Home > Contracts & Law > Making Your Own Contracts

Making Your Own Contracts

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 9 Jun 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Making Contracts Legal Written

Many people would find the idea of drafting their own contracts very daunting. The assumption for some is that legal expertise and contract law knowledge would be needed before attempting this task. But legal expertise is not always necessary when making your own contracts, although it is vital in some cases. As long as you follow some simple guidelines it is quite easy to set out your own contract.

Binding Contracts

The fundamental basis of a contract is offer and acceptance. When one party makes an offer and the other accepts they are basically entering into a legally binding contract. But the contract will not be deemed complete until all the terms and conditions have been laid out. This does not necessarily have to be done in writing; a verbal contract can still stand as legally binding, but it is a wise move to have some form of written contract.

Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions of a contract are a very important aspect of the binding agreement. If a breach of contract were to occur and a dispute was brought before a court, a judge would look into the terms of the contract very carefully. All the terms and conditions must be laid out carefully before the contract can be deemed legally binding. These terms must not be ambiguous or vague; they must be clearly understood and accepted by both parties.

The terms and conditions must also be complete, which means that no further terms and conditions are to be added to the contract at a later date. There can be changes to a contract at a future date, such as employers changing job specifications for an employee, but the original terms and conditions must stand.

Contract Types

It is very wise to have a written contract when dealing with any form of financial service. Contracts will vary and some may be more complicated than others; this will be when legal advice will be needed. For example, an employer who is hiring an overseas employee will need formal paperwork and contracts, which may be the job of the human resources department.

Some contracts can be very simple and will state some basic business particulars, the offer, acceptance, timescale and the remuneration. Some contracts can simply be verbal agreements between two people, and verbal agreements can be classed as legally binding. Having a written contract does make sense, especially where money is involved, in case of any later disputes over a breach of contract.

Downloadable Contracts

If you are looking for a basic contract without any legal expertise involved then it may be a good idea to check the Internet. In a lot cases you can simply type in the type contract you need into an Internet search engine and you will be able to download a basic contract. Some of the contract providers will charge you for the templates and there is no guarantee that these contracts have been made with any form of legal input. Remember there are some cases where legal contracts are needed such as the sale of property and tenancy agreement;, solicitors will be needed to draft these contracts.

Contract Checklists

If you are considering drafting your own written contract then careful consideration over the contract components will be needed. Items that should be included in any contract will be dependant on the type of contract but will usually include:

  • The name and address of both parties.
  • Offer and acceptance.
  • Time schedule.
  • Specification of services.
  • Fees.
  • Terms and conditions of the project.
  • Dates and signatures of both parties.
  • Liability clause.
  • Breach of contract clause.
If you are making your own contracts the main aim is to make sure that all of the terms and conditions are clearly laid out. Both parties must not be under any misunderstandings as to their responsibilities and expectations. A written contract can save a lot of time if any dispute arises as it can then be referred to at a later date.

Written contracts are a wise idea regardless of whether you are making your own contracts or employing a legal expert to make them for you. They serve as set rules of expectation for the parties involved in an agreement. If there is a written contract then it is much easier for a dispute to be settled should one arise, or if the matter is taken to the legal courts.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
V - Your Question:
25 years ago a family member borrowed all of my life savings and gave an assurance they would pay me back the following month due to some business deal they were doing. This did not happen and the person in question refused to pay me back for the next 20 years (they told me I had nothing in writing and couldn't prove anything). This left me in dire straights. Two decades later they apologised and paid back the initial amount borrowed and said they realised they also owed me a considerable amount of interest which they intended to also pay. I am aware that they are very likely to receive a windfall in the next year or two and would like to get something enforceable in writing. They have also indicated that they would be agreeable to this. I have drafted a promissory note for them to sign but have read online that a promissory note has to state a specific sum to be repaid in order to be enforceable. The only specific sum my drafted note refers to is the amount originally borrowed, which has now been paid back and is quoted as the figure to be used to calculate the interest. Obviously the outstanding interest will run until the date repayment is made and I was going to use the 'Accumulation of interest on long term investment' calculator on Measuring Worth's website to calculate the exact amount at the time of repayment. The website state's it uses historic long term interest rates obtained from the Bank of England. I would be very grateful for some advice on what wording I should use to reference this online calculator (if appropirate) in the promissory note and whether the note will be legally enforceable if the only figure mentioned is the original sum borrowed?In case this person's anticipated windfall does not materialize, I was going to include a fall back clause stating that in the event they did not receive any money they would pay back by the time 5 years have elapsed at the latest. I have read something which says a promissory note is not enforceable if it is 'conditional'. Would this fall back clause count as a condition and therefore make the note unenforceable? I am assuming not - as it is more of a condition relating to when the money will be paid as opposed to saying 'I will only pay it back if.' Again, I would be very grateful for advice.

Our Response:
If you wish to make this agreement formal, I suggest you ask a solicitor to draw it up. We cannot give additional advice.
ContractsAndAgreements - 12-Jun-17 @ 4:20 PM
25 years ago a family member borrowed all of my life savings and gave an assurance they would pay me back the following month due to some business deal they were doing.This did not happen and the person in question refused to pay me back for the next 20 years (they told me I had nothing in writing and couldn't prove anything). This left me in dire straights.Two decades later they apologised and paid back the initial amount borrowed and said they realised they also owed me a considerable amount of interest which they intended to also pay.. I am aware that they are very likely to receive a windfall in the next year or two and would like to get something enforceable in writing. They have also indicated that they would be agreeable to this. I have drafted a promissory note for them to sign but have read online that a promissory note has to state a specific sum to be repaid in order to be enforceable. The only specific sum my drafted note refers to is the amount originally borrowed, which has now been paid back and is quoted as the figure to be used to calculate the interest.Obviously the outstanding interest will run until the date repayment is made and I was going to use the'Accumulation of interest on long term investment' calculator on Measuring Worth's website to calculate the exact amount at the time of repayment.The website state's it uses historic long term interest rates obtained from the Bank of England.I would be very grateful for some advice on what wording I should use to reference this online calculator (if appropirate) in the promissory note and whether the note will be legally enforceable if the only figure mentioned is the original sum borrowed? In case this person's anticipated windfall does not materialize, I was going to include a fall back clause stating that in the event they did not receive any money they would pay back by the time 5 years have elapsed at the latest. I have read something which says a promissory note is not enforceable if it is 'conditional'.Would this fall back clause count as a condition and therefore make the note unenforceable?I am assuming not - as it is more of a condition relatingto when the money will be paid as opposed to saying 'I will only pay it back if...'Again, I would be very grateful for advice.
V - 9-Jun-17 @ 9:59 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ContractsAndAgreements website. Please read our Disclaimer.