How to write a legal contract

Contracts are agreements which specify terms and have the purpose of holding each party accountable. They generally need to be signed by the sender and the receiver to activate the terms of the agreement, show that they accept the terms of the contract and make it valid, although there are some forms of contracts that don’t necessarily need to be signed for a court to deem the contract valid.

This article will explain the reasons that contracts may or may not need to be signed, and will try to answer the question: does a contract need to be signed by both parties?

What exactly is a contract?

A contract is essentially an agreement for one or more parties to do (or not do) something in return for something of value. A contract can involve multiple parties or be between companies and may involve anything from real estate to investments to gardening services. Government agencies or individuals can also enter into an agreement. If a party doesn’t follow the terms, they may be found in breach of contract.

For something to be classified as an agreement, an offer must be made and then accepted by the other party or parties, and without both the offer and acceptance, there is no agreement. However, on its own, an agreement doesn’t necessarily qualify as a contract.

There are many types of contracts, but at the most basic level a valid contract needs to:

  • Contain an agreement of some kind in some part of the contract.
  • Have consideration (some sort of price or value defined).
  • Have an actual legal purpose.
  • Follow the standard legal requirements set for the relevant classification of the contract.

Does a contract always need to be signed?

Yes, a contract does need to be signed to become a valid contract. There are occasional cases where oral contracts or unsigned contracts may still comply with contract law, but those are risky. By far the most sensible and advisable way to conduct business is to simply get a proper contract drawn up, recruit legal services to give you legal advice, and ensure that each party signs it before commencing work or releasing the payment.

What is the best way to get contracts signed by both parties?

There are two options for signing and ensuring that each party fulfills its legal obligation: physical handwritten signatures, and electronic signatures. The former was the only way of doing things until the last couple of decades and is still very common. It’s simple and effective but is gradually becoming replaced by electronic signatures in many businesses.

This is because it’s essentially an outdated way of signing. Documents must be printed, physically signed, scanned, then sent to the other party to repeat the exact same process. This is time-consuming and increases the possibility of human error interfering with important business.

Electronic signatures are a digital representation of a physical signature, with the exact same function of acknowledgment that the signer accepts the contract terms and still making it an enforceable contract. eSignatures are a useful invention in many ways, mainly because they’re faster and more efficient than traditional signatures.

There’s no need to print, scan or mail contracts unless you want to, copies can be made at the touch of a button, and they can be very quickly sent to any recipients via the internet.

How to use electronic signatures

There are many different ways today to eSign a document and still create a binding contract. Some word processing software, such as Microsoft Word, has built-in eSignature functionality to allow you to add a digital signature to documents. This is a popular way to sign, and is convenient in the sense that it’s all within the same software that most businesses are already using.

However, there are many drawbacks of using Word to sign documents, mostly stemming from the fact that the function is more of an afterthought than an original feature. It can be quite a complicated process for users to add electronic signatures using Word, which means it can be time-consuming and require training for staff to do it properly.

There’s also a functionality gap, as it is difficult to send completed contracts and track metrics about the ways recipients interact with them, among other things. This makes using Word an inconvenient and potentially expensive way of doing things, particularly for sales teams that send a high volume of contracts daily.

An alternative growing in popularity is the use of dedicated software, such as PandaDoc, DocuSign, and others. Many of these services have been built with the purpose of making documents as easy to sign as possible. Some even include other useful functions, like document creation from templates, simpler sending to a large number of recipients, document tracking, automatic notifications and more.

Sign your contracts more efficiently with eSignatures

If you or your organization needs to create and send contracts, then they’ll need to be signed. The fastest and most convenient way to do this is to make sure each party signs electronically, for which you could use a wide range of different software services. With new technology and new dedicated providers now available, older programs like Word are outdated.

Specialized software, such as PandaDoc, SignNow, and DocuSign are great ways for you and your team to effortlessly add eSignatures to as many documents as you like, and with many, you’ll even get extra features to assist with document creation, sending, tracking and more.

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Examples of legally binding contracts include any agreement that adheres to the rules that govern a contract, which technically can range from a rental lease agreement to buying gum at a gas station. Legally binding contracts are contractual agreements that are considered valid under both federal and state contract law. In them, both parties agree to honor the terms set out in the contract, with such terms including a valid offer being made and accepted, and both parties exchanging items of value. A written document is also often required. Failure to meet the terms of any legally binding contract could result in legal action.

