim in court.
It usually also doesn’t look too professional either. Again, one of the reasons you are getting a contract is because you are a professional and you want to do business professionally. If a contract is copied and pasted it also doesn’t look professional if the aligning is not perfect or spacing and numbering not correct.
The moral of the story is to make sure you use Industry Specific Contracts, drafted by one person with preferably a legal background.
The Legal Stuff can really help you with all of the above problems being resolved in one go. If we don’t have a contract for you – email us. We WANT to help you with the right contract for you. You can also read more on our blog about Why Small Businesses should have contracts.