How to Read Contracts

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Assumptions are really the most difficult part of any contract. You read a contract that includes a section on how the value of property is determined.

Even if you think you know what has been written, ask for an example, or ask a question like, “Just to clarify, I think this means X. What do you think it means?”

Don’t worry about appearing dumb or difficult; better to clarify now than find out later you and the other party were thinking of two different meanings.

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You are handed a business contract and told, "Sign here." Don't do it! Before you sign, read the contract carefully, following these guidelines, to avoid problems later.

Contracts are legal documents and if they are valid, they can be taken to court. That means you can be taken to court to uphold your end of the contract. Whether it is a real estate contract, business sale agreement, employment contract, or contract between you and a customer or vendor, you can use these guidelines.

Here are the key concepts that you should learn:

  1. Sample one - hello
  2. hereafter called Contractor - The contractor is named only at the beginning of the contract. Later references to the contractor say only “contractor.”
  3. hereafter called Client - Similarly, the Client is named only at the beginning of the contract. Later references to the client say only “client.”
  4. henceforth known as "publics" - Any other people identified in the contract are usually called a general term and referred to using this general term in the contract.


How to Read a Contract

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