Formation of a Contract

Legally binding contracts are governed by two main rules of contract formation, which are those of offer and acceptance. In the first—offer—a party offers to provide a product or service if certain conditions are met. In the second—acceptance—another party agrees to meet these conditions in exchange for the product or service, and so the offer is accepted and a legally binding contract is made. If such an agreement is broken, then legal action can be taken against the party that broke—or breached—the contract.

Intent and Consideration

Intent and consideration are two more factors that are part of a legally binding contract. Intent refers to both parties creating a contract with the intent that the contract should bind them legally. Consideration refers to the agreement that something should be exchanged in the contract, like wages in exchange for work in a contract of employment. If the contract is broken and it goes to court, the intent and consideration will be two factors under scrutiny before a judgment is rendered.

Examples of Legally Binding Contracts

Although legally binding contracts are commonly thought of as official documents requiring signatures and perhaps legal consultation, in truth legally binding contracts can include anything from buying food at a grocery store to having dental work done to having someone cut your lawn in exchange for payment. What matters is not the items exchanged or (in most cases) whether a document is involved, but that the exchange meets the previously stated definition of a contract. That said, certain contracts do require a written agreement, such as sales of intellectual property, shares, or land.

Forms of Legally Binding Contracts

Legally binding contracts need not be traditionally signed paper documents, although in some cases they are still necessary, and having a contract in writing is still generally recommended. Nonetheless, contracts can also be made through phone call agreements, faxes, email exchanges, and even, in some states, texts. What matters is not so much the form the contract takes, but that an offer is made by one party and accepted by another and both parties agree to it. If this occurs, then a breach of contract can be disputed in court.

Certainty of Contract

Although a contract only needs an agreement between two parties to exist, if a dispute involving a contract reaches a court of law, certainty of contract must exist for the dispute to be resolved. What this means is that there cannot be vagueness insofar as the contract is concerned for the parties to be legally bound by it. The conditions and terms should be clearly set out—a judge may try to clarify unclear terms, but a judge may also find an unclear contract unenforceable. For this reason, it is best to have any contract in writing, with the terms clearly set out.

Unfair Contract Terms

Just as having clear terms is important for the validity of a contract, so too is it important that any terms be considered fair and outlined in good faith. If not, a court may find the contract to not be legally binding. Terms will be considered unfair if there is an immense imbalance in how favorable the terms are to one party with respect to another. In respect to these terms being set out between a trader and a consumer, the unfair terms usually favor the trader, and usually, there will have been a lack of good faith—or open, fair dealing—on the part of the trader, as well.

Factors That Could Invalidate a Contract

In addition to unclear or unfair terms, factors that could invalidate a legally binding contract include:

  • Illegal subject matter.Legal contracts cannot deal with illegal activity.
  • A lack of writing. Some contracts, like those dealing with real estate sales, must be in writing.
  • Contract fraud or coercion. Using the threat of force or any other kind of harm to bring a party to agree to terms is illegal.
  • Mistakes. If there is a mistake in the terms or language of the contract, the contract could be invalidated on technical grounds.

If you need help understanding examples of legally binding contracts, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.

How to write a legal contract

Even in a world where people attempt almost any skilled task with the help of Google, YouTube, or Legal Zoom, people continue to ask: is this contract legal?

They aren’t asking (usually) whether the subject matter of the contract is permitted by law.

They really want to know: will what I’ve written be enforceable.

What makes it a contract legal

There are no magic words or phrases that make a contract enforceable by a court.

Enforceability is not acquired by adding “whereas” or “notwithstanding“.

A contract need only establish that one party made a promise to the other for consideration. Consideration is legalese for money. Or something else of value.

If I promise to join you for dinner next Friday, we have not created an enforceable contract, because there was no valuable consideration exchanged. My promise was gratuitious. You didn’t offer me anything but your good company over a meal.

If , on the other hand, I promise to speak at the event you’re planning, for which you’ll pay my fee, then we have an enforceable contract. I will appear and speak, and you will pay.

If either of us fails to do what we’ve promised, a court will attempt to give the injured party the benefit of the bargain.

So here are four tips on drafting a contract that does the job.

How to write a legal contract1. Write out the entire deal

The biggest failing of DIY contracts is incompleteness. They don’t describe fully the performance that is promised. They miss one of the essential terms:

  • who
  • what
  • where
  • when

If you hope that a judge will enforce a contract, it has to be written such that an absolute stranger to the deal, the judge, can read the contract and know what was agreed.

