Standard Form Contracts – Do You Need One?

Standard form contracts are designed to promote efficiency and consistency in your business. If you are doing a lot of similar transactions, a standard form contract means that you don't necessarily have to negotiate each transaction anew.

Standard form contracts are typical online. Its not like you can speak to every person who accesses your website before they start. So standard forms are made for things like:

  • terms of use of your website
  • terms of service for software
  • privacy policies if you are collecting personal information
  • disclaimers if you want to avoid liability for information on your website

Other standard form contracts include things like:

  • presenters agreements for event organisers
  • venue hire agreements for venues
  • lease agreements for buildings
  • advertising agreements for magazines
  • supply agreements for manufacturers and distributors
  • employment agreements for organisations

Do you need a standard form contract? If you answer "yes" to any one or more of the following questions, then you probably could use a standard form contract:

  1. Does your business do the same thing, or almost the same thing, over and over again?
  2. Would you complete 5 or more transactions in a year that are almost the same?
  3. Do you have one consistent set of expectations before you go into most transactions?
  4. Do you do a lot a business that is not "face to face"?
  5. Do you have agents or employees doing business on your behalf?

If you are doing any volume of business, then standard form contracts save you time and money. They create a predictable business relationship so that it is easy for your staff to answer questions and to know what should be happening in your business.

"No, we won't change that because it is part of our standard terms"

Standard form contracts do not have to be inflexible. I have dealt with companies that say – "No, we won't change that because it is part of our standard terms" no matter how unreasonable the term might be. You can change them. The point of having a standard form contract is so that you have a baseline that does well for most people (80%+ of people probably won't ever read the terms) and forms a starting place for you to negotiate from with others.

Feel free to contact me if you would like to find out how to save time in your business while protecting your interests with a standard form contract.

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