Contracts are a huge part of your business. You’ll have them with the landlord of your premises, employees, suppliers, to name but a few.

As a doctor you likely only came into contact with one contract; yours. The one you signed when you joined the hospital or practice.

As a doctor-cum-business owner you’ll have a lot more than one contract to be aware of, so how can you make sure that you’ve only signing good contracts, and not getting in trouble further down the line?

Here are three tips for you, from a lawyer (me!) to help you with your next contract.

1. Negotiate

The terms stated in the contract are just the starting point, not necessarily the final answer, so don’t be afraid to negotiate.

Ask for what you want. You both want the deal to go through, and you both want to get a good deal, and there’s nothing wrong with asking for what you want. Worse case scenario they say “No”.

2. Automatic Renewals

Ever signed up for a subscription, and forgotten all about it until it comes out of your bank a month/year later? In the case of an unused music subscription, you can probably handle the cost, in the case of an autonomic lease renewal, you maybe don’t want to find out about it once it’s too late.

Look out for automatic renewals, cancellation fees, how much notice the other party wants, so that you don’t get caught out and end up paying big bucks for something you no longer want.

3. Causes For Termination

Make sure you’re clear on what would be a cause for termination on both sides. Is there anything you might do that would give them the right to terminate the contract, and likewise what are things they might do that would give you the right to terminate the contract.

This will be different depending on whether or not we’re talking about a supplier or an employee, for example, but make sure you’re clear on what would get your contract terminated, and what you can terminate the contract over.

Ready To Learn More?

I hope this helps you to feel better prepared for going into your next contract negotiation. You’re absolutely expected to push for what is good for you. Just like haggling in a market, the seller starts high, you go low, and you find a happy medium price that works for you both.

Don’t be afraid to assert yourself, and take your time negotiating and signing the contract to make sure that everything is good, above board, and works for you.

Want to learn more? Grab a copy of Growing a Medical Practice: From Frustration to a High Performance Business here.