When you own or manage a small business in New Jersey, part of your responsibility will likely involve protecting that business’s best interests. Part of this process involves making efforts to avoid potential litigation down the line. Arguably one of the best ways to protect your company’s best interests involves creating and utilizing carefully worded business, partnership or employment contracts, because the language used in these contracts may help you avoid costly and time-consuming contract disputes.
So, what are some of the steps you can take to help your business avoid potential contract litigation?
1. Utilize notaries
Having a notary sign your contract makes it legally enforceable, so making sure a notary signs your important documents may prove to be your best line of defense against potential litigation. Having a notary sign your document can effectively protect you in two key ways. First, it prevents the other party from claiming he or she never signed a document in question, and second, having documents notarized boosts the chances that all parties will thoroughly review their contents.
2. Look ahead to the future
When crafting a business contract, you should also consider its future implications. For example, are there situations that could potentially make your contract null or void? Does the contract need to undergo renegotiation periodically to stay valid? What if one party named in the contract passes away? The more you think about potential problems that could arise in the future, the better your chances of getting ahead of them.
3. Make sure the right party signs the contract
Ensuring that the party who signs your contract has the right to do so may also help you prevent future contract disputes down the line. If, for example, the person who signed your contract did not have the authority to do so, or if this person misrepresented who he or she was before signing your contract, it could come back to bite you and ultimately lead to litigation.
Taking these steps and otherwise exercising care to prevent contract disputes can potentially save your business substantial time, money and stress.