September 25, 2023 in Business

Business to Business Contracts- The Lurking Dangers

Have you been asked to sign a business contract?

Do you know the Dangers that you need to avoid.

Five reasons why you should not sign a commercial contract you have not read and understood.

  1. B2B contracts from larger more powerful party will be slanted in their favour. That is business. You are not a consumer with rights but supposedly a businessperson who can look after themselves. A commercial contract does not have to be fair. It can exclude liability for almost everything but injuring, killing, or defrauding the other party. So, make sure you understand what you sign.
  2. If you find you do not like a signed contract your only route is to sue the large business and explain why you did not make sure you knew what you were signing at the outset- to be avoided at all costs.
  3. You may find the contract has some legal meaning you did not understand. Words can have a specific legal meaning. Do you know what ‘time is of the essence ‘means?
  4. You may find the contract does not reflect changing circumstances. An agreement good one year may be fine but if the other party sells out the new party may totally move the goalposts. If you just sign a contract, you can be badly caught out.
  5. You may find that a contract for a year does not just end after a year. Hidden in the contract is the requirement that you must take certain steps to end it. If you miss a set deadline, you are automatically committed to another year with the related costs. This often catches people out.

Too many small businesses just sign documents they do not read or if they do – do not understand.

Too many large businesses rely on smaller businesses doing this. Little effort is made to use plain English so that it can be easily read by a non-legal person. There is no reason why a legal document cannot be easily read- just history, culture, and acceptance.

So, tips:

  1. Read everything.
  2. Make sure you understand everything.
  3. Ask someone who does understand it all to check it through.

Then at least you will know what you are committing to – even if you do not like it.

Contact us if you want your documents read by someone who does understand them.