What are the limits on the type of contracts I can create without a law degree?

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What are the limits on the type of contracts I can create without a law degree?

I’m creating a fractional ownership company that deals in income property, and I am not a lawyer. I’m converting a contract from another fractional ownership company for my company. It covers the creation of a board of members, the ownership of the company, voting rights/methods, methods of cash distribution, manager obligations and rights and all of the contingencies. My plan was to get a lawyer to review it after I finish writing it, but I wanted to check if it is legal for me to use this contract without using a lawyer at all.

Asked on August 19, 2010 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You are smart to check, but yes--you may create almost any type of contract or agreement, for your own use (or for the use of your business) yourself, without an attorney. What you can't do is create contracts for other people--e.g. draw up contracts for someone else's business to use in transactions of which you're not a part. That would be practicing law w/out a license. However, you can create your own agreements. You would be wise to have an attorney review it however--while you are well-positioned to create the first draft, since you know your business and intentions, a misdrafted clause or term can cause a contract to NOT accomplish what you want it to. Therefore, creating a basic skeleton or draft for an attorney to then finish and review, to make sure it's draft properly and obeys any relevant laws, is often a good way to proceed. If you're concerned your business won't make enough profit to justify an attorney reviewing your agreements, then it's probably not worth your time to create the business.


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