Signing a Business Contract? A Quick Checklist for Greater Peace of Mind

Don't crash and burn - use this final "pre-flight" checklist

Checklists help professionals do their jobs with greater confidence and peace of mind. Signing a Business Contract? provides a quick five-point checklist to help you conduct your own final ‘pre-flight’ inspection before you put your name on the line.

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Checklists help professionals do their jobs with greater confidence and peace of mind. To name but one example, pilots are trained to use checklists when they perform their final pre-flight safety inspections, even after they’ve had many years of experience. Signing a Business Contract? provides a quick five-point checklist to help you conduct your own final ‘pre-flight’ inspection of the document that will help govern your business. The author, a top-rated attorney, shows you how to spot language that could cause your contract to have ‘in-flight difficulties’ or even to crash and burn. You’ll read heads-up alerts, in plain English with real-world examples, about crucial points such as:

  • how to sign your name to a contract to make it clear that it’s the company, not you personally, that will be responsible for the contract obligations;
  • how to date your signature to keep prosecutors at bay, avoiding allegations of fraud of the kind that have sent several prominent executives to prison in recent years;
  • how to steer clear of unlawful contract terms that can lead to fines and even jail time;
  • how to recognize eleven kinds of contract provision that could cause serious trouble for your business if the other side included them in your agreement — or if it left them out.

The author, D. C. Toedt III, has drafted, reviewed, negotiated, and occasionally litigated, hundreds of contracts in his legal career. A Houston attorney also licensed in California, he holds an “AV” (highest) rating in Martindale-Hubbell’s peer-review survey. As an adjunct law professor, he teaches advanced contract drafting to upper-level students. Toedt was the lead author of a published legal treatise on computer software law; in law school, he served on the editorial board of the law review. Between college and law school, he served his ROTC scholarship payback time as a U.S. Navy nuclear engineering officer, where he received some of his first lessons in the value of checklists. For more information, see About the Author.

Summary of Contents

  • A final “pre-flight” checklist for greater peace of mind
  • Personal liability
  • Unlawful contract practices
  • Dangerous clauses
  • Signature authority
  • Nah, don’t read the contract (not!)
The next time you put your name on the line (both literally and figuratively), you’ll want to have read this guidebook. And if you’re responsible for supervising someone who’s new to signing contracts, you’ll definitely want them to have read it too.

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