Updated: Feb 25
There's a reason law students are required to take 2 semesters of classes dedicated solely to contracts - contracts are complicated documents! Contracts must include not only your specific business information, but must also skillfully and adequately use contract concepts to protect your business. There's a number of reasons why Legal Zoom, Rocket Lawyer, and contracts found on Google cannot adequately protect your business. Let's explore a few below.
Contracts are not neutral. A contract can be drafted to either protect your business or protect the other party's business. When you download a contract from Legal Zoom, Rocket Lawyer, or Google you do not know WHO the contract was drafted to protect.
Attorney is retained by a seller to draft a Home Purchase Agreement (a contract). Attorney drafts the contract and includes favorable terms for the seller including the right to terminate the contract at any time for any reason and a no repair clause. Seller is happy with the contract and wants to help other sellers. Seller uploads the contract to the internet as a free download.
A home buyer finds the seller's contract on Google and downloads the contract to be used as the buyer's Home Purchase Agreement.
The buyer has made a significant mistake because the contract does not protect the buyer. It protects the seller. The seller can cancel the contract at any time. The seller has not duty to make any repairs to the home.
As the example demonstrates, contracts are not neutral. The purpose of using a contract is to protect your business and your interest (we will repeat this A LOT in this post). When you download contracts from the internet you may harm your business rather than protect your business.
Unless you are an attorney or understand contract concepts, its difficult to determine who is protected by the contract.
Contracts downloaded from Legal Zoom, Rocket Lawyer, and Google may be unenforceable.
A contract may be unenforceable if its drafted incorrectly. At a basic level, a properly formed contract must include an (1) offer, (2) acceptance of the offer, and (3) consideration. Trust us when we say each of the numerated elements listed here a complex legal concepts. If a contract is missing any of these elements or the terms of the contract are too vague, then the contract may be unenforceable.
The purpose of using a contract is to protect your business and your interest. If your contract is found to be unenforceable the benefits you have under the contract are GONE. Including:
- your right to be paid 💰
- your right to enforce confidentiality 🤫
- your right to retain any intellectual property ®️©️
- and more!
The purpose of using a contract is to protect your business and your interest. A contract cannot protect your business unless the terms of the contract accurately reflect your business practices. A well drafted contract protects your business by converting your business practices into contract terms and then intertwining your terms with contract concepts.
For example (and this is a big one), your fees and payment terms. A well drafted contract should specifically address how much you are to be paid, when you are to be paid PLUS consequences of late payment and nonpayment. When you download contracts from Legal Zoom, Rocket Lawyer of Google terms are not specific to YOUR business or YOUR business practices.
We are here to help! We can serve you in two ways:
Contact us for a customized contract; or
Visit our Template Shop. Our Template Shop includes contract templates drafted by an attorney. Enter into agreements with peace of mind knowing your contract has been drafted by a professional.