No one wants to be caught in a contract with hidden traps. Here are a few sneaky provisions that you should always keep an eye out for:
· Automatic renewal: Did you forget to cancel a contract before the deadline? Don't worry, you're not alone. This sneaky clause can lock you in for another year or more! Make sure to change it or set a reminder to decide whether to renew or not.
· Time is of the essence: This is a fancy way of saying every deadline is critical, and missing it is a breach of contract. This standard is tough to meet, so try to make it mutual or drop it altogether.
· Best effort: This is a legal standard of the highest magnitude. It means you have to move heaven and earth to get done what is required, even if the costs of doing it would put your company out of business. Replace it with reasonable, diligent or good faith effort.
· Sole determination: When someone has the power to decide something based on no reason or any reason whatsoever, it's time to add a reasonableness standard to this provision.
· Satisfactory and other subjective standards: Let's face it, anything subjective can lead to misunderstandings and contract disputes. Make sure that the determination of what is satisfactory is not left up to interpretation.
Don't let sneaky contract provisions catch you off guard. Keep an eye out for these and negotiate them before signing on the dotted line!