a consumer signing a contract

Signing a Contract

What to know and do before you sign a contract.

Signing a Contract

Before you sign a contract, do the following:

1. Understand the contract

You have the right to understand a contract before you are asked to sign it. If there is something you don’t understand, ask for an explanation. If you have doubts about a purchase, go home and think it over. Don’t be pressured into signing before you are ready. Statements that you must purchase today to get a good deal are rarely true.

2. Never sign a contract with blank spaces

Cross out any blank spaces and any statements that do not apply to your purchase.

3. Get all promises in writing

Promises a salesperson makes should be written on the contract.
If the seller has promised you something, make sure that it is written on the contract. If the seller won’t put it in writing, don’t sign.

4. Make changes to the contract before signing

If you want to add or delete something in the contract, do it before you sign.

5. Get an exact copy

Get an exact copy of the contract when you sign it.  Don’t let them tell you that a copy will be mailed to you later.


It can be very difficult to cancel a contract once you sign it unless both parties agree.

You have a right to cancel a contract in the following situations:

The seller lied about the product or service.

You never got the product.

The contract, or the law, allows you to cancel it within a certain time period.

County of Los Angeles Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. Last change: Dec. 1, 2013

Skip to content