The Fear of Contracts

I talk a lot about contracts (Let’s get real, they are my bread and butter). Contracts are the foundation of any successful business. They act as roadmaps guiding the parties to a successful business transaction. They anticipate potential issues and create a mechanism to resolve them.

I’ve seen some clients fear contracts. They avoid having well written, comprehensive contracts for the fear of losing clients. I recently spoke to a photographer who wanted to have a client service agreement/contract in place for his business. He had been using an agreement that was handed to him by peers in the industry. Recently, he had a payment issue with one of his clients and lost a substantial sum of money. So he decided to consult me to get a legal opinion and a real contract.

I took a look at the contract that he had been using for over 5 years, and noticed that it was missing a lot of key clauses that would help avoid issues of non-payment and other liability related claims. I sent him a proposal and a snapshot of what a business contract would look like. He thought that a contract was too serious in its tone and not in line with the kind of clients he dealt with. He feared that his clients would not hire him if he asked them to review and sign a formal contract.

Here’s the thing though. Clients actually feel secure when there is a contract because they know exactly what services they are going to get for the money that they spend. Clients hire the services of a professional for their skill and expertise. Signing a contract will not alter their decision to hire a professional that they feel comfortable working with. This fear has absolutely no basis. I would hate to see you lose money or get into some legal trouble because you didn’t have a contract.

Here’s a list of contracts that a business needs:

  1. Client Service Agreements

  2. Operating Agreements

  3. Shareholder Agreements

  4. Supplier Agreements for goods/services

  5. Vendor Contracts

  6. Employment Contracts

  7. Independent Contractor Agreements

  8. Non-Disclosure Agreements

  9. Buy-Sell Agreements

  10. Joint Venture Agreements

  11. Website Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

  12. Licensing and Assignment Agreements

At Nupur Shah Law, we help business owners and creative entrepreneurs with contracts and intellectual property rights. Call us at 646-820- 1366 or email us at I am happy to have a complimentary conversation with you on how to secure and/or defend your rights.

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