Introducing a Contract to an Existing Business Relationship

Today’s episode topic comes from a listener’s question:  “How do you introduce a contract to a client when you have an ongoing relationship”.    It’s a great question and it’s really very simple.  The best approach is to present the how and why.  Let’s get into the details.  

In this episode, we’ll cover: 

  • How to present a contract to an existing client
  • Who is protected by state default laws
  • What happens if they do not want to sign the contract

 

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The Legalpreneur Podcast is advertising/marketing material. It is not legal advice. Please consult with your attorney on these topics. Copyright Legalpreneur Inc 2022

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Episode 202: Introducing a Contract to an Existing Business Relationship Transcript

Andrea: [00:00:03] Welcome to the Legalpreneur Podcast. I’m your host, Andrea Sager, founder and CEO of Legalpreneur, Inc. As a serial entrepreneur and someone that works exclusively with small business owners legally protecting their business, I’m dedicated to covering common legal issues faced by business owners, providing you with the business knowledge you need to catapult your businesses growth and showing you just how some of the world’s most elite entrepreneurs have handled these legal and business issues themselves in true attorney fashion. The information in this episode is not legal advice. This is for informational purposes only, and you should always consult with your attorney before implementing any of the information in the show. Hello there. Welcome back to another episode of the podcast.

Andrea: [00:00:50] I’m really excited about today’s episode because this is a very important listener’s question. So a listener asked, How do you introduce the topic of a contract when you are already in a business relationship where there is no written contract? Basically, they’ve been doing business together for a couple of years. It’s steady, like no issues, but. The listener knows how important a contract is and how quickly things can go sideways, especially without having a written contract. So they would just want to know, like, how do you do this without scaring the client? So before I get into that, don’t forget about dream bigger. You guys 50% off your ticket. And I know I’m like, you’re going to hear about this until the conference is over, so no discount is needed. The links right there in the show notes. I’m so excited, you guys and every speaker I am really, really excited for like these are I’ve said this before but every single speaker it has been someone that has touched my life. Definitely over the past year and a half, possibly even longer than that. Of course, we’re going to have Chris Harder and his wife, Lori, Harder to my favorite people in this entire planet. I would not be where I am today without Chris Harder. And I know you all have heard me talk about him a number of times.

Andrea: [00:02:13] You’ve probably heard his podcast episode way back at the beginning of the show, but you’re going to hear from him in person. So let me know if there are any topics, questions that you want to hear from people like any of the speakers that have already been announced. Some of these are going to be speeches that they’ve prepared, like presentations they prepared, but some are just going to be Q&A. So if you have questions that you want to hear from a specific speaker, let me know because I may be able to make that happen. Okay. So getting into today’s topic, how do you introduce a contract when there’s already an ongoing business relationship? No issues, but you want to button your legal butt up and you want to make sure things are getting taken care of. And it’s really simple. Like, I don’t think it’s hard. I think it’s really just in your mindset and this is where a lot of people have their mindset like, Oh, legal, scary, legal is intimidating, legal is expensive. You really just need to reframe this in your mind because it’s not. I think a lot of people, when they think about introducing a contract, it’s like, Oh, they want to pull something over on me and they want it written down that way. I can’t like they can screw me over later or some something similar to that thinking.

Andrea: [00:03:27] Not like that at all. All you have to do like when you have this ongoing business relationship, you go to the other party and say and you say, Hey, like we love working with you. Things have been going so great. However, this year I’ve made it. I’ve been very intentional about getting my legal ducks in a row. You can even like list things that you’ve done, like we’ve done this, we’ve done this, and really we just want to button up our like our business contracts. So our attorney is having us do all these things. And really one of the last things that’s missing is having a written contract and you can even call it the elephant in the room and say, Hey, I know we’ve been working together for this long and there have been no issues and we don’t want you to think like we’re trying to pull anything over on you. However, we just want to make sure we have this written down. That way. It helps us sleep easy at night, knowing that we are legally protecting ourselves and making sure we’re all buttoned up. It’s really that simple. Ultimately. There’s already an agreement. So if you’ve heard me talk about contracts before. You know that writing a contract is typically just drafting out of the default law.

Andrea: [00:04:37] So if there’s an agreement but not a written contract, there’s still laws that apply and there’s still a contract. However, it’s default state laws and you may be thinking, Oh, well, why do you need a written contract anyway if laws apply? State laws typically do not favor businesses. State laws favor consumers. So in order to make sure that you are protected as a business owner and it’s not even saying like, Hey, we want to draft this contract to make sure that we are protected and you aren’t. It’s really to protect both parties. However, typically when you draft your own contract or have a templated contract from a business attorney. From a business perspective, you are more protected. You have more rights. So you just have to let the other party know, hey, we just want it written in stone. That way, if there’s any issues down the road like we, we know what’s going to happen. And if they agree to sign it, great. If not, just know. Like there are still laws that apply. It just may not be what’s in the written contract. And if they you know, they look at the contract and like, hey, we want to change this or that. Maybe, maybe you do negotiate the terms and that’s completely up to you. And maybe that’s it’s such a red flag and maybe you’ve kind of had some red flags or some like pink flags.

Andrea: [00:06:07] I don’t know. And you’ve been kind of questioning the relationship. But the fact now that they won’t sign this contract, you can just say, hey, I you know, I understand, but we can’t work with you unless we have a written agreement. So you can terminate the agreement at that point, which I wouldn’t immediately terminate it. I would just say, hey, if you don’t want to sign the contract or if you are very adamant, you’re like, I’m not going to work with this person unless I have a written agreement. What you can tell them is, Look, I understand, no big deal. However, as a business practice for us, we’re not going to continue working with clients unless we have a written agreement. So we will cease working together within 30 days or something like that. And of course, if you need help, if you’re in the legal partner membership, you have your attorney to go to with help, with language, you have our contract templates, anything like that. So. Let me know if you have questions. I hope this is helpful. Of course, I’m always looking for listener questions. So reach out on Instagram. Email us. Let me know what your questions are that you’d like to hear, and I’ll see you next week.

Andrea: [00:07:14] Here at Legalpreneur, we’re committed to providing a supportive legal community for all business owners. I know how scary the legal stuff can be. If you found this information helpful, I would be so grateful if you could share it with the fellow business owner. And quite frankly, it doesn’t cost anything to rate, review or subscribe to the show. Your support helps me reach more listeners, which allows me to support more business owners in their entrepreneurial journey. Have any questions or comments about the show? Feel free to drop me a line on Instagram, I promise. I read all of the messages and comments and if you want to be a guest on the show or know someone that would make a great guest, simply fill out our application form and a team member will reach out if we think it’s a good fit. I’ll see you in the next episode.

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