Be sure to have actually READ your contract before signing. Keep in mind that once you have signed, you are entering into a legally binding contractual relationship with the other party. There isn’t usally a cooling off period – particularly if you are a business rather than a consumer.
Here are a few things to watch for – really not rocket science but you’d be surprised…
- Read the Entire Document before Signing : After signing the document, it is assumed that you have read, understood, and agreed to all of the terms. If the other party states that a portion or paragraph of the contract does not apply to you, delete or cross out that section. You and the other party should initial next to the correction.
- Ask Questions : If you are unsure about ANYTHING in the contract, or do not fully understand the document, ask the other party about these areas. Or STOP and take legal advice.
- “Standard Terms ” : Beware when the other party simply indicates that this is simply a “standard document” and you should not worry about reading it. Be aware that few legal documents are “standard.” Contract terms vary and it is a good idea to have someone else read through the document.
- Take Time to Consider the Full Agreement : Do not be pressured into signing an agreement before you are ready. Allow yourself to take time to consider your options, priorities, or the contract itself if you need it. Take your decision to sign seriously, as you will be making a large commitment and investment. Your signature indicates your immediate commitment to the terms of the contract. Take time to make an educated decision – or you may regret it.
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