How to Get a Contract Signed

How To Get a Contract Signed

No matter what business you are in, you need to know how to get a contract signed.

Whether you are building websites, blogging, are involved in the planning of someone’s content marketing campaign, doing social media marketing, or running a brick and mortar business, it doesn’t really matter.

Knowing how to get a contract signed, and when to ask for a contract are necessary skills most colleges will never teach you.


Ladies and Gents, I cannot stress the importance of how essential it is to have a binding contractual agreement between yourself and the client with anything you do in business.

If you are serious about doing real business, protect your interests and your client’s interest and simply always make sure you have a contract!

Don’t start anything serious before you know how to get a contract signed.

And a duly signed and properly dated one!

don't do a contract with a handshake!

Cause if it’s not in writing, you simply don’t have a deal.

Sorry (pro bono work aside), for this marketer a verbal promise or a handshake just won’t ever do!

There are affiliate links within this post. What this  means is that if you decide to purchase anything through one of my links, I'll be rewarded with a small commission at absolutely no extra cost to you. This small commission helps me run and maintain my website.

Write your own contracts

​Write Your Own Contracts

Unless you are doing a big deal and dealing with large corporations or unions, no attorney is necessary to draft contracts.

You can write your own contracts.

And do them very well.

I have been writing my own contracts for a long time for various brick and mortar businesses, from my interior design business, to my pro entertainment company, and now doing web design services for others.

Over the years they have saved me time and money - time and time again.

Even my own self-made contracts have stood up to time the very few times I’ve been forced to go to civil court. Once, the judge asked me, “Who does your contracts?” 

When I told him they were self-created, he was practically in disbelief.

Last night I spent several hours “shoring up” my new web design contract by revising the copy to cover not only the standard schedules (“basics”), but many possible contingencies.

file with legal zoom and other online contract templates

If you prefer, you certainly can pay for online contract templates. Legal Zoom, Rocket Lawyer, and Form Swift are only a few of the myriad online services available at your fingertips that you can pay a fee to provide contract templates.

I would definitely recommend to use these online services if you can afford them.

However, if you are on a deep budget as I was and have the time, IMO there is absolutely nothing wrong with obtaining and using a simple draft of a related product/ services contract in your industry that addresses similar provisions and then making your own custom modifications to it.

Just make sure you know your business inside out and do your own due diligence in researching what the minimum requirements are in the contract, then you can modify it to suit your business needs.

When I started my interior design business a long time ago – even before websites were popular (lol!) - this is how I did it; in fact, I was able to get my hands on a hard copy of an established and reputable interior design firm’s business contract and used it as my template draft.

My girlfriend at the time worked for that interior design firm and was able to somehow get a copy of their contract. I remember how excited I was when she brought that draft copy to me!

Now you can find anything on Google. This process is so much infinitely easier.

a contract is a contract

A Contract is a Contract

It really doesn’t matter what business you are involved in.

Once you know and thoroughly understand your business inside out, your knowledge of your business can be applied to fine tuning any contract.

This is provided that you are looking at contracts in a related industry.

You can achieve this through:

  • The products and services you offer
  •  Your median pricing structure
  • The expectations of your customers
  • How your businesses’ revenue model works

Most of the work will already be done for you.

 these standard parts of a contract

Given this information, here are the most standard parts of a product/ service contract:

*Note: This is not an exhaustive list by any means.

  • Description of Parties: Name and address of client and service provider and date of contract
  • Scope of Services: bullet point details of what your full services include
  • Payments: What are payment terms, % of deposit, and how and when do we get paid?
  • Additional Services: What is added flat fee or pay rate for additional services not included?
  • Exclusions: What is NOT included in your services?
  • Estimated Time of Delivery: What is the approximate time range all deliverables will be completed?
  • Terms and Conditions: Ownership rights, copyright notice, promotion, confidentiality, warranty, disclaimer, indemnity, governing law, assignment, termination, amendments, severability, acts of God, limitation of liability, etc.
  • Signatories: Names and signatures of client, service provider, and all parties dated

This is only an introductory to the basics of contract writing for your own small business.

Conclusion of how to get a contract

Conclusion: How to Get a Contract Signed

Take your time, use your imagination and brainstorm as many possible scenarios as possible.

Much can happen in a business transaction between you and the client, just cover EVERY possibility in your contract.

Protect your interests. In doing so, also protect your client’s interests.

Think how your client would feel if she by accident lost something owned by your company that she borrowed.

She would be thrilled later when finding out she was “off the hook” as per the language you added in the fine print of your contact.

I will tell you, she will indebted to you with a big “Thank You” and will continue to be your repeat customer. 

Realize that you won’t get this perfect, for few contracts are 100% bullet-proof and comprehensive, but as a starter you will be well on your way to getting your business right out of the gate!

Knowing how to get a contract will help you succeed in the long game

So before you start your next business, always make sure you know how to get a contract signed.

It is the only way to succeed in the long game.

Please provide your comments below, and thank you for reading and participating.

