People make agreements all the time, from planning with friends to deciding what the family we’ll be having for dinner; it’s a normal part of life that doesn’t really need a lot of explaining to understand. There’s nothing too difficult about two people coming to an equitable conclusion that benefits each party — it’s a humanistic process that has stood the test of time and proven quite useful in very formal matters.
However, nowadays, people have become too reckless with reading the “fine print,” and some not even batting a single eye at the entire document, as evidenced by the vast majority of people who never read the terms and conditions on applications. What’s worse, this destructive habit also resurfaces in many other legal documents, which is why we’ve decided to put our foot down and explain just why you must always read your contracts carefully before jumping to conclusions.
#1 Sets Clear Limitations And Expectations
When you allocate sufficient time to reading and understanding the clauses in your contract, you can easily identify the set expectations on your end of the agreement and also know what limitations your role entails. In doing so, you can avoid overlapping responsibilities to ensure efficient use of time and resources and even prevent overstepping your actions that could potentially be cause for termination.
For example, in a B2B agreement that enables a strategic partnership between two brands, knowing the expectations for each party will facilitate smooth operations and the speedy accomplishment of their shared objectives. Furthermore, knowing your limitations in the same scenario prevents you from overdoing your part and ensures that party B also holds up its end of the agreement.
#2 Understand Procedure For If-then Situations
It’s nearly impossible to account for all would-be scenarios, but a thorough and comprehensive contract will at the very least cover the intended procedures for potential challenges and if-then situations. Therefore, carefully reading your contracts will inform you of the previously agreed steps that need to be taken in case a situation well within your expectations occurs.
Furthermore, this will also prevent party B from pulling the rug out from underneath you with a “proposed compromise,” which could very well be a strategic maneuver to sway the agreement in their favor. Plus, considering that the current Covid-19 global pandemic has altered many agreements, being informed and increased awareness should always remain a top priority.
#3 Limits Your Liability And Guarantees Protection
While contracts are signed to serve the benefit of all parties concerned, a good rule of thumb is to always limit your liability and guarantee the protection of your business entity on the off chance that results will prove less optimal. And taking the time to read your contracts before signing on the agreement will most definitely help you check off these conditionals and ensure a net positive no matter how the agreement turns out.
In addition to this, a limited liability within the contract signed and any formal agreement also protects you from any ulterior motive the other parties might have in mind. Therefore, making it increasingly important that we approach all agreements with scrutiny and careful attention.
How To Avoid Contractual Issues And Disputes
Now, despite those three advantages mentioned above, sometimes agreements do get terminated, and both parties end up going through contractual issues and disputes. Luckily enough, avoiding these challenges is manageable so as long you follow two specific rules that will prevent you from signing on problematic clauses.
Always Consult Legal Counsel:
Firstly, we strongly recommend that you consult legal counsel before signing on a contract because any of the terms and conditions agreed upon can be held liable against you. Therefore, it’s always much safer that you approach legal professionals such as Duxton Hill Chambers to provide you with expert assistance on all contractual matters that you should be made aware of.
Don’t Rely On Verbal Agreements:
Secondly, you must avoid relying on verbal agreements and oral contracts because they are difficult to enforce and having agreements written on paper is not that hard to do. In doing so, you will prevent a lot of headaches and trauma from ever happening and potentially saving you from the trouble of party B slightly changing what was previously agreed upon.
Better Safe Than Sorry
In conclusion, we firmly believe that everyone should take the time to read their contracts, whether it be something simple as going through the terms and conditions of a new application or something with more weight like an agreement between two companies. It’s always better to read the fine print, and you’re better off safe than sorry when it comes to legal contracts anyways.