Too many self-drafted contracts don’t contain enough for a stranger to understand the deal.

Now, contracts with missing terms or ambiguities can be enforced. The contract is still “legal”. It’s just that there is a great risk that the missing terms as the judge fills them in don’t match the intent of the parties.

Enforcement of a fragmentary contract is far more expensive than had the contract been complete.

Enforcement of the unwritten terms becomes victim to what each party remembers but didn’t write down.

2. Flush out & write down assumptions

Often, the contracting parties each come to the table with a collection of assumptions about the arrangement. And each party assumes that the other party shares their assumptions.

Only, until you articulate your assumptions, you can’t test whether you are both, really, on the same track.

The unwritten assumptions form part of the deal. A good contract lays the assumption out on paper. If they aren’t shared when you sit down to write the contract, discussion or negotiation ensues.

The exercise of writing it out becomes as important as the writing itself.

3. Explore the “what ifs”

Well crafted contracts provide for the rights of the parties if things don’t go just as hoped when the contract was formed.

  • one party gets sick and performance is delayed
  • the materials aren’t available on schedule
  • the product doesn’t perform as anticipated

My rule of thumb is that the more money that is involved, or the more critical the contract is to your business, the more what ifs the contract should address.

If the consideration is $1000, it’s not worth extended negotiating or drafting to deal with remote possibilities. If it’s a $100,000, it’s worth more to lay out the details.

4. Provide for attorney’s fees

If you expect to enforce the contract in court if it’s breached, then your contract should provide that the injured party can collect its attorneys fees from the other in addition to any other damages.

Because the American Rule about attorneys fees says that each party pays their own attorney, win or lose. That is, unless the contract, or a statute, says differently.

Without a provision that grants the prevailing party the attorneys fees necessary to enforce the contract, it may simply be too expensive to go to court. Or, the cost of representation may consume the damage award.

Write on

With these principles in mind, you can draft a contract that is certain and enforceable. Strive for clarity and completeness.

And if this seem too daunting, take your draft to an attorney and pay only for review and repair of your document.

Because, at the end of the day, a contract only works if you can enforce it.

How to write a legal contract

Mutual agreement and understanding are essential elements of any contract. A contract does not necessarily need to be written for it to be legal. However, a written contract is the best evidence of the parties’ intent, and the written agreement helps clarify each party’s respective obligation. No magic words are needed to create a legal contract, but a court interpreting the agreement will construe it according to its wording, so it must be constructed with clarity and concision.

Step 1

Negotiate the essential terms of the agreement. This generally includes the time frame, each party’s specific obligations, place for performance or delivery, payment terms and conditions and remedies should either party fail to fulfill the contract.

Step 2

Draft a letter of understanding and review it with the other party. A letter of understanding is akin to being a “precontract”; it is a useful tool for reviewing the potential agreement before finalizing.

Step 3

Make any required adjustments or corrections to the terms and conditions of the agreement that arise from the review of the letter of understanding.

Step 4

Write the specifics of the agreement. Use plain language when you intend a word’s ordinary meaning to apply; use definitions if you intend a special meaning.

How to write a legal contract

All business owners understand the importance of contracts. They can help protect businesses and business owners themselves from any number of potential harms or liabilities. However, many business owners do not actually know how to create a legal contract on their own. It is not difficult to make legal contracts that can protect your business once you know how to do it. While there are not many free online courses on the topic, you can still find out the standards your document needs to meet in order to be considered a legally-binding contract in the post below.

Legal Purpose

In order for a contract to be legally binding, it must include a legal purpose. That means that it needs to state the purpose of the contractual obligation being made. For example, if you are agreeing to give 50% of your business profits to a new partner in exchange for their acceptance of equal liability and investment in the company, you will need to state that in the contract. The purpose of legal contracts is also commonly referred to as the offer, object or subject. A contract must have a stated purpose that is lawful in order to be considered legally binding.

Parties

Contract law also requires a legally-binding agreement to state the names of the involved parties. These parties must also be competent. Legally speaking, that means that both parties involved must be of sound mind and legal age. They also cannot be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you are creating legally binding business contracts, be sure to always include information about the parties involved. Also, make sure everyone signs the agreement totally sober and free from any issues with mental cognition to ensure its legality.

