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Protecting Your Ministry
March 4, 2014

Dear Ministry Partners,

It pays to carefully study any agreement before you sign it. Having an attorney review important contracts is also a good idea. Here are some key questions to ask when someone presents your ministry with a contract. You don’t need a written document in order to have a legally enforceable agreement. You can enter into a ‘contract’ simply by making a verbal promise. However, verbal promises can create big problems if you or the other party disagree. To ensure that everyone has the same understanding, put any significant agreement in writing.  If the agreement contains a term or clause that you don’t understand, learn what it means before signing your name on the line. Below, we give you plenty more contract-evaluating tips.  Check them out! 

As a side note, have you checked out our Idea Library lately? We've added tons of new content for your use. If you think of a topic that others might benefit from, let us know and we'll get to work! Visit it by clicking here.

God Bless You & Your Ministry,
John Korsmo

What Should a Contract Include?
Here are some essentials to review:

Services
  • Exactly what are you agreeing to pay for?
  • Are some services included in the base price, with other services costing more?
  • When will the service begin and end?
Products
  • What exactly will be delivered? When?
  • If it’s a recurring order, how frequently will the product be delivered?
  • Can you refuse to accept products that are damaged or that aren’t what you expected?
Term
  • When does the contract start and end?
  • Will charges or fees increase during the term of the contract?
Payment
  • When is payment due?
  • Will the vendor charge late fees if you fail to pay on time?
Renewal
  • What happens at the end of the contract?
  • Does the agreement automatically renew if one party does not terminate?
  • How long does the renewal period last?
Termination
  • When and how can the contract be terminated, if someone doesn’t live up to its terms?
  • If the contract is breached, who must pay what?
Disagreement resolution
  • How will disagreements regarding the contract be handled?
  • Does the contract require mediation or arbitration?
  • What law applies to contract disputes?
  • Must disputes be resolved in a specified court or by a specified mediation or arbitration entity?
Contracts Can Be Rewritten
A contract is simply an agreement that creates a legal obligation to make good on its promises. Terms can usually be modified if all of the parties consent. In most cases, everything will go smoothly and no problems will arise. When disagreements do occur, however, you’ll be better off if you understand the document you signed.
 
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