As a lawyer, I get asked a lot of questions. I do my best to answer all that I can, but it starts to get overwhelming because all my inboxes get flooded! One of the most popular questions, I’ve noticed, is about verbal agreements or oral contracts.
People can be apprehensive about sending a contract to a client – especially if they’re starting their business. My first words of advice would be to get over that. You are going to need contracts in every single relationship you form in your business. Not only do they protect you, but they protect your clients as well!
All hope is not lost if you’re still uncomfortable or unable to provide an iron-clad contract.
If you’re not in a place where you have well-written contracts, or you’ve met clients in person, that’s okay! Verbal contracts or oral agreements are as enforceable as something in writing. They may be more difficult to prove if you end up needing to go to court, but not impossible!
You need to take a few precautionary steps to ensure you have protected yourself. All it takes is sending a simple confirmation email to your client. It should state everything you both agreed upon. It may not be a contract, but you’ll still have everything you need in writing.
Make sure that your email contains these three parts to solidify your agreement.
- The Offer – I want to do (x) for you.
- The Acceptance – Okay, I want you to do (x) for me.
- The Consideration – An exchange of something of value for doing (x).
This covers all your bases and validates the agreement even though they didn’t sign it! You need to be sure that you have stated prices time frames, and anything else to protect you and your business.
If you’re still uncomfortable doing it this way, there is another alternative!
I’m going to be coming to you every week with questions to answer, so stay tuned! If you have questions that you want answers to, make sure you contact me and I’ll be sure to address it in the future!