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How Ambiguous Language Could Cost You in a Business Contract

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A well-written business contract protects all involved parties. But when you use ambiguous language, either intentionally or unintentionally, the entire contract is in danger of being null and void. To find out how ambiguous language could negatively impact your business, and to discuss your business contracts in greater detail, call John H. Ruby & Associates at 502-895-2626.

Your Reputation is At Stake

In the best-case scenario, your client will review the contract in great detail before signing off on it. This isn’t always the case—some clients, especially those who are relatively new to the business world, may just listen to your overview of the contract and sign it. The ambiguous terms don’t come to light until it’s too late.

But when a client reviews the contract ahead of time with their own attorney, they may come back to you with the ambiguous terms highlighted for clarification. At that point, even if you fix the errors, it may be too late.

They may look at your ambiguous language as a sneaky way of trying to get one past them and decide to walk away from the deal entirely. A simple review of your contract with an attorney could have saved you the entire hassle. This interaction could go beyond your one client. If they talk to others in your industry about their experience with you, it could damage your reputation and slow your growth.

Ambiguities Work Against You

In many cases, ambiguous language does not come to light until it has already caused a rift in the client-business relationship. It happens like this: you write the contract with one intention in mind. Your client reads it, interprets it a different way, and signs it. You both signed it with different understandings of what the contract actually said.

When your case ends up in front of a court, you could be on the losing end. Courts look at these contracts and often assume that the party who created the contract—in this case, you—has slightly more power than the other person who is simply agreeing to the terms. They consider it your responsibility to write a contract with clear and unambiguous language. Should you fail to do so, they will likely interpret the contract in a way that favors the other party.

Ambiguous Contract Language Can Ruin Valued Business Relationships

There are many contract dispute cases that have ended fruitful and long-standing business relationships. This is often completely unavoidable because a clearly written contract would have allowed the parties to discuss the terms before signing.

Either the parties come to a compromise and draw up a new contract, or they decide to part ways amicably after not being able to come to an agreement. Either way, the damage to your business is far less than it is after a lawsuit that is expensive and drags your company’s name through the mud. As a business owner, you’d likely rather keep your clients with a slightly different contract, even if it means giving up something on your end.

A Business Law Attorney Can Help

What’s the solution? Set up a consultation with a skilled business law attorney. Business lawyers understand the importance of a well-drafted contract, and they spend a substantial amount of time learning how to draft airtight contracts that protect their clients’ best interests. You can talk to your attorney about what you want to achieve with a contract and what terms you want to enforce, and then trust them to document it in a clear and legally enforceable way.

This is beneficial in other ways, too—in agreements where you are not the party who drafts the contract, your attorney can review those contracts for you and bring up any potential issues. A short consultation could save you multiple lawsuits.

Reach Out to John H. Ruby & Associates Today

Ready to find out how we can help you with your business law needs? It’s time to talk to the team at John H. Ruby & Associates. Let’s discuss your goals and what we can do to help you achieve them. Fill out our online contact form or call us at 502-895-2626 to get started.