What Are Boilerplate Provisions in Contracts?

Boilerplate provisions or clauses usually appear at the end of a contract. Sometimes they are referred to as the “miscellaneous” provisions. Because they are at the end, people sometimes don’t feel they are important and don’t read or pay any attention to them. Big mistake!

Boilerplate provisions are important because they affect your legal rights under the contract as much as all other clauses. The purpose of boilerplate provisions is to save the parties and drafters of contracts time with commonly used and understood language.

What the Heck Is Boilerplate?

The common understanding of the term boilerplate is apparently standard clauses of language in a legal document.

Make sure to read through all sections of any contract you are about to sign. Ask questions and make comments. Boilerplate provisions are essential to the effective enforcement of your rights under the contract and in some instances may grant or take away important rights.

Isn’t It All Standard?

Absolutely not. Boilerplate language is used to save time and it does have commonly understood meanings but it is nevertheless important to understand the meaning and impact of these provisions in order to choose which ones are important for your particular contract. Although boilerplate provisions may seem “standard,” they can still be tailored to meet your specific contracting requirements. Every clause of every contract may be negotiated — even the boilerplate provisions.

Do I Really Need All that Boilerplate?

No, you don’t need every single boilerplate provision in every contract. Aside from the key provisions, whether a particular boilerplate provision is used in your contract will depend upon the type of transaction documented in your contract.