About the Author

KAJU is the band leader and founding member of OFF THE HOOK, one of the premiere dance party bands in the New York Tri-State Area. After contracting a mysterious hand disorder, Kaju now writes to help other musicians and artists deal with disabilities. Currently he is a Full-time Affiliate Marketer and 1-on-1 mentor at Wealthy Affiliate, a community that can help anyone start an online business without prior experience. This is where he teaches others how to make a great passive income. Read more about his story here!

  • Cheryl Brown says:

    Great article and I totally agree that regardless of what line of business you are entering into, you should always have a contract and it should be signed by both parties involved.

    I like the idea that you have offered the names of companies you can use to get a contract drawn up if it is needed. This is good as a lot of people maybe wouldn’t know where to look for this.

    • Kaju says:

      Thank You again Cheryl for your very thoughtful comment here.
      A contract in any business transaction is essential regardless of the business.

      I am happy that many of the FREE resources available for contract templates can help many people:)

  • Ingrid says:

    Excellent advices! I never think about it, but we have to be able to protect ourselves when we go into business even a small business. There is no better protection than a well-crafted contract. With all the good advices you’ve given me, I think I can start my business on the internet with more confidence. I will certainly order an online service because I don’t necessarily have the time to do it. But if I take my courage in both hands and prepare my contract myself, your article will guide me really well. Thank you for these great tips.

    • Kaju says:

      This is fantastic Ingrid! Love hearing that you are going to “take this with both hands” and protect your business. It is a MUST for all of us to have a contract, even if we are in a small business.
      You will do great, and will be well protected! Thank You:)!

  • Lynn says:

    You have definitely simplified what to me is a complicated topic. I laughed when you stated that the judge was in disbelief (in a good way) over your self-made contract. You must be pretty good at this 🙂 Of course, I think practice makes perfect and you can probably create contracts in your sleep.

    • Kaju says:

      That is definitely one true story, we can’t make this up Lynn! Thanks for your excellent supportive comment here, and indeed “practice does make perfect.” I am of the firm belief of what Malcolm Gladwell write in his book “Outliers”; that in order to an true expert at anything, one needs to have dedicated a total of 10,000+ hours to that activity in one’s life.

      So after doing this so long in different brick and mortar businesses, I personaly usually don’t need a lawyer for my contracts:)

      • Lynn says:

        Hmm….seems like you could almost create a freelance business and get paid to do this for other people. Of course, I don’t really know if that’s legal or if there’s a lot of liability doing that, but just a thought.

  • Vicki says:

    Contracts are vital in business and as an Entertainer for me the most important aspect of my business

    • Kaju says:

      Thank You for your very sage comment Vicki. Being in the entertainment business for a number of years as yourself, we both know how important contracts are.
      Now that same importance follows us into the content marketing and affiliate marketing businesses. Knowing how to create them and execute them are essential skills for any entrepreneur to master.

  • Nicole says:

    This is very helpful information. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kaju says:

      Always get a contract signed from your clients whe you do work for them, no matter how trivial the job may seem to be Nicole.
      This is essential, and a great habit too.

      Have a Great Day!


  • Dawn says:

    I came across this post while browsing through your website. Boy, I have to say, you have a lot of patience. I don’t have the stomach for it, all the legalese, although I know it’s important. I would probably hire someone anyway.

    • Kaju says:

      What’s most important is that you create a proper contract and have that contract duly signed for all your business endeavors. Whether you are able to do this yourself or would rather hire an attorney that is entirely up to you:)

      You can also use an inexpensive online service like Legal Zoom for templates. That’s the point of this article.
      Good Luck with your businesses, Dawn!

  • Kaju,

    As a legal professional, this post resonates with me, and it surely should resonate with almost everybody else.

    I can reveal this now because the specific case is long over decades ago, but let us say that the major law firm I worked for at the time represented a major US beverage company in a huge contractual dispute with a major Mexican which hinged upon the interpretation of a small phrase dealing with the exercise of purchase warrants for shares of common stock at the specific strike price. Everyone would know the two major beverage companies and both had capable major law firms representing them in the contract, yet, the contract written in Spanish had that flaw which caused our client to withhold payment on the exercise of the purchase warrants until it was determined which exact shares of common stock it was entitled to: 1. mother company only OR mother company and subsidiaries. Huge difference in interpretations and outcomes.

    After a massive amount of discovery and litigation, they went to an international arbitration panel and eventually our side won and had saved our major US beverage client some 200 million, minus the interest it had to pay to the other side for withholding payment on the exercise of the purchase warrants.

    Most contracts will also either include and reference addendums, exhibits, etc and will specifically say that collectively to be the complete contract and that nothing extrinsic can be considered as being part of the contract.

    There are contract templates out there by state and the DIY crowd may choose the Nolo Press on other well recognized and updated boilerplate templates.


    • Kaju says:

      Thank You sharing your story Gabriel, this is as a true and comprehensive an analysis about interpretations and outcomes of a contractual agreement as I will ever read in a comment. Spoken like a true professional who truly knows the importance of a well-written contract!

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