Being a small business owner means taking on several jobs at once by being your own chief executive, accountant, human resources manager and even lawyer.

That can lead to shortcuts, as entrepreneurs focus on their strengths and make do in the areas where they aren’t as knowledgeable.

As a business contract lawyer, I’ve seen the results of some of these quick fixes, as small business owners reuse boilerplate contracts year after year, even as their business grows and legal precedents change.

Contracts are vital assets for every business because they lay out the “rules of engagement” or expectations for each party. Whether its employment contracts, independent contractor agreements, service agreements, leases, or any other agreement that spells out the parties’ understanding and expectations, these documents act as bodyguards for the small business owner.

Many contracts renew automatically at the beginning of the year, therefore year end is the perfect time to carve out a small chunk of time to review these documents in order to significantly improve your chance of avoiding costly mistakes in 2021.

Below is a closer look at three potential problem areas.

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