You should understand the legal nature of the contract. Legal nature refers to the type of contract you are entering into and its validity under the law. This will help you to know your legal position. For example, entering into an agency, the contract gives you principal and agent relationship.
Laws Governing such contract
Keeping a brief idea of law governing such contract is very important. It will inform you about rights and liabilities and consequences of the breach of such contract or any other irregularity. For example, you are entering into hypothecation contract then there are laws provided for Sale of Goods Act governing hypothecation.
Roles and Responsibilities
Generally, this clause regarding roles and responsibilities is attached in the appendix of contract. So before signing a contract just read the appendix once regarding your roles and responsibilities after entering into such contract. For example in a building contract the manner in which the kitchen, almirah, and windows need to be made and in how much time.
Term of Contract
The term of contract refers to the duration of a contract. Generally, people do mistakes. They sign a contract and then afterwards want to release themselves from performing a legal obligation under that contract. You should definitely check once the duration for which such contract will be in operation. For example, you are entering into a service contract then you should check for how many years you are obliged to provide service to that company or any individual.
You should keep a check on the risk involved after entering into such contract. For example, you are entering into the contract of merger then the risk involved includes failure of the business. In case of various contracts law provide for exorbitant penalties which should be taken care of.
Financial Obligations / Consideration
Any contract without a valid consideration is invalid. So you should check once the monetary or non-monetary consideration of contract. For example in an employment contract whether the salary you have been told is the one which is entered into the contract.
Non Disclosure Agreement
Every commercial contract is accompanied by a nondisclosure agreement or nondisclosure clause. Nondisclosure clause set forth the obligation of parties to preserve the confidential information and trade secrets of the contracting party.So make sure that you check the specific details of that clause and validity of that clause. In case you ignore it, it can get you in trouble and you might be discarded from your job.
Settlement of Disputes
Lastly, the dispute is the end of every contract. So, before entering into a contract you should check the clause of the mode of settlement of a dispute. In case any dispute arises then, what will be the mode of settlement. This will avoid any future legal problems. If the mode of settlement is arbitration then whether it is ad-hoc or institutional.
To conclude before you sign a contract you need to know exactly what you are signing up for. If you have any concerns at all, you should have the contract reviewed and your concerns addressed by an experienced business lawyer. You should never sign a contract if you are not comfortable with the term.
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