Signing a business contract lets you get the basics of the deal in writing and in a document that helps you protect yourself and your business. If you ever had a deal go bad before though, you know that simple having a document signed by two or more people connected to the deal may not give you the protection that you thought you had. This is because one or more of the parties can claim they signed the document under duress or that they did not sign it at all. That is why there are a few steps you should take before signing a contract.
Get a Second Opinion
Don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion or even a third opinion. No matter how many times you read over that document, there is no guarantee that you’ll see the things that you need to see. You might miss out on some wording that holds you responsible for extra costs or some hidden language that increases the amount you’ll pay. Hiring a lawyer to look over the document for you ensures that the contract has your best interests in mind and that one side does not have an unfair advantage over another.
Have a Witness
One issue that can pop up when a contract goes wrong is a lack of witnesses. You generally need at least one witness on the scene who will attest to being there at the time that each person signed. It’s often helpful to have at least one witness for each side at the contract signing. The witnesses must watch as each person connected to the document signs the contract. Your witnesses can speak up on your behalf if there are problems that arise later.
Choose a Notary
In addition to having witnesses, it’s helpful to have a notary at the signing too. A notary New York City professional will watch as each person signs and then notarize the document to clearly state that each person signed. The notary may need to check the ID for each signer to make sure that the right people sign too. This shows the court and anyone else who looks at it know that each individual signed the document of his or her own free will. When you take these steps, you can sign a business contract that is right for you and protects you in the future.