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How To Prepare Legal Agreements

When preparing legal agreements (and, contracts) you should ALWAYS pay close attention to the proper description and statement of the parties.

In addition, the "name(s)" of the person(s) or business entities, and/or in some instances "both" which are going to be part of the agreement. This may seem like general information but it's really vital that you... "Get the proper description (statement) of the parties perfectly correct the first time". You should insert in the contract their "full name" and not a "shortened version." For instance, type and/or write "Dr. Peter J. Jones" instead of just typing "Pete Jones." In the unlikely event your contract ever gets involved in litigation then having the correct (and, full) name of the parties is absolutely crucial.

Correctly Identify Both Parties

Legal forms must include the right usage of names. Another important reason for having contracts and agreements include the right and complete usage of "names" is that it clearly outlines the "parties to the contract" and the terms and conditions of the contract. By taking time to establish that ALL information (and pertinent) details are correct you will have "peace-of-mind" because there can be NO question about the parties' intentions later. This is especially so whenever particulars have been changed and/or forgotten. Important: "Don't hesitate to correctly identify both parties by the location of their (current) residence.

As previously mentioned, when preparing legal forms as "Dr. Peter J. Jones" clearly state the party is "Dr. Peter J. Jones, with the "current residential address" of "505 Gaming Street, Los Vegas Nevada." It's vital (especially in a court of law!) that you insert in the legal form the "full and proper names" of the parties when you're preparing legal forms contracts. In a case where you're doing business with a company (that's registered and state incorporated!) make sure that you ask for an "original copy" of the articles of incorporation to verify that you have the name(s) correctly. Why? Because there's literally millions of registered corporations (and, businesses) in the United States, and it's possible to insert the wrong name because of subtle "differences" in names which are often very similar.

Lawyers Try To Dispute Claims

In some cases, it may be ALMOST impossible to bring about a successful legal case for say "breach of contract" because a knowledgeable lawyer representing the other party claims you've actually been dealing with some other company and not that of his clients. For example, you may have entered into a contract for a specific service on behalf of your customer, let's say the name of: ACE Fencing Supplies.

You may think that the correct company name is ABC Fencing Supplies Inc., but in fact, the actual name on file with the State may be, ACE Fencing & Supplies Inc... "A Subtle Difference In Some Cases, But It's Enough To Lose Your Case In A Court Of Law!" This may not seem like a big difference to you but in a court of law the magistrate may have second thoughts about awarding you damages if for argument sake, your customer doesn't pay you. The sad fact is: a customer who doesn't wish to pay you under the terms and conditions of your agreement could also be ready to say: "Listen, the agreement for supplies wasn't with me (or my business) so I don't owe you a single cent."

What State Is The Corporation Registered?

An equally as important issue for you to consider when preparing legal forms and contracts whereby you enter into business dealings with another local business is that you properly identify the "State" of where the company (or, business) is actually registered. You should ALWAYS clearly define in a legal form the full name of the business and precisely where its offices are located.

Remember that the more precise you are in "identifying the parties" the better the chance of avoiding any legal problems especially if it ever winds-up in a court of law. You should always review any document that you're about to enter into. Why? Because you should spot somewhere early in the agreement a statement that both parties agree on a certain amount of money, goods, products, services, etc., known as a "consideration." The notion of a "consideration" in a legal agreement has a long history in the law courts of this land.

A "Consideration" simply denotes something of value in the eyes of the law. An exchange of "consideration" no matter whether it's financial or something else of "Value" is crucial for the contract to be legally enforceable. The parties (who date and sign a legal form) must "give and receive" something of value in the eyes of the law. That "something of value" could be either one party hand over (that they'd not otherwise be indebted to hand over) or it could be "some right" that they give up (that they'd otherwise have been entitled to exercise). For example, if you agree to buy a car for cash then you MUST agree to "hand over" the cash directly to the seller, and the seller agrees to "hand over" the car to you. By doing so there is a "consideration," or sufficient monetary value for the legal form to be enforceable.

Other Types of "Consideration"

Here is a different "Consideration" example. It is a "mutual release of claims" Let us say, you damage a parked automobile (by accident) and you offer to pay the owner $ to settle out of court. In a case like this, you agree to "hand over" the $ to the owner, and the owner agrees that they will not issue you with a summons. In this case, "you should get the owner to sign a written "release of liability" or a "general release form"" to prove you've settled this matter between both parties mutually.

Now, in this case, the "consideration" from your side ($?) and the consideration from the owner's side (the giving up the right to sue for damages) is legally binding. Even though the owner did not give up anything physical, there is a "consideration" to support the contract because he or she (i.e. "the owner") relinquished their legal right.

Term & Termination - A Powerful Clause

Term and Termination: A powerful clause you always insert in a contract is the "Term and Termination" provision. A contract usually runs for a specific term or time period, and that period should be identified in the contract. The term may be stated, in a simple wording such as: "The term of this Contract will be for 24-months as of the date and signing of this Contract." What happens once the contract term has expired? You might think that the contract is finalised (and, usually it is) but in some circumstances (and, in some states of America) a contract may be deemed to automatically "renew" itself for an extended period of time and in most cases its equal to the initial term. This could be true if the parties continue to "act" once the term has expired. However, this is NOT usually the case where it involves any business transactions or dealings in property. For example: if you were to continue selling a certain brand of product, and the customer agrees to continue paying (in accord with the terms as outlined in the legal form one party may reach a conclusion that the dated & signed form "has been extended" and/or renewed by the conditions as agreed upon by both parties), and for this reason, it may be essential to clearly state if you intend for the contract to be renewed.

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