MYTH OF THE PERFECT 2-PAGE AGREEMENT
Many believe shorter is always better for contracts and that a 2-page agreement exemplifies simplicity and effectiveness.
The length of an agreement should not be the sole measure of its quality.
It is easy to see why a 2-page agreement would be appealing. But the truth is, not all agreements can be effectively covered in just a couple of pages. While brevity may be seen as a virtue in some cases, it should not come at the expense of clarity and comprehensiveness.
Some agreements, such as those involving complex business transactions or legal matters, require a more detailed and comprehensive approach. Attempting to condense all the necessary information into a 2-page document can lead to ambiguity, loopholes, and potential disputes further down the road.
It’s important to remember that the length of an agreement should be determined by its content and complexity rather than arbitrary page limits.
In some cases, a longer agreement may be necessary to cover all the necessary terms and protect the interests of all parties involved. Instead of fixating on a two-page agreement, it is more important to focus on crafting a well-written, clear, and comprehensive document that accurately reflects the intentions and expectations of all parties. This requires careful consideration, collaboration, and sometimes the expertise of legal professionals.
Having been in the corporate practice for more than 20 years and having drafted and reviewed countless contracts, we know that many of Singapore’s Small and medium Enterprises have turned to the internet for self-help measures to deal with the nitty-gritty day-to-day aspects of starting, running, and protecting their business as a cost-saving measure.
Like many business owners, you have probably used or are using an agreement downloaded from the internet.
Or you were a little more diligent and had searched for a few similar legal agreements and combined them into one agreement.
Many business owners come to us, flaunting their “simple 2-page but near-perfect” agreements and requesting minor “touch-ups”. We often had to tell these clients that their agreements required a significant overhaul as they did not provide for many common situations.
To truly understand the importance of a properly drafted agreement, it is essential to explore real-life case studies and their valuable lessons.
One of our clients, a training consultant, recently came to us with his “perfect” 2-page agreement. He said he had been using his consultant agreement for the last 6 years without problems.
He recently learned that the company he had worked with made copies of his work and circulated them to all its staff members. A quick review of his consultant agreement showed that it lacked terms relating to using his materials, particularly the right to compensation for the unlawful use of his materials.
Our client told us that, being a “one-man show,” he didn’t want to “scare off” his clients with a 20-page legal agreement.
Our client has now learned that he omitted important details and clauses by condensing his agreement into just 2-pages.
Having learnt a valuable lesson, our client’s standard agreement is now 8 pages long.
Companies in different industries have different specific needs. Very often, the various issues faced by businesses require a variety of specific legal wordings. If you feel that these issues are important to you, make sure your agreements are reviewed by a lawyer. Speak to us over video consultation via Lawyer Anywhere.