Looking for form contracts?

October 4th, 2021, 10:00 AM

The name of your contract doesn't matter. It could say "contract." It could say "agreement." It could say "subcontractor agreement." It could say "term sheet," or "license agreement," or "master services agreement."

The only thing that matters for your contract is what's in the content.

We see a lot of examples of this, but one of the more popular ones is in the context of an employment contract. Sometimes these are called "employment contracts" or "non-compete agreements" or "non-solicitation agreements" or "restrictive covenants," but no matter what they are called, the actual provisions of the contract are the most important.

For example, you may have a non-compete agreement that includes non-solicitation clauses.  This contract would prevent an employee from going to work for one of my competitors, but the non-solicitation provision prevents the employee from taking any of my customers or employees.  This is why it's so important to actually read the contract.

This is also one of the dangers of finding contracts on the Internet. Just because something may have a certain title doesn't mean the content of the contract actually has what you want.

An example occurred recently with our client who was starting a restaurant. He was renting space from a landlord, but the landlord was also providing all of the equipment, paying all of the taxes, handling all of the maintenance, and really offering to do more than the average landlord would. However, the title of this document was "License agreement."

This is also why if a client asks us for a template or a form agreement, we really need to spend time talking to the client to understand what provisions they want in that agreement.

The good news is that most contracts are not drafted completely from scratch. Most of them do have a template or a starting point. However, there is a significant amount of customization to every contract. And in fact, that customization occurs with the most important provisions.

A competent contract attorney will be able to pull provisions from a number of examples and tie them together as well as draft some original provisions to make sure you're fully protected.  Sometimes we suggest you go and find samples from the Internet to see what kind of provisions you would like in your contract.

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