Contracts are an essential type of legally binding document which allow a transaction of value between parties. Due to their legal nature, contracts can be complex to process which is why businesses often seek legal advice in legal negotiations. However, not all businesses can afford hiring legal teams and given that a small business can generate hundreds of contracts a year, it's important that they have the right solutions in place to create and sign contracts safely. This article explores the contract creation process so that businesses can generate lawyer-approved contracts in just a few clicks.
What are contracts?
Contracts come into our everyday lives all of the time without us realising, buying a coffee in a cafe, online shopping for new clothes, as well as for businesses selling goods to customers - these are all contracts. A contract is a legal agreement between two or more parties which enables something of value to be exchanged between parties. Contracts can be verbal agreements or generated from a contract template. Businesses need to generate contracts in a variety of settings both for internal purposes (e.g. hiring a team) and external purposes (e.g. sales team contracts).
When do you need a contract?
Thankfully we don't need to draw up a written agreement every time we do some of these everyday tasks, but what about when you do need a contract template for a simple agreement? Putting the terms of an agreement on paper is useful when it is important to clearly spell out the rights and obligations of each side. For example, a tenancy agreement is not formally required as a tenancy will automatically be implied to be an assured shorthold tenancy but it is recommended to have one in writing so that key terms like deposits, repairs and inspections are clear. When disclosing confidential information with a prospective partner, employee or customer, it's essential to have a Non-disclosure agreement in place as a promise to not disclose confidential information is not a legal contract.
How do you create a contract?
The most common way for creating a contract is to download a paid or free template online and to then make changes to it so that it meets your needs. Whilst this is a valid option for legally trained people, it can be risky for non-lawyers because a sensible contract template needs to contain essential clauses and it it might not be obvious for them what should or shouldn't be in the agreement. Moreover, contract templates from online sources might contain out-of-date clauses which will need to be updated or removed as they might be illegal.
A safer and more efficient approach to creating contracts is to use an online contract tool like Legislate. Legislate is an end-to-end contracting platform which provides a suite of lawyer-approved contract templates which can be configured to specific requirements. Legislate allows users to create simple, yet important contracts fairly, quickly and with no legal budget. Signed documents on Legislate can then be searched post-signature so that for example an employer can ask questions about the terms in their employment contracts or a marketing manager can query the status of a freelance contract without needing to bother legal departments.
On Legislate, you can set the terms of your contract flexibly without using a free online contract template, giving you reassurance that your contracts will contain all of the necessary terms without any outdated, and possibly now illegal, clauses. You can also access helpful tips and materials to help you through your contracting.
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Why should you trust Legislate with your contracts?
Legislate understands that creating contracts requires a certain level of legal knowledge and awareness. We also understand that hiring a lawyer for these agreements is pricey and often seems unnecessary. That's why we make the contracting process accessible and straight-forward for the unlawyered to create contracts on your own.
All of our contracts are lawyer-reviewed by our Chief Legal Officer and up-to-date with the latest changes in the law, so you don't have the worry of important terms being left out.
Which contracts can I create on Legislate?
Here is a list of some of the reusable contract templates available which are available to create on Legislate:
- NDA Agreements
- Employment contracts
- Consultancy contracts
- Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements
- Student Tenancy Agreements
- Letting Agent Terms of Business
- Section 8 and 21 notices
The complete list of contracts available on Legislate can be found on our contract page. This list is growing every month and is designed to satisfy your complete business and tenancy needs.
Once you've entered the terms, such as the start and end dates by answering a few questions, Legislate generates a custom contract specific to your needs. You can then invite parties to review and e-sign the legal document.