In Missouri, when two parties come to a mutually understood agreement that they intend to have legal force, a contract is formed. There are both written and oral contracts, since all that is required is that the parties agree and understand each other. In business transactions, written contracts are usually preferred for their reliability. These documents are best drafted by those who understand the law, because the very reason for a contract is to legally obligate the parties.

Negotiating a Contract in California

There is more to a contract than what is required for it to be valid in California. The particular terms of the contract should all be discussed separately so that the intent of each party is understood by the other. The terms of the contract may be determined based on clear expectations if both parties are forthright about their intentions early on. Also, parties may want to discuss whether they need a provision for resolving any disputes under the contract.

Using a Form Contract

Many California, Missouri attorneys use form contracts as a template for any new agreement. The attorney will add or remove contract provisions that the parties want, plus modify the specific language of the form contract to meet the parties' needs. This usually saves all parties time and money. There are risks to using a contract that neither party has written, especially if you proceed without the help of an attorney. First, using a form contract makes it more likely that one of the parties will not have understood the terms. This can lead to them being unaware of their duties under the contract. Second, form contracts often use words and language understood only within the legal community. This may cause parties to agree to a term they don't really understand. Whether you negotiate or use a form, an attorney can help ensure that the written contract matches your intent. Many attorneys in California are experts in Missouri contract law.