Whether you’re going into business with a close friend or relative or a casual acquaintance, it is always in everyone’s best interest to put your contract in writing. Simply shaking hands on a contract can become very problematic in the long run. Two parties may be able to easily reach a business deal with a handshake, but later on those same two parties could be in court telling the judge two totally different interpretations of what they may honestly believe was in their oral agreement. While your oral “handshake” agreement may be enforceable underGeorgialaw, you’re setting yourself up for an uphill battle if problems arise under that agreement. Furthermore, some contracts inGeorgiaare only enforceable if they are written (e.g. a contract for the sale of land or a contract which cannot be completed within one year). You do not want to enter into something that you believe is a valid agreement, only to learn later that it was never enforceable.

Besides, there are a lot of benefits to having a written contract. A written contract ensures that there is evidence of all the terms of your agreement. If a disagreement arises between the two contracting parties, there will be a document for both parties to look at when trying to determine whether their actions are in accordance with the contract. Unlike your memory, the words on the document will not fade and will remain exactly the same as when you signed the document. Also writing out the terms of the agreement can spark more detailed discussions of what you want to be achieved through your contract.

Working with an Attorney to create your contract, will also help to ensure that all your needs are met, and that you cover all your bases. An Attorney can also help to make sure all the terms in your contract are in accordance withGeorgialaw. Also if you are unsure of the meaning of certain terms in your contract, an Attorney can help to explain those terms to you. Once you sign that contract it may be too late, the Court will assume that at the time you signed the contract you understood and agreed to all those terms. Therefore, it can be very helpful to have an Attorney go through the contract with you to make sure all the terms are agreeable to you. Plus, spending a little bit of money now to get an Attorney to review or draft a contract for you could save you thousands of dollars in the long run if you can avoid going to court for guidance due to a badly written or oral contract.


© Ron Reemsnyder 2018.


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