I just published my latest Legal Guides for Creatives course on Skillshare, this one is all about how to read a contract and...how to understand it! If you're into that sorta thing. Which you should be.
So I did a thing...
Deep in the boilerplate language of most contracts are two clauses that you might not have given much thought to: The Choice of Law and Jurisdiction provisions. Or maybe you've heard the term "jurisdiction" thrown around in a TV crime drama "this isn't your jurisdiction, detective!" kinda way and wondered what that word is doing in your contract. Let's discuss what these provisions are about and why you should care.
Close your eyes and visualize a written contract. Did you picture a multiple-page, lengthy document? Was it covered in tiny writing that said things like "including but not limited to"? Did you picture yourself anxiously flipping to the last page to sign? Yeah, you're not alone. Deep down inside most people know it's important to use a written contract but get overwhelmed when it's time to create or sign one. If you read this post, you know that a written contract isn't required, so why would you want one? Here's why.
If given the choice, you want to be the one to present your own contract when entering into an agreement with someone. Why? Because when you draft your own contract you can choose to include, or not include, anything you want. But knowing how to spot red flags in contracts you didn't draft yourself is an important skill for an entrepreneur to have. There are quite a few to discuss but today we're going to talk about indemnification clauses.
At its most basic, a contract is a legally enforceable agreement between two or more persons to do or not do certain things. So, does a contract need a specific formulation of words to be valid? Nope. Does it have to be in writing? Sometimes. It can be a complex area of the law but you don't need to be intimidated by contracts. Let's start out by taking a look at the different types of contracts.