Sometimes you just want to document your own agreements without consulting with a lawyer. Written agreements are binding documents that define the obligations of all parties involved in a specific project or for the sale of a good or service.
Written agreements are necessary to provide a clear record of agreed upon terms. That way, when disagreements arise regarding the time or terms of the agreement, there is an objective document that determines what was intended at the time of the agreement.
You can document a simple agreement by sending terms of the agreement via email and asking for confirmation indicating that the agreed to terms are correct as written.
Here are a few elements of written agreements:
Whatever you do, get something in writing before entering into agreements with clients, vendors, joint venture partners, affiliates, or anyone else for that matter. Your commitment to document the terms of your agreements shows you are serious about your business and could also reveal if you are in business with someone you shouldn’t be.
Getting something in writing is a crucial first step, however, it is a good rule of thumb for complex agreements (especially where a great deal of money is at stake) to always have said agreements drawn up and/or reviewed by a lawyer. If not, many things can end up missing when you document your own agreements via email. Things like, provisions that indicate what happens if something goes wrong, where litigation would happen (it’s quite expensive to get sued out of state), and provisions around what measures must be taken before litigation.