A contract template is a general outline for a contract. It may be a blank form with several lines to be filled in by the parties, or it may already contain important information related to the transaction. Contract templates can be helpful in that they allow a company to have a basic contract document for various contracts.
Contract templates may be created by an attorney for a company, or they can often be obtained through various legal service companies. However, it’s usually best if a lawyer creates the template, since they will be familiar with both the laws as well as the needs of the company.
In general, contract templates may be used when the same type of agreement needs to be made over and over again. For example, suppose that a business only engages in the sale of a specific type of grain. Thus, the company may use a contract template or a standard contract form when engaging in negotiations with other parties, since the transaction is basically the same each time. This helps save the company time and resources on the contract forms.
One drawback of contract templates is that they can limit the creativity and adaptability of the company during negotiations. In some agreements, an entirely new type of contract needs to be created. In such cases, the company will then need to hire a lawyer to draft a new contract specifically for that transaction, or to create a new contract template for similar arrangements in the future.
“Boiler-plate” language refers to any language in a contract that is used repeatedly by the company that created it. While other portions of the contract template may change, the boilerplate language stays the same, and is used in the same way for different contract agreements.
An example of this is with common clauses in a contract, such as an arbitration clause. If a company includes a non-litigation clause, the language used will likely stay the same and will say something to the effect of, “In the event of a legal dispute, the companies shall forfeit their rights to litigation, and will resolve their disputes through arbitration rather than a lawsuit”.
It is best if boilerplate language is drafted by an experienced and competent attorney, since the language may appear in several different contracts (in fact, it may appear in every contract that the business uses). Thus, if the boilerplate language contains an error, it could cause drastic legal problems for the business in the future.
Contract templates can be an important part of any business or personal endeavor. It’s in your best interests to have a business lawyer assist you with contract templates, so that they can edit, review, and revise the template for you. If you need help filling out a template, or negotiating a contract, your lawyer can provide you with valuable legal advice. In the event of a lawsuit or legal dispute, your lawyer can represent you in court and help you obtain a damages award.