Louisiana business owners must use contracts to work with clients or even hire new employees. In some cases, the other party may dispute the terms of the contract, which can lead to a costly lawsuit and a lot of wasted time. While it’s not possible to prevent all disputes from occurring, Inc. recommends the following advice to help lower your risk.

Visiting a notary is a relatively simple way to make your contract more enforceable. A notary requires that both parties verify their identities at signing, which prevents one person from saying their name was included fraudulently. Notarized contracts are also more likely to be read. When the person signing fails to fully read and comprehend the contract, there could be claims of misunderstandings later.

In terms of budget, make sure yours is final before the contract is signed. Financial disputes are quite common in business, especially when it comes to agreements. If the other party has a certain figure in mind and the final costs end up exceeding that, litigation is likely. With a budget already in place, everyone will be on the same page.

In the same token, make sure you account for all future considerations in addition to financial matters. This includes the process for how the contract will renew, which can be a contentious matter in some cases. Your contract might renew automatically, or it may need to be reviewed upon expiration. Regardless, it’s important for you and the other person to have this discussion before the contract actually takes effect. You also want to consider things like non-compete clauses and what will happen if the other party goes out of business.