What if the venue doesn’t have a contract?
No Contract? That may not be a problem.
Contracts are legal agreements between two or more parties. It can be written or verbal and creates an obligation between the parties involved. The main reason you enter a contract is to protect your rights when you enter an agreement with another party. Those rights are more easily enforced when the contract is in writing and both parties have signed it.
We know that sometimes the venues and vendors that you work with don’t have a written contract in place to use for your event. In that case, they have made the business decision to operate with only a verbal agreement. While we feel that written contracts are helpful to better understand the services provided and the costs for those services, we don’t recommend that you try to draft a contract for the business relationship. If you aren’t comfortable with a verbal contract, you may prefer to do business with a venue/vendor who is willing to provide a contract that you can review and negotiate. You shouldn’t take that responsibility on for them; a licensed attorney should draft the contract.
Even without a written contract, there are terms that are set by either “common law” or legislation in your state to protect you as a consumer. For example, as your insurance provider, we are always concerned with who would bear the liability (who would be responsible to pay) should someone or something be injured or damaged during your event. Without a contract in place, it is assumed that you will be responsible for damage caused by your members and guests and the venue/vendor will be responsible for any damage that they cause, including if there is a defect within the venue that caused the damage or injury. Contracts may be used to transfer that liability – and that may or may not be in your favor, especially if the venue or vendor includes language in the contract that holds the user (your organization) responsible for any damage or injury, regardless of their negligence or fault.