As an attorney for small businesses, one of my pet peeves is reviewing a contract a client found on the internet. The contracts are almost always full of typos, riddled with mistakes, and incoherent. I always advise my clients that we must start from scratch to create a contract that is tailored specifically for their business.

Contracts can be the lifeblood of a business. They are used to lay out the terms of business deals with other companies and they create agreements between you and your customers, as well as your employees. They express the terms of an agreement so both parties understand, and they also protect you if unforeseen issues arise.

One unforeseen issue that arose this year that affected almost all businesses, was the COVID-19 global pandemic. This pandemic brought the entire world to a standstill and as a result, businesses and companies couldn’t fulfill their contractual obligations. A well drafted contract, however, would have had provisions in place for a situation such as the one we are in now. These provisions would protect your company if it is unable to fulfill its contractual obligations due to a force of nature or an act of God. Additionally, these provisions would be clearly written and not muddled with ambiguity.

A contract found on the internet cannot give you the security and protection that your business needs. These contracts were often written for other companies and the language contained in the contract is designed to protect that specific company, not yours. It is also hard to know if the contract was even written by an attorney. If an issue were to arise, such as a dispute or a global pandemic, you want to be able to rest assured knowing that your business is protected, rather than finding out that your contract offers no protection, or even worse, is invalid.

Investing in well drafted contracts can literally make or break your company. If you want to ensure that you and your business are protected, it’s time to put the internet contracts away and invest in an attorney-drafted contract.