Contractors that own a small business can be presented with a variety of challenges. From a labor shortage to surging materials costs to procuring projects and negotiating contracts, sometimes the ever-present challenges of completing a job on time can seem secondary to the daily concerns of owning a business. In this brief article, a construction lawyer in Brentwood, TN will cover a topic that should always be on the mind of contractors: will your client pay you? It may all depend on your contract.
Here are a few mistakes you never want to make.
Do You Have a Contract?
Even in the modern day, many small business contractors still rely on a verbal agreement. Perhaps you’ve done business with this client before and you deem them trustworthy. Maybe the scale of the work is minimal and doesn’t seem like it’s worth the time to draft out into a legal document. Regardless, in a legal context, a verbal agreement carries little weight.
Without a contract, if a dispute was presented to a court, the best option for the owed party is a paper trail of evidence to support their claim. For example, there may not be a contract in place that was mutually agreed to by each party; however, there may be dozens of emails that entail the work being provided for the client and the client’s approval.
Although you should always have a construction law attorney in Brentwood, TN, draft, revise, or review a contract for your project before work commences, it’s important to also have essential issues and updates related to your project in writing. Verbal agreements may be a nice concept, but they rarely satisfy the legal definition of a contract.
Does Your Contract Align With the Work?
The primary culprit to a bad contract is vague wording. Many construction professionals go through the time and effort to draft a contract or hire someone to draft a contract for them; however, the contract is pretty much a template and the language fails to clearly define the scale of the work necessary to complete the project. Sometimes, as the project progresses, the work needed to complete the project no longer aligns with the written statement of the work that was originally drafted in the contract. Any time there is ambiguity in the contract, you are leaving your compensation to chance in court.
At Cotney Construction Law, we specialize in drafting, reviewing, and revising construction contracts.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.