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 Columbia

There is more to a contract than what is required for it to be valid in Columbia. 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

If an agreement needs a good starting point, you may want to consider a form contract. An attorney in Columbia,Missouri can add or remove clauses according to the intent of the parties, and even the specific language can be made more comprehensible so that expectations are clear. However, form contracts can pose problems if they need to be interpreted by courts, especially if they are used without the assistance of an attorney. First, parties are less likely to read form contracts thoroughly, which may lead to one side 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. Attorneys can help ensure that a written contract matches the intent of the parties, whether negotiating a contract or using a form. Missouri contract law is a field in which many Columbia attorneys have specialized.