1. What Is a Contract Checklist?
2. Why Is a Contract Checklist Important?
3. What To Include on a Contract Checklist

A contract provisions checklist defines a stepwise procedure for evaluating a contract and ensuring it is ironclad. Use it to cover all of your bases as you complete any type of contract.

What Is a Contract Checklist?

Contract checklists help you organize a contract as you complete it. They are useful for getting everyone on the same page and avoiding miscommunications.

Why Is a Contract Checklist Important?

When contract disputes occur, you will have to hire legal help to resolve them. Breach of contract is a common issue where one party does not completely fulfill the obligations set out in the legal contract. Contract checklists can help you avoid this by methodologically going through each part of the contract and looking for loopholes and unclear language. The checklist helps you remove clauses that are vague as well as think through all aspects of the contract to ensure they are complete and descriptive.

Without such a contract, problems can arise on both sides. Checklists are especially important for contracts given the vast variety of contract types out there. Even ordinary documents, such as bills of sale, consulting agreements, noncompete clauses, and warranties are types of contracts.

What To Include on a Contract Checklist

Put the following aspects in a checklist:

  • Complete details on the offer
  • Conditions and procedures for acceptance
  • Information on all parties involved in the contract (People over 18 and mentally competent by law)
  • The subject matter being contracted under law
  • Language expressing the contract obligation is mutual
  • Language that indicates that both parties agree to the terms by signing the document
  • Valuable consideration

You can further elaborate on your checklist in each category. For instance, as you name each party on the contract, be sure to include each business and individual person's legal name. List the type of business each one represents. These types include sole proprietorships, corporations, LLCs, and partnerships. They should also be listed as such. Also, include the full address of each party in the contract.

The assumptions of your contract include a list of what obligations each person or company has in the contract. Make explicit the legal purpose of the contract.

An entirety clause describes any general terms or conditions of the contract. Besides this, the contract should include terms that apply when something out of the control of one or more parties occurs to cause delays or breach of contract.

The rights of each party are an important part of the contract For example:

  • One clause may indicate that parties can inspect each other's work. If the work is found to be subpar (in other words, not meeting the quality standards set out in the contract), that party may need to remedy their work quality by a certain date in order to avoid breaching the contract.
  • Each party can terminate the relationship or replace certain parties in the contract (like suppliers) if the work quality isn't remedied within the given time frame.
  • The contract should list who is financially responsible for delays or lapses in work quality that cause the project to get off schedule or in need of correction.

Be sure to state that all parties must perform their part of the contract with care and to provide work that reasonably matches their skill level and capabilities. The contract should explicitly give the right to each party to enforce the terms of the contract when they deem it necessary.

Outsourcing is also a part of contract terms; many contracts expressly forbid parties from outsourcing their obligations to another person or company without the express consent of the other parties in the contract.

Notice clauses are helpful for parties who plan to enforce contract terms on another party. The notice clause would state the amount of notice given before certain contract actions go into effect. As you edit the contract, be sure that all relevant numbers (dates, prices, and any other numerical) are clear throughout the contract. Also, include clear start and end dates for all terms. List all the materials needed by each party to fulfill their contractual obligations. Finally, specific payment terms and options are a must.

If you need help with creating a contract provisions checklist, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.