Do contracts need to be looked over or written by an attorney to be legally binding? As always, I’m here to demystify the complex legal jargon for you and empower you to grow your business on your own terms.
Episode 124. Can You Write Your Own Contracts?
In this episode, you’ll hear…
- Whether a contract needs to be written by an attorney
- What makes your contract unenforceable
- Ensuring your contracts are legally binding
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The Legality of Contracts: An Overview
So, let’s talk about contracts. A contract doesn’t necessarily need to be written or reviewed by an attorney to be legally binding. Technically, anyone can write any contract. There’s nothing uniquely enforceable about a contract just because an attorney drafted or reviewed it. However, there’s a catch. Contracts that aren’t written by an attorney are more likely to run into other issues that can cause legal issues down the road.
What Makes a Contract Unenforceable
The lack of a professional attorney’s touch doesn’t render a contract unenforceable on its own. Instead, it’s what the contract lacks due to the person drafting it without legal expertise. Key provisions might be absent, making it less robust and less likely to protect you. Additionally, the lack of clarity and organization can muddy the terms of the contract and confuse both parties. Thereby, compromising its effectiveness. Also, DIYed or copy-pasted contracts often fail to be sent and signed correctly. Which is a mandatory requirement for any contract to be legally binding.
How To Ensure Your Contracts Are Legally Binding
Want to know how to ensure your contracts are legally binding? Good news! I have a whole podcast episode dedicated to this topic where I walk you through how to send and sign contracts correctly. What they should and shouldn’t say, and more. I’ve included the link to that episode in the show notes, so be sure to check it out.
Additionally, to simplify the process and give you peace of mind, I offer contract templates that you can download, fill out, and use as your own. You can find all of my legal templates on my site, samvandermeeland.com/shop. I’ll drop the link to that below. This way, you get contracts that are legally sound without needing to draft them from scratch.
Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, understanding the legalities of your business contracts is crucial. So take the time to ensure that your contracts are legally binding. And remember to always make decisions that align with your business goals. That way, you can grow your business confidently, on your terms.
Sam Vander Wielen: Hey there, and welcome back to On Your Terms. I’m Sam Vander Wielen, your host. I’m an attorney turned entrepreneur who helps online business owners legally protect and grow their online businesses.
And each week, I do at least one episode dedicated to a question from you. And this week’s question comes from our listener, Merritt. Merritt asks, "Do contracts need to be looked over or written by an attorney to be legally binding?" That is such a good question, Merritt.
And so, on the one hand, no, contracts don’t need to be looked over or written by an attorney necessarily in order for them to be legally binding. Meaning, that any contracts can be written by anyone. There’s nothing particularly unique about an attorney themselves drafting or reviewing one that makes it enforceable in and of itself just because an attorney wrote it.
On the other hand, contracts that aren’t written by an attorney, they don’t tend to be super great. And that’s then what ends up making them not legally binding, a.k.a. not enforceable. So, it’s not the fact that the contract wasn’t written by an attorney is what makes it unenforceable on its own. It’s that it tends to be missing the stuff that you need in order to make it stick.
So, they tend to be missing key provisions that you need. They’re not super organized, usually. Like, whenever I see copy and pasted or DIY contracts, they’re not super clear, they’re not organized, which is a clear or a good requirement for good enforcement. And they also don’t tend to be sent and signed correctly, which is an absolute must to be legally binding.
I actually have an entire podcast episode for you on how to make sure that your contracts are legally binding, so I’ll drop that in the show notes. And I teach you how to send and sign them correctly, what they need to say and not say, all that kind of stuff.
It’s also why I offer contract templates that you can download and fill out and use as your own. So, you can shop all my legal templates on my site, samvanderwielen.com/shop. I’ll drop the link to that below.
And in case you’re new around here and you’ve been listening to my podcast for a while and you’re like, How do you help people? What do you do? So, I really only help people in two ways. I always have since 2017. So, I sell DIY legal contract templates. What are they? They are downloadable, fill in the blank contracts. The only blanks that you’re filling in are your personal details. So, you’re putting your name, or how much you’re charging somebody, or what your email address is. I’ve done all the legal writing for you.
So, they are downloadable. You get them in whatever format, whatever word processing software you use on your computer, you can use it that way. We have tech support if you need help. They take 15 minutes or less to fill out. You can download them and use them as many times as you need for your own business. Or if you have multiple businesses, you can use them. As long as they’re your businesses, you can use them.
So, that’s the one way. I sell all my DIY legal templates. All a la carte. You can buy any contract or website policy you need in my template shop at samvanderwielen.com/shop.
The second and the only other way that I work with people, the only other thing I help with is that I have the Ultimate Bundle program. So, the Ultimate Bundle is my best selling program. It’s the go-to legal program in the online business industry for legally protecting and growing your online business.
So, the Ultimate Bundle gives you ten of my DIY legal templates, plus it gives you over 35 on demand video trainings teaching you everything from how to form your business, to getting business insurance, to how to file a trademark. I show you how to file a trademark in real time. The same with doing a copyright. I teach you about, like, what to do if somebody requests a refund, what to do if someone steals your content. It’s all covered there.
But the coolest part about the the Ultimate Bundle, in addition to getting all of the ten legal templates, is that you also get support from me. So, that’s the only way to get support from me. I’m never your attorney, no matter what you do with me. If you buy something from me or you reach out to me, or anything like that, I don’t offer any legal services. But I do offer support to my Ultimate Bundle members inside of our private community. You get lifetime access to the Bundle and I keep it updated. So, as online business keeps changing and evolving and growing – thank goodness – we keep it updated. So, I’ve updated the templates. I update and add new trainings. And you always get that at no additional cost.
So, if you have any questions, send me a DM on Instagram, @samvanderwielen. I’ll make sure I drop the links down below for those contract templates and for the Ultimate Bundle. And if you already have one or the other, thank you so much for all of your support. I appreciate you every day.
Thanks so much for listening to the On Your Terms Podcast. Make sure to follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen to podcasts. You can also check out all of our podcast episodes, show notes, links, and more at samvanderwielen.com/podcast. You can learn more about legally protecting your business and take my free legal workshop, Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business, at samvanderwielen.com. And to stay connected and follow along, follow me on Instagram, @samvanderwielen, and send me a DM to say hi.
Just remember that although I am a attorney, I am not your attorney and I am not offering you legal advice in today’s episode. This episode and all of my episodes are informational and educational only. It is not a substitute for seeking out your own advice from your own lawyer. And please keep in mind that I can’t offer you legal advice. I don’t ever offer any legal services. But I think I offer some pretty good information.
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Resources Discussed in This Episode
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DISCLAIMER: Although Sam is an attorney she doesn’t practice law and can’t give you legal advice. All episodes of On Your Terms are educational and informational only. The information discussed here isn’t legal advice and does not intend to be. The info you hear here isn’t a substitute for seeking legal advice from your own attorney.
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