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100 Rules For Entrepreneurs by Neil Lewis

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78. Put it in writing – and make sure you sign it

Sorry, no handshake agreements – whether with staff, freelancers, suppliers, customers or competitors. You must have a contract. Okay, a ‘heads of agreement’, which is halfway to a formal legal contract and states the clear intentions of both parties, or at least a letter – in fact, anything, so long as it is in writing and has a signature and a clear statement of your agreement. (With customers in relatively conventional retail, obviously this will generally just be standard invoices.)

At the end of the day, you are unlikely to enforce a legal contract, but what is written down and signed will allow you to put pressure on the other side to stick to their agreement. Even if you can’t enforce ...

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