Have you ever wondered if you should use online template contracts you bought off the internet? Fair enough, we have to. Find out what the REAL problem is with online contracts, and its probably not what you think!

Would you like to know what the real problem is with template or precedent contracts you can buy online? Well, I’ll tell ya, but you may not like the answer.

Hi, everyone, Simon here from the Contract Company. Contracts, it’s what we do, all day, every day, and sometimes overnight, lucky us.

The real problem with precedent or template contracts, Well, are you ready for this?

I’ll tell you what the answer is, you’re the problem.

Now, before you get all fired up, and get your knickers in a knot. Just take a chill pill, and hear me out.

The Problem with Online Template Contracts

The issue with you being the issue with template or precedent contracts is simply this. You, most likely, just haven’t got the practical and real-world experience of having filled them out and dealt with them many times.

Now, what that usually means is, because you just don’t know what you don’t know. You could be inserting unintentional errors in those documents.

We did write a blog post a while back, about a case in Canada called the Two Million Dollar Comma. And basically, it was a court case that was decided upon, based on the positioning of a comma in one clause.

And the outcome of that comma was, one party got awarded $2 million dollars. Fair bit of money, just to get a comma wrong.

So the point is, you don’t know what you don’t know.  You don’t know how your changes, or what legal effect your changes can have.

And what the unintentional outcome of those changes are.

Now, I hear you, you’re probably sitting at home, thinking, yeah, yeah. But, you have a vested interest in saying all that because you’re a law firm that drafts contracts.

Fine, I get that, we hear you, and that’s true. So, let me say this, for those low-value, low-risk transactions, fill your boots.

Check for Reputable Online Template Contracts

Go online, find a precedent or template contract, and use them. Because the risk of something going wrong is pretty low, and so it doesn’t really matter.

All I’d say there is, not all template precedents are created equal.  So if you do need to buy one online, just buy it from a reputable source, as in an Australian law firm.  There are a few of them around on the internet that sell them.

So, I would just say, buy one from there because we have seen a lot of crap.

So, if you can do that, you’re at least ahead of the curve because you have a good template, or good precedent to start with.

And then, the next issue is, just try to be careful when you fill it out. So, you don’t make any unintentional errors.

Now, here’s a real-world example for you, I took up mountain biking seven years ago. As part of that, I found a course out of Stromlo called, well, it’s the World Cup course. They built it for the World Cup in 2008, I think it was.

And anyway, it took me 110 goes before I could ride through that course without putting my foot down. Now, what does that show?

Well, one, I’m probably a bit of a spastic on a mountain bike, fair enough. But secondly, it does show that practice makes perfect.

And I suppose, that is the real issue in me saying, that you are probably the issue with a precedent or template contract. You just haven’t got that practice.

The Takeaway

But that’s okay, as I say, low-value, low-risk, transactions not involving too much money. Fill your boots, you’ll save a lot of money if you can find a good template online.

But, for those transactions where there is a bit more at stake, or at risk, probably best to get it done by someone who knows what they’re doing.

Anyway, that’s it for today. I hope that helps, please feel free to forward this on to someone who you think could benefit from hearing this.

And any questions, please get in touch with us 1-800-355-455, or Simon@contractcompany.com.au Thanks very much.

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