How To Master Contract Writing In 6 Steps (2024)

Perfect your contract writing skills with this guide. We'll teach you how to write a legal contract for free.
Last updated on:
December 29, 2023
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Looking to learn how to write a contract? In this guide, we’re going to teach you all there is to know about contract writing.

By the end of reading this tutorial, you’re going to learn new tips on how to write a legal contract for free.

There’s no time to waste, so let’s jump right into the tutorial. First, let’s answer the most basic question so as to understand what we’re dealing with.

How to write a legal contract (for free)

  1. Use a contract template;
  2. Name the parties in the contract;
  3. Describe what the contract is about;
  4. Refer to how the contract will end;
  5. Mention relevant laws to your terms;
  6. Add the date and sign the contract.

Shortly, these are are the steps you need to follow to create a legal contract. Now, let’s go into detail for every step and make sure that everything’s clear.

1. Use a contract template

Contract writing is the easier when you’re using a contract template that gives you a headstart compared to starting from nothing.

There are many free contract templates on the internet. In our library of templates, you will see many documents that might be useful for you.

We’ve got lots of use cases: Construction Contracts, Real Estate Contracts, as well as Freelance Contracts and others.

Library of contract templates

Our library of documents varies from the smallest to the biggest, most complicated document. And the best part is that they’re all free to use!

We’ve even got templates dedicated to different countries and their regulations: British Contracts, American Contracts, Canadian Contracts etc.

Simply browse our library and select your legal contract. Then, duplicate it, start editing, and save it.

2. Name the parties in the contract

If you prefer writing the contract yourself, then you first have to figure out who is going to take part to the contract and write the names down.

Make sure you also include titles for people if necessary: Mr., Ms., Lord, etc, as want to make it clear who takes part to this contract.

This is more than just a good way to start a legal contract — it’s the way to go. So, open the app you’re writing the contract in, and start typing.

Paragraph about the parties in a contract

→ Get this document for free: Wedding Photography Contract Template.

Important: If a legal business is in the contract, make sure to include the full legal name (such as Ltd. or Inc.) — it’s very important to state full names.

When a party is an incorporated entity, like a company, it’s the company itself that offers a service, and not the CEO or a specific individual.

Hence, it is important to include “Ltd.”, “Inc.” or any other existing part of the entity’s name in the contract.

3. Describe what the contract is about

Spell out what’s going on in the contract. And, remember, there’s no need to use industry-specific jargon or any unclear terms.

The clearer this section is, the better everyone is going to understand what’s agreed upon in the contract.

If your contract is about something being exchanged, simply make it clear which party is giving something away, and what the other party’s obligations are.

At the same time, every detail matters in the contract, so lay out who:

  • Performs a service (and what it is);
  • For who, when, where, and how;
  • What will be given in exchange → what the giver is going to receive;
  • Anything else happening with this deal.
Describing the services in a contract

→ Get this document for free: Accounting Contract Template.

You probably heard people “getting scammed” simply because they signed a contract that wasn’t detailed enough.

To avoid confusion and a negative situation, it’s best to describe every little detail there is about the exchange.

For example, if your contract is about dealing an item of value, make sure to include details such as: when it was made, the item’s colour, and other features.

Exchanging money? Always include the payment method, date, and currency.

4. Refer to how the contract will end

This may sound like a simple task, right? While it is a simple one, it’s also a thing that people tend to forget a lot.

As previously said, you want your contract to be detailed. So, the first step here is to figure out what kind of service you’re dealing with: a one-timer or an ongoing one.

After that, spell out what kind of service your contract is: a one-time service, a continuous service, or anything else. Give precise deadlines!

Adding time limits to a contract

→ Get this document for free: Consignment Contract Template.

Also give people an understanding for what happens if the terms are violated, and if that happens, the contract will be invalid.

You want to take into account every possible scenario. That’s why you need to set the ground rules for how things will go — the contract represents the rules.

5. Mention relevant laws to your terms

Just like in an essay, you want your contract to be backed up by at least one relevant law. The law that you pick has to be relevant and in tune with the terms.

The idea behind adding laws to your contract is to let the readers know how you’ll resolve any dispute. And there’s nothing better than with your state’s regulations!

Example: The Code of Law of California’s codes are applicable for all the terms when signing this contract.

Make this section of your contract sound like one of those “I am not a robot” checks. Get the approval of the signing parties.

Whether it’s good faith or appealing to a court of law, it’s always best to somehow tie your contract to at least on specific law in order to resolve potential disputes.

6. Add the date and sign the contract

Lastly, you want to finish writing a contract with the relevant date and add signature fields for the signing parties.

Pro Tip: With SignHouse, you can sign a contract online by first creating your electronic signature and then putting it on the document.

Add signature to a contract online

Doing this digitally is simple. You can draw a signature line in Word or in any other app that you’re working with (e.g. Apple Pages or Google Docs) and a date text.

Simply add your signature to the contract and then request signatures by sending the document to your signees.

The conclusion

In this guide, we’ve shown you the must-know details about writing a contract, as there were 6 simple steps. Let’s recap them:

  1. Use a contract template;
  2. Name the parties in the contract;
  3. Describe what the contract is about;
  4. Refer to how the contract will end;
  5. Mention relevant laws to your terms;
  6. Add the date and sign the contract.

Contract writing isn’t as hard as it may sound. Especially if you start with a contract template and just fill in the blanks!

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading our contract writing tutorial!

FAQs

Are online design contracts legally binding?

If you choose to add your electronic signature to an online design contract, it is going to be legally binding and also free.

Can you legally sign a contract digitally?

Yes, at SignHouse, we only work with 100% legally binding signatures for digital contracts.

How do you sign a contract without printing?

To sign a contract without printing it, you have to get an electronic signature. Use a free software like SignHouse to generate yours in just 10 seconds. Then, attach it to the contract.

How do you virtually sign a contract?

Follow these simple steps in order to sign a virtual contract:

  1. Upload your contract to SignHouse;
  2. Create your electronic signature for free;
  3. Drag and drop it on the contract.

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About the author

Ch David is the co-founder of SignHouse. David is here to help the product development team expand the capabilities of ultimate eSignature maker for all your needs. Join David and the SignHouse team in stepping up electronic signatures!