5 contract mistakes small businesses make – and how to avoid them

Managing contracts efficiently is a crucial aspect of running a small business. However, as a small business owner, you may find yourself juggling multiple responsibilities and lacking the resources to dedicate to contract management. From overlooking fine print to forgetting renewal dates, small businesses often face common pitfalls in contract management.

While larger companies may have dedicated teams or resources to handle contracts, small businesses are left vulnerable to these mistakes. In this article we explore 5 common contract mistakes that small businesses make, and provide actionable tips on how to avoid them!

1. Skipping the fine print

Too often, small business owners rush through contracts without fully comprehending the terms. This can lead to unexpected costs, unfair obligations, or legal disputes down the line. To avoid this, simply take the time to review contracts thoroughly, or better yet, consult with a legal professional to ensure you understand all the implications before signing. Even if it may feel reluctant when you have heaps of other stuff to do, it’s for the greater good.

2. DIY Contract Drafting

While it may be tempting to save money by drafting contracts yourself or using generic templates found online, this approach can backfire. Generic contracts may not adequately address your specific business needs or protect you in a dispute. Make sure you know what needs to be addressed in the contract, and when needed, invest in having legal advice professional draft contracts tailored to your business. This will help you mitigate risks and ensure enforceability.

3. Personal liability

Signing contracts in your own name rather than on behalf of your business exposes you to personal liability. It might feel as if you and the business are one, but doing so means your personal assets could be at risk in the event of a dispute or legal action. Always ensure contracts are executed in the name of your business entity, protecting your personal finances and assets.

4. Ambiguous terms

Vague or incomplete contract terms can leave room for interpretation and lead to misunderstandings or disputes. Be specific and precise when outlining rights, obligations, deadlines, and performance standards in your contracts. Clear and detailed terms help minimize confusion and provide a solid foundation for business relationships.

5. Lack of dispute resolution mechanisms

Failing to establish dispute resolution mechanisms in contracts can result in costly and time-consuming legal battles. Consider including clauses for mediation, arbitration, or alternative dispute resolution methods to resolve conflicts swiftly. Proactively addressing dispute resolution can help save time, money, and stress in the long run.

Read more: What is a notice of dispute?

Avoiding contract pitfalls with Trackado

Managing contracts effectively is essential for small businesses to mitigate risks and foster successful relationships. Another effective tip for small business owners is to use an easy and affordable contract management tool to simplify and streamline the processes, while also giving you complete control over your contracts. Trackado offers a user-friendly and affordable contract management solution tailored to the needs of small businesses.

With Trackado, you can streamline contract workflows, track key dates, and ensure compliance, empowering your business to thrive.

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