Thanks. (I wish I could get that much )
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To be honest there's a lot of problems with it. First, just write it out in plain english. Don't use "hereby"s and "said"s, they're just not needed. Legalese "sounds" professional but besides being unnecessary actually runs contrary to modern law teaching and some commercial law. Today attorneys are taught to draft contracts in "plain english."
Don't use "work-man like manner" and other legalese _sounding_ words that actually have no legal effect.
Don't label it an "estimate" if you are thinking "contract." An "estimate" and a "contract" are two vastly different things. In fact don't use an "estimate" for a contract after the estimate has been accepted. Write up a real contract.
Look, I don't want to bash you. My best suggestion would be to spend the $50-$300 dollars it would take for a real attorney to draft up a usable contract that will actually hold up in a small claims court/law suit/collection action.
If you really don't got the $50 for a real attorney then go ahead and start again, but write up two documents: one an estimate (labeled Non-Binding Estimate or some such term to signify that it is a non-binding offer - which is a specific legal term that does have legal significance). Second write up a contract.
Make 'em both plain english (yes, look for a 6th grade english comprehension level). Don't repeat terms "alteration or deviation" or repeat "conditions" (another specific legal term with a specific legal effect) in different areas of your contract. There's just too many chances to slightly change the nuiance of the contract terms rendering them vulnarable to interpretation both by you guys (the ones signing the d#!M thing) and a court of law. Above all make it simple.
And.... all the above is not legal advice 'cause I don't even know what jurisdiction your writing from and I ain't an attorney (I'm just studying to be one.)
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Oops, sorry, I also wanted to add:
The reason I suggest going to see an attorney is because a valid and enforcable contract will be worth the $50-$300 it took for an attorney to write it up. You may save money now by skipping the attorney but pay later on "contracts" where you've invested countless hours of work but are not enforcable. Sound legal documents are worth their weight in gold.
P.S. You could also check out stationary stores which usually have a "business documents" section with fill-in-the-blank legal contracts.
Some designer has put up a sample contract which can be copied and adapted to suit your needs.
Maybe you could copy it into Word and then change what needs changing.
If you feel you need a lawyer s/he would only need to re-write small bits, saving you money.
Hope this helps
This is actually a variation of a REAL contract. My dad had a bunch of these on CC paper for his business and I altered them to fit a web design company.
Then I would recommend your dad see an attorney also.
Wes, writing "IOU" on a piece of paper is a REAL contract. That doesn't mean its enforcable in a court of law. The contract you offered has some real legal problems.
Look, the only time you have to worry about it is if something goes wrong - your client doesn't pay, he sues you in court because he believes you failed to live up to your agreement, etc. If everthing goes right, well then you didn't need a written contract at all then, did you.
If something goes wrong, you want something that holds up. Certainly not something that could be interpreted AGAINST you.
Again, in my educated opinion the contract you presented (and that your dad uses) has some real problems. You, of course, should feel free to ignore the feedback that you asked for.