When parties to an agreement intend it to have legal effect, that agreement is called a contract. In Missouri, contracts may be oral or written, as long as both parties have the same understanding of the terms of the agreement. Most businesses want to solidify their agreements in writing so that they can rely on them in the future. Since many legal principles may be involved, drafting a contract works best when done with as much knowledge of the law as possible.

Negotiating a Contract in Washington

There is more to a contract than what is required for it to be valid in Washington. The particular terms of the contract should all be discussed separately so that the intent of each party is understood by the other. Being forthright about your intentions early on can be helpful, because it allows the terms of the contract to be determined based on clear expectations. Lastly, a clause that determines how to handle a dispute under the contract may be worthwhile to negotiate.

Using a Form Contract

Many Washington, 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, form contracts have the tendency to go unread. Any party who does not carefully review all the contract terms can be left unaware of their obligations under the contract. Second, form contracts will often contain language that is difficult to understand outside the legal community. This can cause disagreement over the meaning of a term. Whether you decide to negotiate a contract or use a form contract, an attorney will be able to help you ensure that the written instrument matches your intent. Many lawyers practicing in Washington are experts of Missouri contract law.