Using a Template to Amend an Existing Contract or Agreement
Sick of wasting time writing and re-writing contract amendments every time you need to make a change to a contract? DocJuris is here to help!
Download our industry-backed amendment template that covers opening contract addendums, paragraphs, recitals, amendment text, boilerplate language, signature blocks, and exhibits (if applicable). Our template is based on our knowledge of contracts and the extensive research we have done by working with over 250 companies.
You can use the contract amendment in a variety of settings, including commercial contacts and any other type of contract that requires adding an amendment. You can also use this amendment template to negotiate or renew an existing contract or letter agreement.
Understanding How to Write a Contract Amendment or Addendum
In general, amendments are created when some condition of the contract or terms aren’t working for at least one party, and both parties agree to make an adjustment while keeping the existing contract remaining unchanged. They are considered legal documents that are in full force and effect under applicable law.
They can also be used to modify an original contract that is in a live negotiation as well — more on this below. Generally, anytime you need to make a change to an existing contract or agreement, whether minor or significant or previously amended, you need to use a contract amendment.
While many amendments are specific to the contract, others are relatively standard, like changing a due date. Having an amendment template can streamline the process of drafting amendments, which means you’ll get them signed faster and be able to move forward with the work outlined in your original contract.
Challenges with Contract Amendments to Legal Documents
Time to Write and Miscellaneous Terms
The most significant pain point with amendments is that they take so much time to write. As we’ve previously discussed in our blog post introducing the Amendments feature, it’s not enough to simply go in and change the date or update pricing in your contract. Every amendment needs to be spelled out.
So, changing the date needs to be written in something along the lines of “Both parties agree to amend the term of the contract to add 18 months, thereby changing the end date of the existing contract from 12/31/2021 to 06/30/2022.”
Other pain points might include the need to prepare bulk amendments across a collection of original agreements. For example, one recent trend is the need to prepare "data protection agreements" or privacy related terms across an existing pool of contracts.
When you have multiple amendments to add to an existing contract or have previously amended turns, you’re looking at a significant amount of time spent on getting the wording just right. When using technical terms, you need to be particularly careful about using the correct language and making sure there is valuable consideration to create an enforceable agreement.
Finally, adding amendments generally requires you to work from multiple screens. You can’t just go into your contract as a Word or PDF file and make changes directly. Instead, you need to have one screen with the contract open, then another screen where you write out the amendment translations.
This is time-consuming and cumbersome. It can also lead to mistakes if you accidentally refer to the wrong part of the contract or are looking at an outdated version of the document.
Frequently Asked Questions about Contract Amendments
Due to all of the challenges listed above, DocJuris has created a template that you can use to make on-the-fly changes to your existing contracts and original agreements without going through as burdensome a process as the one we outlined above.
Here are answers to some of the questions you may have about our template.
Why do I need an amendment template or what if we have already previously amended the contract?
Having a contract amendment template will come in handy when contract terms need to be adjusted on the fly. Some examples of when you might need this include:
- Extending the term of the original agreement
- Incorporating oral amendments
- Ensuring that the original contract remain unchanged
- Incorporating related documents
- Confirming exact language
- Adding a data protection addendum
- Modifying scope or payment terms
In addition, everyone involved in the contract can see and use the contract amendment as expressly provided. As a result, you’ll all be working from a single source of truth, which ensures you’ll use the correct language for each contract amendment scenario.
What if I need an amendment for a new contract and not a previous agreement?
This is an excellent, real world scenario that comes up often. In many scenarios, parties involved might require that markups or edits to a contract be prepared in a legal document that is a separately signed amendment that would be packaged with the original agreement before signature.
In some cases, many large companies do not allow redlines to an original contract, and they might require parties to sign both an amendment and the original agreement without changes.
Signing Amendments in Tandem
In this scenario, the original contract and contract addendum or amendment will have the same effective date in order to enforce the terms of the contract, but the original contract remain unchanged. Unfortunately, this may mean having to maintain a separate redline and draft an amendment simultaneously in order to meet the parties' terms.
Who can use this template for legal documents?
Anyone who needs to modify a contract including parties involved can benefit from this template. This includes legal, sales, and procurement teams looking to amend an existing agreement.
What’s the catch?
There isn’t one! We promise. At DocJuris, we’re committed to helping sales, legal, and procurement professionals and teams become more efficient every time they negotiate a contract. That includes adding amendments. We’re offering this template in the hopes that it will save you time and headaches the next time you need to add an amendment to a contract.
How does this template save time in Microsoft Word?
Think about all the steps involved in drafting a contract amendment between parties involved. First, you need to write an introductory paragraph defining the companies involved in the contract and contract amendment.
Describing the Modification
Then, you need to describe the modification using correct terminology. Next comes a concluding section, which stipulates that the contract will remain as written except for the new information described in the amendment.
After you’ve gone through those steps, you need to proofread your amendment, confirm enforceability under applicable law, and review other provisions before getting it signed by all parties. Then, you need to add it to the original contract so that anyone who refers to it later can quickly see that there is an amendment attached to it.
Using Templates and Automation
With a template, you can breeze through the first four steps and get to the part where everyone signs much more efficiently and get parties to agree. This saves everyone time and allows you to continue moving forward instead of getting stalled while you wait for the contract amendment to be written and signed.
Is a contract amendment the same as a contract addendum?
In short, no. Yet, many people use these terms interchangeably to enforce the terms of the contract. Although it’s true that both a contract amendment and a contract addendum can significantly change the terms of a contract agreement, they do so in different ways if parties agree.
When to use a contract amendment vs. contract addendum
An amendment letters a specific aspect of the original contract agreement. For example, if you need to change the price of a product, an amendment will alter that particular part of the contract.
A contract addendum will add something to the contract that was not there originally. So, for example, if you need to add a new product to the existing contract, you’ll create an addendum for that product. Once all parties involved in the contract agree to an addendum, it becomes a part of the new contract. A contract addendum is also known as an amending agreement.
Use DocJuris for Your Amendments
At DocJuris, we’ve designed our contract negotiation software to make the entire process of writing, reviewing, and approving contracts more efficient for everyone involved. That includes amendments. With DocJuris Amendments, you can turn a redline or markup into an amendment automatically.
If you’d like to learn more about how DocJuris can make your sales, procurement, or legal team more efficient by fast-tracking contract amendments, let’s talk!
Schedule a demo to get started. To read more relevant articles, visit the DocJuris blog!
Redline vs. Blackline: Contract Negotiation GlossaryContract Negotiation Operations SurveyArtificial intelligence in contract management softwareContract Negotiation Workflow ScoreHealthcare Contract Management SoftwareFree Contract Management Software