Consideration

Legal contracts require consideration as well. Consideration is the idea that each party gains something. That means that you offer something of value to the other party and they offer something of value to you. In order to write a contract that is legally binding, their must be an even exchange of value. If a contract is signed and agreed to by both parties for an exchange that is not beneficial to both parties, it can be contested in court. If you are making an agreement about buying a commercial embroidery machine, for example, there must be information about the amount of money you will exchange for it. Make sure you keep this in mind when creating legally binding agreements for business purposes.

Mutual Agreement

Before the actual consent is given and the deal is done, the contract must also include the mutual agreement that will be made. This means that both parties have to have reached an agreement as to what the actual deal will be. For example if you are bringing a new employee on board, you must outline the job responsibilities they are taking on and the compensation they will earn for those tasks. This is the mutual agreement that everyone consents to in the final component of the contract.

Consent

Consent must also be given in order for a contract to be considered lawful and legally binding. Both parties must agree to the offer on the table. That agreement must be mutual, free and communicated to one another. It is not considered free consent if one party makes the agreement under duress, undue influence, threats of menace or fraud or by mistake. When writing legal contracts, be sure that both parties are 100% ready and able to consent without any outside influence. This will help you ensure that the agreements are legally binding.

If you are a business owner, knowing how to write a legally binding contract is an indispensable skill. The ability to write a contract will benefit your company time and time again. It will also save you money on lawyers services that you would otherwise need to write legal contracts for you. Make sure that any contractual agreements you make include all the contract law requirements detailed above. This way, you can be certain that you have written a legal contract that cannot be contested in court to receive pardons at a later date. Your business will be much better off for it.

A contract agreement letter is a binding contract when it is signed by the parties involved. It outlines the services, goods or real estate space that will be provided by one party to another for agreed-upon terms, time or price.

For handyman services, the letter would outline the work to be done, when it would be completed and how much the handyman would be paid.

Before writing the letter, the employer should research the laws in his or her state. If the letter is not in keeping with the local laws, it will not be legal and not stand up in court if there is a disagreement in the future.

Agreement Letter Vs. Contract

There is no real difference between a contract agreement letter and a contract. A contract agreement letter is a subset of contracts.

To be binding, the letter needs to be signed by both parties, and in some states, it also needs to be signed by a witness.

A contract agreement letter is a legal way to make arrangements between two parties. Once the parties have agreed on the terms and conditions of a job, a letter of agreement needs to be written and signed that reflects the decision.

The parties may be two individuals such as a person and a handyman or between a business and an employee, vendor or customer.

The letter should clearly state all specifics and not have any vague language that is open to interpretation.

Every detail should be mentioned so there is no room for misunderstanding later that could cause legal consequences. The letter may state expectations as well as the consequences if the expectations are not met.

no need for superfluous phrases

The letter should be succinct. There is no need for superfluous phrases or words. It may be worthwhile to show the letter to a third party who can help with language and grammar.

While it may not be necessary for employing a handyman, in other cases it might be a good idea to show the letter to a lawyer. A contract agreement letter is meant to be simple.

Normally, it should have about five items. If the agreement requires legal jargon or requires several clauses and complex terms, it may be better to have a lawyer draft a legal contract.

There is no one-size-fits-all format for a contract agreement letter, but there are five areas the letter should cover.

A description of the project – This includes details of the responsibility of the handyman.

If the handyman needs materials for the job, either the cost of this should be included in the price for the work or the employer should provide the material.

The cost of the project – The letter should clearly state how much the handyman would be paid for his or her work including materials.

For example, it may state that a certain amount will be given at the beginning of the project and the remainder given when it is completed.

The timeline – This should be exact dates when the work will start and finish. There may be a contingency given if the work is not completed on time.

For example, if the handyman is expected to clean an outside barbecue, but the smoke still does not go up the chimney, the employer can refuse to pay until the job is done right.

The payment terms – For a handyman, payment is usually given when the work is complete. It may be given in cash or by personal check, but the method should be stipulated in the letter.

If applicable, the payments could be given over time. For example, the handyman could be paid a certain amount each day he or she works, with a final amount given when the job is complete.

Unforeseen circumstances – There should be a contingency clause that exempts the handyman from not completing the job on time if a natural disaster or severe weather makes it impossible for the handyman to fulfill the agreement.

