Dinn, Hochman & Potter, L.L.C.
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Boilerplate contracts offer some savings, but big risks

All businesses look for ways to save money. This makes perfect sense as cost-effectiveness can lead to bigger profits. But there is a difference between finding sensible ways to limit expenses and placing yourself in financial jeopardy by trying to save a few dollars.

For instance, sometimes a business owner opts to use what is called a "boilerplate contract" when creating an agreement with a partner. Simply put, a boilerplate contract is a contract template or form that can be gotten for a small fee or even free online.

A boilerplate contract may contain terms and provisions that are considered typical in certain kinds of agreements. At first blush, using a boilerplate may appear to be an inexpensive alternative to having an attorney draft a contract. But the problem is that, often, boilerplate contracts contain terms that lack important details. And if you sign such an agreement, you could face dire consequences later on.

For example, many boilerplate contracts contain an arbitration clause which calls for both parties to enter arbitration should the need arise to discuss legal issues. Unfortunately, arbitration clauses in boilerplate contracts are often too general, which can lead to disputes regarding which arbitrator to use and where to engage in the arbitration process. These sorts of disagreements can result in costly litigation.

And the fact is if you want a contract that lays out terms in a clear, concise manner and protects your interests, hiring an experienced business contract attorney could be your wisest and most cost-effective move. An attorney can craft a contract that meets your specific needs and greatly decreases the risks of disputes in the future.

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5910 Landerbrook Drive, Suite 200
Cleveland, OH 44124

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