Legal Contracts Templates: Everything You Need to Know
Legal contracts templates include the terms that form the basis of the agreement. 3 min read
Legal contracts templates include the terms that form the basis of the agreement. The terms may be expressed or implied, and they outline contract warranties or contract conditions.
General Terms and Structure of an Agreement
A contract follows a particular template that may include, but is not limited to, some of the following items:
- Information about the parties involved in the contract. This includes any arrangements made with sub-contractors.
- The duration of the contract.
- Any key terms used in the contract, which are to be clearly defined.
- Any goods or services provided or received.
- Details of the payment and payment dates, along with information about interest applied to late payments.
- Any dates that must be met.
- Information about insurance and indemnity provisions, guarantee, and penalty provisions.
- Specified options for renegotiation or renewal.
- A resolution process for complaints and disputes.
- An outline of any special conditions.
- A discussion of the conditions for termination.
Writing a Basic Contract
When drafting a contract, it is important to include specific details to ensure it is legally binding and clear for all parties involved:
- The contract should include the current date and the names or company names of all the parties involved in the contract.
- The full legal title of a business should be listed on the contract, along with any designation such as "Incorporated" or "LLC." If there is any other identifying information, such as a title, include it.
- In clear, easy-to-read language, describe the services or goods being provided. Should you go to court over a dispute with the contract, the judge will determine how the average person would interpret the way the contract is written.
- Write in detail what one party is promising to supply and what the other has agreed to pay or do in exchange.
- When services are part of the contract, outline what the services are, who will perform the services, where they will be performed, the date to be performed, who they will be performed for, the duration, and for what consideration.
- If real estate is involved, provide the legal description and its exact location. It is advisable to have a real estate agent or a lawyer assist you.
- When goods are being sold, the contract should contain identifying details such as the color, the make, the size, and the model.
- Addendums can be added to the contract if something wasn't detailed or the details are too cumbersome to be included in the contract itself.
- Addendums can be added while the contract is being written or after. All parties must sign or initial their agreement to the addendum.
- You may include a clause stating the other party may not disclose the information in the contract, as well as information about yourself to others.
- Adding a nondisclosure agreement to the contract protects all parties from sharing information about each other.
- Including a confidentiality clause protects businesses from having their trade secrets shared with others. It can also require one party to return the property or information of the other party once the contract has been completed.
- State the duration of the contract.
- Include language clarifying what will happen if there is a breach of contract.
- Include dispute resolution terms. These terms will be the guidelines on how the issue will be resolved if the contract is breached.
- Do not write a contract for the purpose of obtaining illegal goods or services.
- Specify the method of payment(s) and the date scheduled for due payment. Payment terms include a single lump sum, a down payment with follow-up payments, or a monthly payment.
- When all parties are in agreement with the contract's contents, have each party sign and date the contract.
- Keep a copy of the contract for your records and make sure a copy is provided to the other party or parties.
There are several types of common contracts used for specific areas. The two types of intellectual property contracts include:
Business contracts can cover a variety of areas such as:
- Employment-related contracts
- Sales-related contracts
- General business contracts
Standard form contracts are pre-prepared with only a few blank sections for adding information such as names, dates, signatures, etc.
If you need help with legal contracts templates, 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.