Outsourcing Your Work? Tips for Avoiding Contract Disputes

Outsourcing Your Work? Tips for Avoiding Contract Disputes

| Oct 20, 2014 | Business Litigation |

Outsourcing contracts help establish relationships between your business, supplier, and customers.

But, even the most thorough outsourcing contract is full of legalese and confusing verbiage, which is why they are one of the more easily disputed business contracts.

Whether you outsource your work to freelancers or your distribution is outsourced to a third party, you need a contract. The language in that contract, however, determines how easily it can be disputed in the future. Even a solid contract doesn’t guarantee there won’t be disputes with your supplier. You can, however, avoid costly litigation and resolve contract disputes with your supplier simply by drafting a solid agreement.

Avoid Open-Ended Contracts

Never leave your agreement open-ended. For example, most outsourcing contracts state that the parties will agree on terms after signing. First, you are signing a contract without an official agreement. Second, if a disagreement occurs, a court arbitrator may not impose the contract terms since neither party officially agreed. Therefore, never sign an agreement that is open-ended.

Know Your Contract Terms

Do you know what the contract says entirely? There are often hidden clauses in a contract that can be misleading. As a result, compliance with these clauses could be difficult. Never ignore any clauses in your contracts and understand the terms of each clause before you sign.

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Look Out for Potential Misinterpretation

Knowing the expectations of each party is the key to avoiding any misunderstandings, which could later develop into conflict or contract disputes. Identify where terms could be misinterpreted, such as timelines for completion of the supplier’s work. Then, address those potential misunderstandings with the other party before anyone signs.

Document Negotiations and Ensure Contract is Up to Date

During the contract management phase with a supplier, you may have several drafts and negotiations before reaching an agreement. These negotiations should be thoroughly documented and the final contract should reflect all negotiations.

Use Clear Language

Your outsourcing contract does not have to use complicated legal terminology. In fact, simplify terms as much as possible to make sure it is unambiguous, readable, and clear by the lay person.

Know Your Responsibilities and Rights

After you have negotiated your terms, make sure you familiarize yourself with that agreement and understand your responsibilities as well as your rights. Shared expectations must be understood to avoid breaching the contract’s terms. Also, by knowing your own rights, you can identify when the other party has breached the contract terms.

Consult with an Attorney

Outsourcing contracts can be complex and must be customized to the unique relationship between a business and supplier. It is in your best interest to speak with an contract litigation Attorneys Florida and get timely advice on how to properly draft your agreement. If a dispute does arise, your attorney can help you defend your case and avoid any detrimental breach of contract issues.

The Law Offices of Peter M. Feaman, P.A. are your Boynton Beach and South Florida contract experts. Contact us today for a free consultation by dialing 561-734-5552.