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Should the language in contracts be simpler easier to use?

Massachusetts business owners often enter into relationships with other businesses. When doing so, they more than likely enter into contracts governing those relationships. Even though contracts require a certain amount of legal language in order to ensure they hold up in court, many people are moving toward using simpler and more user-friendly language in them in order to help alleviate misunderstandings and confusion.

It may be easier to better understand the language of a contract if it was in more plain language. This may attract more Massachusetts business owners since it could reduce the negotiation time if everyone better understands the provisions of the contract. One source estimates that working through the terms of a contract could take approximately 60 percent less time.

Outside of time savings, contracts with plainer language could also help prevent unnecessary litigation. Many disputes result from each party arriving at a different interpretation of the verbiage in a contract. Plain language could help reduce the number of disputes that arise. However, business owners may want to remain cautious when it comes to eliminating certain language. The legal protections contracts provide should not suffer in order to include more plain language in a contract.

Contracts provide the foundation for many business relationships. Even though these relationships require an element of trust, that does not mean that the parties should forgo doing whatever is needed in order to protect their rights. Achieving the goals of understanding the language and protecting each party's rights may require a combination of user-friendly and simpler language along with the terms and conditions necessary to ensure that the contract will stand up in court.

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