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Making sure your contract holds up

You have done the hard work of hammering out an agreement. Now you need to make sure you end up with a properly written and signed contract, as Michigan law requires for many types of agreements.

Although you may not anticipate problems at this time, disputes can arise in unpredictable ways. Dotting your i's and crossing your t's today can save you a world of trouble tomorrow.

Get all necessary signatures

Both parties should sign the contract. Even though you may be able to get a court to enforce it without a signature, you will find it much easier to prove the other party intended to enter into the contract if you can produce a contract with an authorized representative's signature.

Check who will be signing the contract

This leads to the next step in vetting your contract: make sure the person signing it on behalf of another party has proper authority to do so. Even if this person has been your chief point of contact as you worked out the terms of the agreement, he or she may not necessarily have the power to act on behalf of the company.

Verify the content

Before signing, read through the contract once again, even if you feel you know it all by heart at this point. You need to verify this is the same contract you have agreed to. Once you sign, you will be bound by the terms unless you can show the other party acted fraudulently in order to get you to sign.

Initial any changes

If you agree to last-minute changes, you may choose to set down the changes in writing on the contract rather than print a revised copy. If you choose to do so, both you and the other signatory should initial every new point. 

Date your signature

Although your contract can be valid without a date, dating can help you establish vital information such as when the contract became effective. In case of future disputes, the date of the contract can become relevant for a variety of issues.

Many business owners choose to get legal help in drafting contracts and taking measures to ensure their validity. Doing so can help you avoid many types of problems and disputes later on.

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