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Let’s be honest, we all sign contracts without reading the whole document. It is not until we want to cancel or enforce the contract that we normally take a good look at what we have signed.

Contracts can take many forms. For example, they can be as obvious as your lease agreement or more unusual, like ticking a box on an online form.

Especially in the later case, contracts are rarely read in full. If you are wondering why, it’s because we tend to assume all contracts are standard.

And it is so. In most cases.

But even a contract about your cable TV can put you into a lot of debt by making you commit to redundancy payments without you even realizing it! Yeah, because you didn’t read the whole thing.

I’m quite sure that after drawing your attention to the issue of actually reading your contracts you will do it at least for the substantial investments and commitments you make (you will, right?).

But what should you look for?

How can a regular Joe or Jane know what should be in every contract?

3 Terms That Should Be In Every Contract

These three clauses should be in every contract you sign to protect yourself from paying for something that’s just not your fault:

1. Indemnification clause

This is the term that protects you from lawsuits and claims when you work with third parties. This means that you’re not liable if your guests or business partners cause the damage. You can include this clause in free wording or ask your lawyer to write it up for you.

2. Authorization

This term is crucial to a well crafted contracts. The person who signs the contract needs to be the one who is liable for it. Contract law states that a contract is enforceable only if the liable party (or authorized representative) signs it.

3. Time is of the Essence Clause

Often times the completion of a contract in a certain time frame is crucial for its success. Time-sensitive matters like deliveries and services that you rely on need to be covered by this clause. If this term is in the contract, any delays or inconsistencies are seen as breach of contract.

The worst thing that can happen to you is to be liable for damage caused by the actions of others.

So be careful.

Read that contract, it won’t kill ya!

The worst mistake people do when they sign a contract or click a checkbox can be fixed with one simple trick: reading.

Isn’t that hard to know you are signing a safe agreement, just do the due diligence and if you’re still not sure – don’t assume, call a lawyer.