Brand new contract in hand, you’re feeling empowered and confident in protecting your business. But how do you actually send that contract to your clients? What's the best way and most secure way for them to sign? The truth is, it depends! There are lots of options out there such as online client management systems, programs such as docusign, and the good old fashioned way, paper. In this post, I’m sharing how to send your template contract via Docusign/Hellosign (or similar contract sending platform) and the good ole fashioned paper way! That way, you’ll know exactly how to send your contract to the next client that pops in your inbox.
By far the most popular way most small business owners manage and send their contracts are through systems called client management systems or CRMs. These programs, such as Dubsado, Honeybook, 17 Hats, Sprout Studio, Tave, Aisle Planner, Studio Ninja, Pixifi, etc., allow you to securely send your contracts to clients for them to sign electronically and help you keep multiple client contracts in one place.
But, some people prefer to not use a CRM system and instead go for a purely contract sending platform or send to their clients via paper copy or through a pdf in email.
Docusign or HelloSign:
If you’d prefer to not use a client management system you can still use another electronic program such as Docusign or HelloSign to send contracts or have your clients sign paper contracts. If you do send your contracts electronically in some capacity make SURE you’re covered by having a facsimile electronic signature clause in your contract like the one we offer in The Legal Paige Shop and at the bottom of all of our full-length template contracts.
If you want your clients to sign paper copies of your contracts, print off copies of your contracts, have your clients input all necessary information, sign the bottom, and give back to you. Once you sign and have all ink signatures on one main document, make sure to give your clients copies of the contract. Make sure YOU also have copies of your contracts and a solid filing system to make sure you have the ability to find and go back to a contract if you need to (we suggest keeping the contract in paper format AND saved on a safe cloud storage space + external hard drive. Each state has different time periods for how long you should keep paper copies for clients (TLP suggests that you do so for at least three years or potentially up to 7 years depending on your need pursuant to IRS regulations).
When it comes to sending contracts to your clients you absolutely have options. All three of the ways I listed are all easy and secure ways to make sure your contracts are getting to your clients. Take time to explore programs with free trials, test some out and see which way you prefer!
THIS BLOG POST IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE. EVERY SITUATION IS DIFFERENT & IS FACT-SPECIFIC. A proper legal analysis is necessary based on your location and contract. Consult an attorney in your home state for advice regarding your contract or specific legal situation.