Below is a sample contract agreement letter for handyman services . The words contract agreement letter should be typed at the top of the page to make it clear what type of letter it is.

Since it is a legal document, it should be written in formal business-letter style and sent through certified mail with a request for a receipt.

Sample Contract Agreement Letter

Name of Employer
Address of Employer
City, State, Zip Code

Name of Handyman
Address of Handyman
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Name of Handyman:

This letter is intended to serve as a formal agreement between you and myself for work in my home at the above address.

Name of Handyman agrees to install shelves on the eastern wall of my garage. The work will take two full days and be done on DATE and DATE. The work will be completed at the end of the working day DATE.

I, Name of Employer, agree to pay the AMOUNT in cash at the end of working day DATE.

This amount includes the cost of labor and materials. The Name of Handyman will provide the wood for the shelves and a receipt for the cost of the wood.

I, Name of Employer, have examined the previous carpentry work of Name of Handyman and find it satisfactory, and expect that my shelves will be as professionally done.

If, for any reason, this is not the case, or if the work is not done on the date stipulated above, I will withhold payment until the work is completed.

Please sign the enclosed copy of this letter and return it to me.

Signature of Employer
Printed Name of Employer
Enclosed: One copy agreement letter

Contracts are essentially formal agreements made between two or more parties. They specify the terms of the agreement, such as what each party will be expected to do and what they will receive in return.

Making sure that any contract is a binding agreement in the eyes of the law is hugely important for everyone involved as it means any dispute or breach of contract that may arise can be quickly and clearly resolved.

Basic requirements

The basic fundamentals of a legally-binding contract are that it must include an offer outlining what is going to be provided, and an acceptance of that offer. There must also be something of value exchanged, which could be a service, goods, money or even a promise to provide one of these things.

There are many other factors involved in determining whether or not a given contract is legally valid and state laws can vary, but some examples of essential elements are:

  • The parties involved are all over the legal age of consent.
  • All parties agree to the contract and terms of an offer of their own free will and in good faith.
  • All parties are deemed mentally able to understand and fulfill the terms of the contract.
  • Everything in the agreement is within the law – for example, a contract would be immediately void if it involved hiring a hitman.

Verbal and written contracts

It’s possible to have either a verbal or a written contract agreement, and either can technically be legal. There are many cases of verbal contracts holding up in court, but it is by no means guaranteed. It is inadvisable to rely on verbal contracts as they are far more difficult to prove, making them a much riskier option even if the agreement is casual in nature. Some types of contracts need to be written, so it’s almost always a good idea to have something in writing if you want it to hold up in court.

Written contracts are by far the most certain way to ensure that your agreement will be valid in legal terms. Something that is almost always necessary with a written contract is for all parties to sign it. A signature is a legally-recognized way to formally accept the contents of the contract and bind yourself to its obligations.

At the end of the day, legal services and lawyers are the people who best understand how to make a contract legally valid, so it’s always safest to get some legal advice about your contract if you really want to be sure that it’s legally-binding.

How can a contract be signed?

A contract can be signed either physically or electronically, and these signatures are an important part of the contract. Physical signatures used to be the only way of signing, and it’s still the most common method overall. However, it’s actually quite a time-consuming process, and in today’s interconnected world, it’s often highly impractical.

Imagine a company doing business with another in a completely different country or state. They would need to print a contract, physically sign it and then either send it in the mail for the other party to sign or scan it and email it to them. Not only does this take a lot of time, but it also introduces the opportunity for human error, things getting misplaced or lost in the mail, and can be expensive.

Electronic signatures, while quite a recent development in the history of contracts are in many ways simpler and more practical. Documents can be stored digitally with no need for printing and can be signed with a click of a mouse or tap of a screen.

Security is also a lot more robust, as the signatures and contracts themselves can be encrypted and stored securely. To top it off, electronic signatures, or eSignatures, are fully legally recognized in many countries (including the US, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, South Africa, etc.) as a valid way to sign contracts.

How to electronically sign a contract

There are now a variety of ways to sign documents electronically. Using Microsoft Word’s built-in eSignature feature is one popular way, but it can be quite complicated to figure out, and Word falls short functionally when it comes to sending contracts, following up, and tracking them once they’re sent.

Probably the easiest and most practical way is to use a service that is specifically designed for contract signing, such as PandaDoc or DocuSign. These services make it as easy as possible to add your signature to a contract and make the contract a formal mutual agreement.

