Contracts are enforceable agreements that make up the sum of their essential parts. If these parts and components are not indicated in the agreement’s terms, it can make a contract invalid and unenforceable.
In essence, knowing what these contract components are, as well as why they should be present in contracts, is critical. Here, we’ll discuss the main contract parts, their importance, and the major role(s) they play in contract management.
Importance of Understanding Contract Parts
Understanding the various parts of a contract is fundamental to producing binding agreements. Without a thorough understanding of what these contract parts are, a legal agreement is likely to result in a breach. Moreover, it can render a contract null and void, or your business partners may end up withdrawing from a deal.
Below are more reasons why understanding the essential parts of a contract is extremely vital:
If all concerned parties understand that these contract parts are necessary to produce a binding agreement, it helps prevent misunderstandings. Moreover, if terms and conditions are crystal-clear for both organizations, it’s less likely for an agreement to result in disputes.
Fully comprehending the essential parts of a contract provides legal protection for every party. At the same time, complete discernment of contractual parts ensures that both contractors meet legal requirements and industry standards.
Should disputes arise, each party will know what legal steps, if any, are necessary to take. This makes it imperative for both parties to fully grasp a contract’s essential elements. With a conscious understanding of these contract parts, potential conflicts can be resolved immediately and prevent the worst from happening.
Risk Management and Mitigation
Awareness of the contract parts paves the way for parties to mitigate risks and have a dispute resolution in place. Naturally, contracts outline legal remedies should a contract breach occur. Understanding the necessity of every contract element enables each party to make sound decisions before signing a contract.
Essential Parts of a Contract
What are contract parts? There are six main parts of a contract that set forth the guidelines on what constitutes a legally valid agreement. They are discussed below along with an example using Fill’s Subcontractor Agreement template:
All parties must be of legal age and sound mind when signing a contract. A signee who is underage and/or psychologically challenged during the signing stage may render a contract null and void. Hence, it is important that all parties are mentally and legally capacitated when engaging in contracts.
A basic requirement that constitutes a contract is the establishment of an offer. In other words, contracts exist because one party needs something, and another party can fulfill that need. For an offer to be considered as such, something of value must be exchanged, such as money or an equivalent.
For contracts to carry legal weight, they must be mutually agreed upon by all parties involved. This is best demonstrated by signing the document either manually or electronically. This greatly indicates that both parties accept the terms and conditions outlined in the agreement.
Mutuality of obligation
All parties bound by a contract’s terms have to voluntarily agree to be bound by them. A performing party promises to render its obligations and get paid for them. Meanwhile, the non-performing party pledges to give work and pay for it.
Performing a contractual obligation has to be compensated for by the receiving party. It could be in the form of payment through money. But it can also be through any other valuable items or some form of protection. Without consideration, a contract will not stand a chance in court.
Illegal bargains are not enforceable. In so saying, parties must ensure that what they are agreeing to is legal. In addition, they demonstrate intent to be legally bound by it. Parties must also consider applicable laws that might affect the contract’s enforceability. Hence, complying with state and federal laws is an absolute must.
Best Practices for Drafting and Managing Contract Parts
To guarantee error-free legal agreements, follow these contract management best practices to help free your organization from costly mistakes.
Clearly define the contract’s scope and purpose
You should be able to concisely describe what it is that all the parties will agree to. Be particular about who are the parties involved, what goods or services will serve as contractual considerations, etc.
Use coherent and concise language
The words that you use to describe the contents of the agreement can make a difference. Ideally, it must be clear, concise, and coherent in such a way that your readers will not be confused. Avoid using unnecessary industry jargon that will only confuse your business partners more.
Include all necessary provisions
The terms and conditions in a contract must be brief but comprehensive. Therefore, make sure to include all essential provisions, including warranties, dispute resolution, indemnification clauses, agreement clauses and termination clauses, among others.
Ensure all parties have reviewed and agreed to the terms
One of the most indispensable parts of a contract is mutual assent. Thus, making sure that all parties have agreed to the terms of the contract before signing is an absolute necessity. Also, ensure that each party is informed and assenting about any amendments or revisions made.
Keep accurate records
Before and after the contract signing phase, it’s important to keep records of all correspondence and documentation about the contract. Emails, text messages, and any other medium of communication must be recorded for future reference.
The terms and conditions are meant not only to be agreed to but also complied upon. Ensure everyone is fulfilling their contractual obligations by conducting regular audits and progress reports.
Contract Formation Made Easy With Fill
Using a digital solution to manage contracts is a worthwhile investment, provided it’s a reputable tool known to deliver results. Fill is that kind of paperless solution that can immensely help you manage contracts. Our platform offers key features that can make your contract management process less hassle and more streamlined. These are:
You don’t have to begin from scratch when drafting an entire legal contract. Fill can help you simplify the drafting process with our free and varied selection of templates. You can choose the one that’s best suited for your contract needs while still having the flexibility to customize them.
All your documents must be safely stored in a centralized cloud-based repository. If your physical filing cabinet is already filled with paper clutter, it’s high time to shift digitally. Using our tool, you can keep all your documents securely and without the risk of loss, theft, or fire.
Legal compliance with practically all industry rules and regulations is non-negotiable. You won’t have to worry about non-compliance with Fill as our platform is recognized as fully compliant with all applicable laws. This includes HIPAA, GDPR, UETA, and the ESIGN Act.
Real-time audit trails
When requesting signatures from a counterparty, you can track whether it’s been accessed or already digitally signed. What is more, you can have a convenient and clear record of your contracting activities. Hence, you break yourself free from the hassles of manual document monitoring.
Binding digital signatures
Lastly, never worry about using digital signatures not holding up in court. UETA and the ESIGN Act duly recognize eSignatures as an equivalent of their ink-based counterparts. Using a premier eSignature solution like ours assures you that your electronically signed documents carry ample legal weight.
Fill: Your Paperless Partner in Producing Enforceable Contracts
Say goodbye to endless paper jams by using a dependable digital platform to streamline your contract management workflow. Fill is trusted by industry professionals and businesses looking for a cost-efficient solution to eliminate labor-intensive processes.
On top of this, our integrated solution can help you produce enforceable contracts. This is because Fill is also compliant with all industry rules and regulations governing eSignature use. So if you are to choose an electronic signature platform, select the best and the most trusted brand.
Experience Fill’s efficiency in helping you create legally binding agreements and contracts. Sign up for free today.