Often, I am asked, “What can I do to protect myself and my business?”
My answer is always the same; get it in writing.
Yes, you can create crazy legal structures, incorporate in another country, etc.
But nothing beats pen and paper (or in these digital times, email and e-signature).
It never fails; people have bad memory when it comes to the important details.
In a meeting or call, ideas are brewing, excitement is shared, and concepts are thrown back and forth.
You know what also happens?
Deadlines are set, milestones that need to be met before payments are made are discussed, responsibilities are set, and ownership is implied.
And guess what.
Your recollection of the meeting may not be the same as the other person’s, and that is more common than you think.
In my ideal world, there would be a contract after every meeting that ends up in a deal.
However, I know that is a fantasy.
While a girl can dream, she can also be a realist.
So let me give you my quick and legal fee-free option. . .send a summary email.
Yes, that is it. It is that simple.
The next time you wrap up a meeting or call, send a short email summarizing the main points of the meeting and what was agreed. It can be something as simple as. . .
Dear Future Business Partner,
I am so excited about the possibility of working together. I prepared a little summary of what we discussed below. We agreed to do this.
- We agreed to do the above things by this date.
- We agreed not to do this.
- Please confirm my summary matches your notes from the meeting. I look forward to our next talk.
Your very excited future business partner.
Getting it in writing doesn’t always mean signing contracts.
It just means putting it on pen and paper (or email) your understanding of the meeting and making sure everyone is on the same page.
Bite-Size Legal Tip: Get it in writing. After every meeting or call, send an email summarizing the key points agreed to in the meeting.