Common Mistakes: Contracts Part 3


This isn’t my lawyer, but I wish it was. (Funny lawyer image via Mike McCaffrey)

In wrapping up the subject on contracts, I’d like to start by reminding you that contracts are legal documents. Everyone should have a good transactional attorney. I know if you are just starting out that this can be an additional financial burden, but it’s a very important investment.

Here are a few suggestions for working with an attorney:

  • Most attorneys charge by the hour, so make sure you find out how much that is before seeing them. And bring all your “ducks in a row” to minimize cost (e.g. have all the pertinent information you need for the meeting).
  • Find an attorney who has expertise in contracts for the leisure industry (for example, they’ve worked with restaurant, hotels, etc). These lawyers might be more effective for the event industry.
  • I suggest bringing any current contracts you have (if any). And ask the attorney to develop a contract template that allows you to insert specific information for each client. This cuts down on those expensive one on one meetings.
  • It’s also a good idea to have an attorney review any contract that a client or subcontractor brings to you.

I know what you are thinking already, “This is going to cost me an arm and a leg.” Yes, as I’ve said, it’s an investment. However, as business folks without this protection, it might cost you even more.

Is your present contract working for you? On a more personal note, have you ever had a client not pay you after you did the work (like what happened to me)?

(Funny lawyer image via Mike McCaffrey)