In Pennsylvania, a contract is different from a normal agreement in that the parties to a contract intend their agreement to have legal effect. Contracts might be oral or written, as long as both parties have the same understanding of the terms of the agreement. A written contract is usually preferred by most businesses, because that make the agreements more reliable. Contracts may involve legal principles, so they are best formed with a clear understanding of the law.
Negotiating a Contract in Washington
Along with particular clauses that should be included in every Washington contract for it to be valid, it is important to adequately discuss each term to make sure that the intent of each party is understood by the other. Stating your intentions clearly at the beginning of negotiations is helpful, since then the parties may carefully detail the obligations and duties of the contract based on mutual expectations. Also, you may want to negotiate a process that can be followed should one party not fulfill its end of the contract.
Using a Form Contract
Form contracts can serve as a good starting point for a sound agreement. Lawyers in Washington, Pennsylvania often keep past contracts on file, and can add or remove clauses based on the situation. They can also reword the specific language of form contracts to make them more clear. There are risks in using form contracts without the advice of an attorney. First, parties are less likely to read form contracts completely, 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 clause they don't really understand. With either a negotiated contract or a form, an attorney can ensure that the written document matches the intent of each party. Lawyers in Washington often specialize in Pennsylvania contract law.