Don’t Sign Anything . . . !

Get advice from a business attorney before signing a contract.

Don’t sign anything without talking to an experienced business attorney first. When it comes to the law, clients often do not know what they do not know.

You should explain your understanding of the deal to your attorney and what you are wanting from the deal. Then, if you have a draft of the agreement from the other party, the attorney can review the contract to see if that is what has been put in writing. He can warn you of risks and add language to help alleviate those risks. He can even suggest other things that you may be able to get as part of the deal that you may not have even thought of.

Sometimes there are some fairly standard provisions that should be in the agreement, and if they are not, it is wise to consider why not. Other times there are provisions that need to be carefully crafted to fit a particular situation.

Contract review

I had a client call me in the past, saying something like, “Hey, I just signed a contract with someone. Could you please review it?” Sure, I can review it. The problem is that once a contract has been signed, most of the time, it cannot be changed. I can tell the client what he has gotten himself into, but I cannot do as much to improve the situation. 

Before the contract has been signed, however, that is where there is a tremendous amount of flexibility. That’s where some creativity can come into play. Protections for the client can be added, and sometimes small trade-offs can be made. And the result is a much better deal for the client.

J. Brian King is an experienced business attorney and can be reached at