One simple, yet effective, way that Ohio businesses can avoid contract disputes is to have all contracts and agreements notarized. This may seem like an unnecessary and time-consuming step, especially if a notary public is difficult to locate. However, a business owner who has had the legitimacy of a contract challenged because the signatures were challenged will most likely consider such a step to be mandatory in the future.
Unlike the past, modern law requires contracts and agreements to be notarized only in a few special cases, such as real estate deeds. In those cases, a notary public who is commissioned by a governmental authority to witness signatures will provide a guarantee that the signatures are genuine. Even when the law does not require signatures to be notarized, there are several instances where it makes sense to do so.
Having signatures notarized makes it almost impossible for a person to deny in court the legitimacy of their signature on a document. Absent a notary stamp, though, businesses may have significant difficulty proving that a signature is authentic. Another reason for having signatures notarized is that most notaries are insured. If it turns out that a signature really isn’t legitimate because the notary made a mistake, such as failing to check identification, the notary’s insurance company will likely be responsible for any damages incurred. Even a small insurance payment can be beneficial to the bottom line.
Contract disputes are not uncommon in the business world. In order to avoid disputes, businesses may want to use the services of an attorney with experience in business law to help them prepare their agreements. When terms of a contract are disputed, an attorney could be helpful in negotiating a resolution or taking appropriate legal action.
Source: Entrepreneur, “Avoiding Contract Disputes“, Chris Kelleher, August 12, 2014