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Avoid contract disputes by notarizing contracts

Contracts are a mainstay of business dealings in Moorestown. However, no matter how thoroughly they are negotiated and how carefully they are drafted, contract disputes may still arise. Parties may disagree on what their duties are under the contract or how to execute them. Costs may go above what was agreed upon or deadlines may be missed. Unfortunately, in the end it may be inevitable that sooner or later a contract dispute will arise.

However, there is one simple step that may give a business owner an upper hand in a contract dispute: have the contract signed and notarized by a notary public. A notary public is an individual who is permitted by the government to officially witness and acknowledge that the person signing the contract is lawfully guaranteed to be a party to the contract.

Why have a contract notarized? First of all, in a contract dispute an individual may try to argue that he or she did not sign the contract. If an individual claims this, it can significantly complicate things legally. Having a notarized contract can overcome such an argument, as every federal court and most state courts see that if a contract has a notarized signature, this means that it is indeed an authentic agreement. Therefore, the party seeking to enforce the contract may not have to prove the contract's authenticity.

Another good reason to notarize a signed contract is that most notaries are bonded by insurers. If the notary made an error in the notarization process, the bonded insurance company may be legally liable for any damages the party seeking to enforce the contract incurred should they lose the lawsuit due to said error.

Keep in mind that the information in this post should not be relied upon as legal advice. However, as you can see, notarizing a contract -- even if you are not legally required to do so -- may be a sound move, as it may allow business transactions to run smoother. Contract disputes can be messy affairs, so anything that can provide some clarity to the process may be of help.

Source: Entrepreneur, "Avoiding Contract Disputes," Chris Kelleher, accessed Sept. 2, 2016

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