What does a contract review cost? This is a question many business owners and individuals will ask when asked to sign an important and legally binding contract Let’s explore this question and also review some general information about contract review services.
How Much Does a Contract Review Cost?
Contract review is a service provided by lawyers on behalf of clients. The process involves the lawyer reading and understanding a written contract, typically line-by-line, in order to analyze the terms to determine whether they are fair. They also look for portions that may expose their clients to risk, often providing revised text that will better protect their client.
Getting help from a lawyer with contract review is highly encouraged since the signing any legally binding document will have future implications. Contract review costs vary depending on the length of the contract, risk of the transaction, and how many sections needs to be revised.
Based on ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data, the average cost of a project involving a contract review is $608 . However, contract review cost vary greatly since no contract or situation is the same.
What Do Lawyers Look For During a Contract Review?
- Parties Involved. A lawyer will check to see all parties involved in a transaction, and make sure their complete legal names are included. The lawyer will want to make sure they understand everyone involved in the transaction.
- Responsibilities and Rights. The lawyer will want to fully understand what each party’s obligations are and what they are entitled to as part of the contract.
- Dispute Resolution Clause. The lawyer will want to analyze how any future disputes will be handled, should they occur. Dispute resolution clauses will need to be fair and not overly burdensome on one of the parties.
- Deadlines. They lawyer will want to understand any deadlines involved in the transaction to make sure they are reasonable.
- Termination. The lawyer will want to understand how their client can get out of the contract or under what specific terms a contract may end.
- Representations. A contract should not accept or give any information that you don’t know to be true.
- Warranties. Warranties should be clearly stated and final in the contract.
- Indemnification. A lawyer will want to make sure there is mutual indemnification in a contract.
- Liability. A lawyer will want to understand what liabilities their client will have should there be a breach of obligations or damages.
- Renewals. The lawyer will look to see if there are any automatic renewals, so their client can understand them.
- Risk Allocation. A lawyer will outline risks associated with the contract to their client, and how risk is allocated across the parties.
- Other Terms. Many contracts include business terms which can be negotiated to put their client in a better position.
What Types of Contracts Should Be Reviewed?
If you are asked to sign a legally binding document with a significant implication, you should have it reviewed by a lawyer. Below is a list of common contracts that should undergo contract review.
- Employment Contract. An employment contract is a legal document that governs an employee-employer relationship. Given how important these documents are, they should undergo contract review before signing.
- Consulting Agreement. Consulting agreements are used between a company and a consultant and may have big implications on payment and liability exposure.
- Service Contract. Service contracts are put in place by businesses to govern the terms of services that will be provided. These contracts should be reviewed to make sure the company is getting into a fair and low-risk relationship.
- Noncompete Agreement. Noncompete agreements are legal documents that limit an employee’s ability to work for a competitor if they leave the employer. Given their potential implications, it is a good idea to get them reviewed.
- Severance Agreement. Severance agreements are legal documents put in place with employees who are terminated.
- Asset Purchase Agreements. Asset purchase agreements are used when someone is buying assets, typically from a business. They should be reviewed given they normally have a high transaction size.
- Real Estate Contracts. Real estate contracts are typically high-value, and it is a good idea to get a lawyer to review them before signing.
- Investment Contracts. Given investment contracts typically include the exchange of a large amount of money, it is wise to have a lawyer review them to make sure the terms are fair.
The list of contracts that would require contract review can go on for a very long time. A good rule of thumb is if a contract has a high value ($5000+) or carries significant risks, you should consider getting it reviewed by a lawyer.
Contract Review Cost - Broken Down
ContractsCounsel’s marketplace has data on contract review costs for all projects. The average project amount for a contract review is $608 . Below is a list of categories to further break down contract review costs.
Employment Contract Review Cost
You will incur costs when hiring a lawyer to review an employment contract. The lawyer will spend time learning about the position and analyzing the terms.
ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows the average employment contract review costs to be $431 across all states and industries.
Investing Contract Review Cost
When being given a contract to sign for an investment, you will need to hire a lawyer to review the terms to make sure they are fair.
ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows the average investment contract review costs to be $796 across all states and industries.
Buying & Selling Businesses Contract Review Cost
If you are buying or selling a business, you should always get the purchase agreement looked at by a lawyer.
ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows the average business purchase contract review costs to be $1,186 across all states and industries.
Business Operations Contract Review Cost
Businesses deal with contracts from vendors all of the time. In order to run a successful business, you’ll need to have these contracts reviewed.
ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows the average vendor contract review costs to be $367 across all states and industries.
Real Estate Contract Review Cost
ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows the average real estate contract review costs to be $533 across all states and industries.
Sales & Marketing Contract Review Cost
Customers often return marked up contracts they are asked to sign. A lawyer can review these markups to make sure they are in the best interest of your business.
ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows the average sales and marketing contract review costs to be $392.50 across all states and industries.
Software Contract Review Cost
Given the amount of technology companies out there, reviewing software related contracts has become higher demand.
ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows the average software contract review costs to be $650 across all states and industries.
How Do Contract Review Lawyers Charge?
Lawyers who review contracts charge in a variety of ways. After chatting with the client, they will typically recommend the best way to handle the project. Below are some ways a contract review lawyer charge.
Many lawyers opt to bill on an hourly rate. Given the uncertainty surrounding contract review projects, this is a way to make sure the lawyer and client are paying for the work being completed.
ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows the average hourly rate for an business lawyer ranges from $250 - $350 per hour.
Flat fee billing structures are becoming more popular for lawyers. Once a lawyer has taken a look at the document, they will offer a fixed-fee to review the contract.
ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows the average flat fee rate for employment contract costs to be $608 .
In certain situations, lawyers may offer per-page rates for contract review. This is another form of a flat-fee, but gives them flexibility in case the project grows in size or the review is not of the entire document.
Get Help with a Contract Review
Do you need help with a contract review? If so, post a project in ContractsCounsel’s marketplace to receive flat fee bids from lawyers to handle your review. All lawyers on the ContractsCounsel’s platform are vetted by our team to make sure you are provided with top tier service.