Checklist: Information Needed to Write a Solid Contract

  • Name(s) of individual(s)
  • Name(s) of business entity/ies
  • Type of business entity
  • Name and official title of person signing on behalf of the business
  • Addresses of all parties identified as above
  • Why are the parties entering into the contract?
  • What is each party required to do? What is being done or accomplished?
  • By what date must each party complete the required actions?
  • If money, goods, or services are to be delivered, what is the method of delivery and who bears the cost of delivery?
  • Will the contract end at a specific date/time, on the occurrence of a certain event, or will it last in perpetuity?
  • Can the contract be renewed? How?
  • Can the contract be terminated prior to the contract end date? How?
  • Are there consequences to early termination?
  • How, if at all, can the contract be modified in the future?
  • What is the price for the product or service, if any?
  • Is it a fixed price, or is price determined by some formula, or other method?
  • Will taxes be added to the price?
  • When is payment due and by what method?
  • What happens if payment(s) are late? Will there be a late fee or interest charges?
  • If goods or services are to be provided, describe and provide a quantity of goods; detail the services; what is the performance date or date of delivery of goods?
  • Will there be any limitations of liability for either party?
  • Are there specific circumstances in which a party will be liable?
  • What law will govern the contract? Be sure to review the default rules/laws of jurisdictions that you are considering.
  • Will disputes be handled through litigation, mediation, or arbitration?
  • If litigation - in what jurisdiction must suit be brought?
  • If arbitration - is it mandatory? What rules govern? How many arbitrators will there be, and will the decision be binding?
  • Will one party be responsible for attorneys' fees?
  • How many signatures are required?
  • What authority must a signatory have (if a business entity is a party)?
  • Witnesses required?
  • Effective date?

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