Make sure your contract is legally binding

As a general rule, if you follow the basic structure of a contract, draw it up in written form, consult a law firm specializing in contract law to confirm everything for you, and then get every party to sign it, then your contract is almost certainly going to stand up to legal action.

If you want to make life easy for yourself and everyone involved then using an eSignature service like PandaDoc or DocuSign is an excellent choice. Some of these services even offer a whole range of other functionality, including customizable contract templates, as well as powerful document tracking features to see how recipients interacted with your contracts, helping you to close more deals.

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How to write a legal contract

In legal terms, a contract is any agreement between parties to exchange things of value, such as goods and services for cash. Under state laws, only a few categories of contracts must be in writing, such as a mortgage contract or contracts covering more than a year. It’s still a good idea, however, to have a written agreement for other business transactions since a simple handshake agreement is not always provable if a dispute arises. There is no law requiring a lawyer to write your contract. If the transaction is relatively simple, the contract can also be simple, too.

Naming the Parties

You begin the contract by naming the parties in the agreement. This may seem obvious, but people often write the name of a representative of the entity instead of the name of the entity. If you run a business as a sole proprietorship, it would be appropriate to be identified in the contract as John Jones doing business as Jones Plumbing. If you organized your business as a Limited Liability Company, identifying your participation in the contract by your name could remove any personal liability protection that an LLC provides. Similar issues can arise with a partnership if each individual is identified as a party to the contract. Except for a sole proprietorship, then, enter your business entity’s name and not a personal name as a party to the contract. Otherwise, you will be on the hook and lose the benefit of the limited liability entity you formed.

Define the Scope of the Work

The terms constitute the body of the contract. Start off by clearly defining what it is the scope of the work or service you are to provide, and the timeline you propose to complete the work. Be specific. Don’t simply say you will renovate a client’s kitchen. Provide details of the cabinet designs and type of wood you will use, countertop dimensions and materials, if appliances will be new or existing ones and other materials and work you will provide. Explain the dimensions of the kitchen if you’re expanding it, walls to be removed, etc., and include drawings if that will help. If the kitchen is being rearranged, explain in what ways it will differ and include a sketch of the new design.

If applicable, give a time frame for each phase of a project, but include ranges of time that give you leeway in case one phase runs long or ends early and affects subsequent phases. Think of scenarios where things could go wrong, or not go according to plan, and protect the company’s liability with wording that allows for changes, substitutions and occurrences that are out of your control.

Length of the Contract

Contracts are typically signed for a specific length of time, such as one year. At the end of the contract period, both sides can decide to sign again under the same terms or alter the contract as needed. Or, you or the other party may decide not to sign the contract for another term. Having a defined contract length of time gives you and the other party an easy way to raise prices or alter any part of the contract that wasn’t working well, or to end the working relationship without having to break an ongoing contract.

How Disputes Will Be Handled

It’s natural for disagreements to occur when two or more people work together. Hopefully, these can be resolved easily without outside help. When the two sides can’t agree, though, what will happen? To avoid lawsuits, you could stipulate that disputes will be decided by a mediator instead of a court of law. This could save the company many thousands of dollars by only having to pay a mediator instead of lawyers, court costs and possibly hefty settlements. Or, if you have other ideas on how to handle disputes, put them in writing. Specify the jurisdiction of courts or arbitrators that can be used, such as “in the state of Maryland” or “Washington County courts.”

Specify Time and Amounts of Payments

Entering your hourly rate and projected time for completion, or the total amount of payment for the project may not be enough. Depending on the project’s scope, the contract should include:

  • Any portion of fees to be paid upfront.
  • Any fees to be paid at milestones as a project proceeds.
  • Payment for work completed if a client cancels the contract.
  • Late fees if the client doesn’t pay on time.
  • Hourly rate for your time due to delays caused by the client or for client’s request to perform additional work.

Sign and Date the Contract

The signature block should name the entity, then under the signature, the name and title of the person signing, such as:

Jones Plumbing, LLC By:**** John Jones Manager

Each signee should include the date next to the signature. For partnerships, only general partners can sign a contract, not a limited partner. For LLC’s, a managing member or a hired manager can sign. For corporations, the company’s president or chief executive officer is presumed to have the authority to sign. For an organization or association, a board president would have the authority, but may require a vote of the governing board to approve the deal.