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Episode 8. What Makes a Good Contract? How to Make Sure You’re Protected

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Story time: I always knew I wanted to be an attorney, but there was one event that really set off my interest. In college I got involved in a bad housing situation and couldn’t find a way out of my lease. I asked nicely, and I was denied. So I reviewed my lease, did some research, and found a hole in the tenant law that they missed. I brought it to their attention and ended up being let go of my lease and getting my money back. From then on, I knew the importance of a solid contract. I’m going to share what contracts you need, what any good contract should or shouldn’t have, how to sign and send contracts properly, and how they can provide proof in a time of need.

In this episode, you’ll hear… 

07:15 – Why we have to talk about “proper” contracts

15:08 – Getting the contract you need for the moment

17:19 – What to look for in a good contract

22:12 – Protecting your intellectual property

23:21 – Using a liability disclaimer

26:30 – Sending & signing your contract properly

Where do I start out when looking for a contract?

It can be really overwhelming to find a contract when you’re just starting out. To keep things simple, start by getting the contract for the service or offering that you need right now. If you’re selling a coaching service and a course, get one contract for each offering. If you’re selling different offerings, you can use different types of contracts. 

What makes a good contract that protects you?

Every good contract needs a good, thorough description of what is being offered. Be very specific. It should also mention how it is being offered: in-person, virtual, live, pre-recorded. The contract needs to be clear about the terms of payment – such as what forms are accepted, when, and through what avenues. It should also describe how either party can break the terms of that contract.

How do I protect my intellectual property, confidentiality, or liability?

A solid contract should always touch on your intellectual property and confidentiality. Establish that what you are providing the client access to is still yours and can’t be reproduced or redistributed without your consent. Confidentiality can come into play when it comes to group programs or independent contractors. It’s also important to have a disclaimer to protect you from liability – particularly describing the scope of practice.

You don’t need to know enough to write up a contract on your own. You shouldn’t be writing a contract on your own anyway. But you do need to know enough as a business owner what to look out for when working with someone or signing a contract yourself. Whatever you do, make sure you are working with a professional. If you cut corners on this stuff, it’s going to hurt you in the long run.

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Resources Discussed in This Episode

If you’re ready to legally protect and grow your online business today, save your seat in my free LIVE workshop so you can learn how to take the simple legal steps to protect the business you’ve worked so hard to build. Click here to sign up for the free workshop so you can get legally legit right!

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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 isn’t intended to be. The info you hear here isn’t a substitute for seeking legal advice from your own attorney.

On Your Terms is a production of Crate Media.

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