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Helpful Tips for Contract Reviews

by Olivia Baker

Review your contracts quickly and thoroughly with our tips on what to look out for, so you can complete a successful contract review.

Contract reviews are important for both clients and employees, but what do you need to check for and how do you ensure you’re successfully reviewing those all-important contracts? Carry on reading for our tips for reviewing your work agreements.

What Is a Contract Review?

 

A contract review is a check that can be done by parties on both sides of an agreement to ensure that everything in the document is clear and accurate, and that you’re both comfortable moving forward with the terms and conditions stated within the agreement.

What To Look For

 

Having a plan and knowing what to look out for before you get started with your contract review can save you a lot of time and effort. The top five things you should keep an eye out for are:

Clauses & Terms

 

Pay special attention to the confidentiality terms, as well as termination, compensation, and conflict resolution to make sure the language used is clear and understandable.

Termination & Renewal Policies

 

It’s important that you fully understand the termination procedure, so that you don’t get stuck in a contract for longer than you planned or receive a shorter notice period than you expected.

Clear Terminology

 

A contract should be clear and unambiguous to avoid parties interpreting the same information in different ways. If disagreements of this kind arise after the contract is signed, a third party might have to get involved to resolve the conflict.

Blank Spaces

 

Any blank spaces in a contract could potentially be tampered with after you’ve signed, so it’s best to be safe by filling them in, crossing them out, or removing them entirely.

Important Dates & Deadlines

 

Ensure all dates and deadlines match what you previously discussed and agreed on. You can also get a head start on planning your work and projects based on the defined deadlines.

Take Your Time

 

Contract reviews aren’t—and shouldn’t be—a race to the finish line. Reading and checking each sentence is going to take time, especially for longer or more complicated contracts, but it’s important to not try to rush through it. Thoroughly reviewing your contract could protect you or your business from avoidable and possibly costly mistakes.

Get Others Involved

 

If you drafted the agreement, it’s a good idea to get a fresh pair of eyes on it, as someone who’s reading it for the first time is more likely to notice mistakes than the person who created it. If you didn’t write the agreement, it’s still always safer to have an additional person check over it in case you missed any errors or important information that wasn’t covered.

Regular Reviews

 

Just because you’ve completed a contract review, doesn’t mean you should never have to look at it again. By regularly reviewing existing contracts, you have an opportunity to improve them through lessons you’ve learned since the initial signing or to correct mistakes that had previously been overlooked. It also allows you to update the agreement appropriately when you’re up for a renewal or when there are changes to industry standards and company guidelines.

Find the Right Software

 

Contract reviews are a long and tiring process, so finding a tool that can help will take some of the pressure off. Contract management software can scan and analyze large documents quickly and accurately, but they might not be able to determine whether terms and phrases are misleading. These tools should therefore be used as an aid rather than a replacement for a human review.

After reviewing the contract, you can also use online tools for completing and signing the agreement. With Smallpdf’s secure electronic signature tool, you can add text fields and your signature, and invite additional signees. It’s quick, easy, and secure!

Want to learn more? Head to the Smallpdf Business Blog for more tips and insights!

Olivia Baker
Olivia Baker
Content Writer