The main terms you need to watch out for will obviously depend on the type of contract you’re entering into, and what you want to get out of the transaction. However, there are some terms which are quite likely to be relevant in many commercial contracts.
These include restrictions on liability, intellectual property rights and termination provisions.
If you’re providing good or services, then there’s a chance you can be sued if something goes wrong. Your liability, unless you cover it correctly in the contract, could be unlimited. Sensible provisions to include here would be a liability cap and limits on the type of claims which may be brought.
Intellectual property rights, and who owns them, may well be important areas to cover in your contract. Apart from protecting the existing intellectual property rights of each of the parties, the contract should also deal with what happens to any new intellectual property which is created through the transaction.
Finally, termination provisions can be crucial to be able to exit a contract which is not working. Without the ability to end the contract, a party can find itself tied in, and forced to buy itself out of the agreement – if it doesn’t want to face a claim for breach of contract.