Signing contracts and leases: how to avoid liability

As a small business owner, you will often be required to sign a contract for goods or services. Here are a few things  you should be aware of to avoid costly litigation. 

  • A contract is a legal document; be sure you understand what you are signing, as it could be very costly to get out of and may even involve litigation.
  • Do not accept any verbal changes. Make sure all changes are written into the contract.
  • If you are not sure what your obligations are, get a lawyer to review the contract and advise you of any concerns.
  • Check the contract for automatic renewal dates and be aware if you have to provide notice of cancellation. Some contracts require up to a year’s notice, in writing, should you wish to cancel.
  • Look for clauses that allow increases in pricing without written notice.
  • Check the term of the contract and make sure there is an option to cancel without penalty.
  • Report any unscrupulous practices to the Competition Bureau at 1 800-348-5358 or online.