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The Dotted Line

Five questions to ask yourself before you sign that contract

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This story appears in the September 2000 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

If your insomnia is Nyquil- and sheep-resistant, scanning a nice 10-page contract before bed might do the trick. Say "contract" to most people, and they slide into an irreversible vegetative state.

But whether you're ordering office furniture or an ISP, you need to stay awake. Contracts can determine the success or failure of your business. All of them will bind your business for some time. So before you grab a Bic and sign, answer these five questions about that contract sitting on your desk:

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