Should I Get A Lawyer To Help Make Up A Contract?

Business By Bettyviolet101 Updated 13 Jun 2011 , 3:55pm by cakegirl1973

Bettyviolet101 Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 3:27am
post #1 of 15

I will be starting an at home business and was curious if I need to get a lawyer to make sure I cover my butt in everything or am I safe to make it up myself. I would hate to forget something and then be screwed down the line!!!! Could anyone share their contract they have their clients sign? Oh and p.s. just to stop it before it starts yes my business will be legal icon_smile.gif Thank you!

14 replies
Annabakescakes Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 3:32am
post #2 of 15

there are a million sample contracts on here, and you will think of stuff as you go along. So don't print out a bunch or copies, it will grow and grow as you get screwed over by your customers!

LindaF144a Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 3:35am
post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes

there are a million sample contracts on here, and you will think of stuff as you go along. So don't print out a bunch or copies, it will grow and grow as you get screwed over by your customers!




Can you point out where? I need to start making one for myself also.

I have hired a lawyer to do almost every aspect of my business. But my cake contract, I think I can do that myself and save the mega bucks it will take for her to do it. I would have to explain everything I wanted in it. In my experience, when I have done this for other things in the past, she advises me whether or not it is legal for me to do the things I want to do. Other than that, she just rewrites it to look good.

Bettyviolet101 Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 3:40am
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes

there are a million sample contracts on here, and you will think of stuff as you go along. So don't print out a bunch or copies, it will grow and grow as you get screwed over by your customers!





Lol thats what I would like to AVOID!!!! Oh well such is life huh? Could you point me in the direction of sample contracts? Thanks a bunch!

Bettyviolet101 Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 3:41am
post #5 of 15

Anna what other aspects is your lawyer handling? Just curious.

Annabakescakes Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 3:53am
post #6 of 15

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-630887-sample.html+contract

I am not having a lawyer handle a thing! I went to the secretary of state to file my LLC, and I spoke with an accountant. And my insurance agent. And the health department and building and planning and zoning and a million other places. My contract is pretty standard.

Bettyviolet101 Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 4:18am
post #7 of 15

Wow that contract was amazing!! i have to change a lot of things just cause I am small from home mostly doing family and friends but hey you never know when a friend will come back to bite you in the butt!!!! Thanks again!

Annabakescakes Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 4:43am
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettyviolet101

Wow that contract was amazing!! i have to change a lot of things just cause I am small from home mostly doing family and friends but hey you never know when a friend will come back to bite you in the butt!!!! Thanks again!




I have "friends" that have never paid me for cakes, and I have had "friends" flat-out steal from me....You need to cover your butt as much as possible.

Bettyviolet101 Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 4:57am
post #9 of 15

That is so sad and rather obnoxious. I wish it weren't true but it is. Sigh* oh well. Thank you for your advice and the link!!! icon_smile.gif

Dreme Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 6:58am
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes

there are a million sample contracts on here, and you will think of stuff as you go along. So don't print out a bunch or copies, it will grow and grow as you get screwed over by your customers!




lol so true! I'm the type that counters a situation before it happens. If I see any potential issues with a client concerning their order, I check my contract to make sure i'm covered for it. If not I add it. When they sign, their issue is covered. I like to be prepared in the event something were to happen. So far this has worked wonderfully and nothing has ever been an issue.

costumeczar Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 10:46am
post #11 of 15

HIRE A LAWYER. Every state is different, and things that are in one contract might not be legal in your state. If you don't get someone who's a contract lawyer you won't know it until it's too late, and things in your contract might not be enforceable.

Copying someoen else's contract is a good starting point, but have an attorney look it over. It's a legal document, not an order form. I had an attorney look mine over in exchange for a few cakes, and she changed a bunch of stuff and added some things to address liability, complaint resolution, etc.

indydebi Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 11:36am
post #12 of 15

ditto costume's advice! Especially if you have an attorney anyway.

the difference between "deposit" and "retainer" can make your contract iron clad or totally useless, depending on what state you live in. The difference between using this term or that term can screw you over and make your contract void, depending on your state laws. The ability to keep all deposits may or may not be permitted in your state or may or may not be permitted depending on your wording.

following the form of someone's contract is a great starting point. but get it attorney approved.

I don't consider myself an idiot (anyone is welcome to disagree! icon_biggrin.gif ) but I don't screw around with the complexities of contract law.

To quote martha stewart (yes, she went to jail, but she's a freakin' billionaire so I tend to pay attn! icon_biggrin.gif ), "If you think you're saving money by not hiring an attorney at the front end, you'll pay for it at the back end!"

Bettyviolet101 Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 3:43pm
post #13 of 15

Oh dear. Not sure how much that will cost. And it has to be a "contract lawyer"? Interesting. Thank you for all the feedback. I would love to be covered in all areas.

kristiemarie Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 3:52pm
post #14 of 15

Anything legal....unless you are a lawyer, have one look it over. It will cost you about $300 or so but do it. It will be worth it.

This is one reason I haven't actually started selling yet. I haven't gotten the money together to get to my lawyer.

cakegirl1973 Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 3:55pm
post #15 of 15

I totally agree with costumeczar and indydebi. I am an attorney by day and a caker on nights and weekends. In my practice, I have seen many problems that could have been avoided if the person would have consulted an attorney on the front end, instead of trying to handle things (for example, leases and other forms of contracts) themselves. If you want to save money, instead of having an attorney draft your contract from scratch, bring in a copy of a draft of a contract that you'd like to use and have the attorney review it and make suggestions of clauses that should be added or deleted. This will be money well spent.

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