Contracts are important in business, but not everyone can read a contract. Or should I say, they don't want to read a contract. Most businesses have attorneys that their entire job is to read contracts for the companies and make sure that the company is complying and getting a good deal.
Bloggers and startups usually don't have the money to hire teams of attorneys. So I am going to give you some quick tips to know what you are looking at when you are reading a contract.
Tips for Reading Contracts
1. Know what is being offered.
No matter what side of the contract you are on, you should know what is being offered. When you are looking at a contract, you should be able to summarize what is being offered to you or the other side. If you can't do that, then read it again. If you still don't, then you need to be on the phone with the other side. Don't be afraid to ask questions: you have to protect your business.
2. Pay Attention to Definitions.
Definitions aren't there to make it more confusing. It is a way to alleviate any "outside" notions of what a term may mean. So, know what the words you are looking at mean. For example, in a contract if the word "post" is defined as a article on a website that is considered to be between 300-400 words, then that definition has just told you what is expected of you. When you go back and read the contract and you see the word post, then you know exactly what you are supposed to writing. Whether you agree with it or not is a whole different topic.
3. Know the terms.
This goes along with definitions. Know what the terms of your contract are. I think an example is probably best here:
1. Your contract says that your article must be posted on social media sites once a week for 3 weeks. It doesn't give you what sites.
See the problem here: There is Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, and so many more. Your terms haven't been defined. So, you are in the dark about what you should be doing. So, make sure you know the terms.
4. Don't be Scared to Ask
People seem to be scared of asking questions about contracts, but why? Well one, is they don't want to look like they know less than others. But guess what, they only way to learn something is to ask. Second, people don't want to look weak. Being taken advantage of because you don't want to ask questions is weak.
****Hey there sunshine! I just wanted to let you know that yes, I am an attorney, but I am NOT YOUR ATTORNEY. The information above does not put us in an attorney-client privilege contract type setting. Even though you are reading this, it doesn't mean that I am giving you legal advice as an attorney.