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To the Letter

Cover your butt and get it in writing to really seal the deal.

By Marc Diener • Dec 1, 2002

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In the ideal world of deals, all agreements would be in writingand signed by everyone involved. In the real world, however, dealsare often struck without time to hash out a contract or when youknow full well that the other side simply won't sign anything.In fact, sending out an agreement that never gets signed can lookworse than never sending one out at all-in a dispute, your opponentwill always be able to argue (correctly or otherwise) that becausethey didn't sign, they never actually agreed to anything.

When you can't get it in writing, a reliance letter is agood second choice. Basically, the letter confirms an oralagreement with a legal hook at the end: "If the termscontained in this letter are not a completely accurate descriptionof our agreement, please notify me in writing immediately, as Iwill rely on these terms in moving forward with ouragreement."

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