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How to Negotiate a Contract?

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Why Are Written Contracts Important?

Final agreements can be oral, but they can be difficult to prove in a dispute without something more than your own memory to establish the agreed terms. The law also requires that some contracts be in writing, including those for services extending more than a year, employment, and sale of land.


Preparing to Negotiate a Contract

1. Define Objectives and Limits

Spend time thinking about your objectives and limits. A successful negotiation falls between your goal and your bottom line. Evaluate your Plan B, or your best alternative to a negotiated agreement.

2. Study the Other Side

Prepare for the negotiation by understanding the other party’s objectives and limits. The more you know about them, the more options you’ll have during the negotiation. Ensure the person representing the other side has the authority to negotiate.

3. Consider Future Scenarios

Think about what may happen during the life of the agreement. This foresight can help in crafting a contract that is resilient to potential issues.


During the Negotiation

1. Manage Perceptions and Emotions

Get to know the person you’re negotiating with. Understand their incentives and concerns. Provide verbal and physical cues that you want to work together. Clearly state your interests and show flexibility on some points. Be prepared to walk away if necessary.

2. Actively Listen

Pay close attention to what the other side says. Identify and create multiple possible solutions. Look for areas that are unimportant to you but important to the other side and make concessions on those points. Following up with a written summary to confirm points of disagreement and agreement is always a good idea.


How to Negotiate a Contract?


Reviewing a Form Contract

1. Negotiability of Form Contracts

Many businesses and vendors use form contracts. Just because it’s a form doesn’t mean it’s not negotiable. Never sign anything you don’t fully understand.

2. Understanding the Contract Scope

Determine the contract’s scope to understand what is and isn’t included. Read and understand common terms such as “hereafter” and “henceforth.”

3. Cape Law’s Contract Review Services

Cape Law offers contract review services. Our attorneys help identify potential points of conflict, provide negotiation advice, and handle contract execution. We ensure you understand the terms and protect your interests.


We invite you to contact us for expert assistance in negotiating and reviewing contracts. Let us help you secure favorable terms and avoid potential pitfalls.