5 things about template contracts

Lawyers use template contracts all the time!

There is nothing inherently wrong with using template contracts. The lawyers that tell you that you need a unique contract use them. They buy those templates and put together the elements. It is extremely rare for anyone to start with a blank sheet of paper.

What you are paying for when you commission a uniquely written contract is the degree of expertise a lawyer may apply when selecting the template elements to suit your business needs. As with all professions, sometimes this job goes to juniors who have no experience, or rushed legal teams who don’t take the time to get to know your business model’s relevant parts.

When you do get a great custom contract (started with contract templates) it can cost you hundreds if not thousands of pounds. And you will still need to get it updated when your business changes or when the law changes.

Training and advice aren’t usually part of contract templates

You won’t usually get any training on how to use your contract or how to know if you need to change your contract. Usually you won’t get advice included with your purchase, so any questions your clients raise, or problems with getting paid will not be included in what you paid.

Nonetheless, lawyers that focus on writing customised contracts are often very critical of templates. Sometimes rightly so as there can be problems with the templates they use, and with templates you may choose to use.

  1. Lack of customization: Templates may not fully meet the specific needs or unique circumstances of a particular contract situation. They may not address all the essential terms and conditions required
  2. Inadequate legal protection: Templates are often generic and may not fully address the legal requirements or considerations of a particular jurisdiction or industry. This can leave parties vulnerable to legal challenges or disputes. This is particularly so if the template author is unaware of how data privacy legislation can intersect with your contracts.
  3. Incompleteness or outdated information: Template contracts may not include necessary clauses or may contain outdated legal language. Laws and regulations change over time, so using an outdated template could have serious problems including an unenforceable agreement.
  4. Over reliance on “copy-paste”: Using template contracts without careful review and customization can lead to a lack of understanding or oversight of the actual terms and obligations being agreed upon. This can result in unintended consequences or obligations that parties are not prepared to fulfill. We often review contracts for clients where neither party has any idea of what the contract means they have promised to do.
  5. Choosing an inappropriate starting place – such as using USA style contracts for the UK. Copying other organisation’s contracts is also a problem as they can have been written for specific reasons that don’t apply to you or your situation.

KoffeeKlatch template contracts really are different

KoffeeKlatch contracts sit half way between using contract templates (which may not be appropriate) and paying the sort of money you need to get a custom contract written for you. Custom contracts can cost hundreds if not thousands of pounds depending on the complexity of the contract. You can expect to pay anything from £150 to £300 an hour for fully insured legal advice.

Our contract templates are written in consultation with our customers and leading coaches in your industry. We also work closely with our editorial board (which includes lawyers, risk specialists, data specialists and more) to make sure we are being as clear as possible and taking a realistic view of the risks you face. And we monitor what our customers ask us, have trouble with and what their customers get up to so that we can update the contracts to reflect changes in working practices within your industry.

They are made with love and care even if we don’t put a heart on them when we send them out! The are written with lawyers but not just by lawyers which we think is the best of both worlds.

5 things about template contracts 5
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Are KoffeeKlatch template contracts editable?

Every document from KoffeeKlatch can be completed with your rates, your payment terms, your packages, your details, your client details and more. You can use the accompanying form sections to override the core documents or purchase at Premium level and edit everything.

Concentrating your changes into one area means we can easily identify what your rights are when you get into a dispute and where you have changed them. And so can you, once you are familiar with what you are doing.

For many first time business owners this is really useful as it is so easy to get confused by people who sometimes have a fanciful view of what they are entitled to that bears no relation to the contract they signed with you.

Why can’t you edit everything in the Basic contract templates?

You can adapt the documents by using the forms that come with it. That’s where you put everything that is unique about your business and your new client.

The Basic, pre-start up range, is a training range and is designed to get you to understand what you are doing, viewing the extensive training videos that come with your document pack, and downloading and storing your documents somewhere safe.

You can complete it and issue it but once you have a revenue stream, most people upgrade to Standard and add their logo to a more neutrally branded document pack.

Some upgrade to Premium and make the documents match your fonts, colours and more.

You choose which level you purchase. You can see more about what the levels mean here.

Think of the Basic level as your training material

The objective has always been to start sharing with you the knowledge you will need to survive the hurly-burly of being a micropreneur. Taking the time to figure out what your contracts do for you, what you need them to do for you, and which bits are the most powerful is a very worthwhile investment of your time.

By providing pre-start up contracts that you can upgrade later as you move into revenue, our objective has always been to get you using and understanding contracts as early as possible in your business life.

We do get the occasional customer who does not want to understand their contracts or what they need to do. But a typical KoffeeKlatch customer is relieved to understand what is going on, and happy to know you have updates and support.

Why? Because all too often when a problem comes along you will find someone telling you – you should have sorted that out in the first place by using your contract!

In the 15 or more years we have been doing this, we are unique in offering templates that are researched and written for (and by) your specific industry AND including advice training, support and updates into the price.

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