Getting your product featured on retail shelves is one of the best ways to increase your sales, brand visibility, and profits. Upon creating an agreement with a distributor, rep or retail buyer, you will be asked to sign a contract. Here, it’s important to not let your excitement supersede your business sense.

A poorly written retail contract could cost you thousands of dollars in unexpected expenses. It could also significantly impact the future of your company and product. That’s why it’s so important to take your time carefully considering the entirety of a retail contract before you sign. Below, you’ll find five common red flags that you need to look out for in retail contracts.

1. Non-Competition Agreements

Non-Competition Agreements (NDAs) are fairly common in contracts, especially with sales reps. Put simply, they are a provision that limits your ability to conduct business that competes with the interests of the retail company whose contract you’re signing. There’s nothing wrong with signing an NDA as long as you fully understand what doing so entails.

More specifically, you need to watch out for the specific wording that’s utilized in your contract. NDAs need to be limited in scope, reasonable, and have real-time and geographic limitations in order to be enforceable. That being said, courts will vary based on which scopes they find appropriate. The last thing you want to do is be barred from selling your product to another vendor anywhere in your territory for multiple years. Check your retail contract’s NDA carefully before signing.

2. Ownership of Work

As the owner of a product or service, you need to be careful that your retail contract doesn’t subtly shift control of what you’re selling away from you. Any contract that requires you to give up control of your product is one that you shouldn’t be signing. Read the fine print to make sure your retail contract doesn’t include any provisions that do this.

3. Termination Clauses

Termination clauses list the specific options that each party has for terminating the arrangement. They also note what will happen if either party does decide to terminate. When signing a retail contract, you need to make sure that the company you’re selling to doesn’t receive too much control here. For instance, they should not be able to cancel the contract unilaterally and refuse to provide compensation. This can be even more dangerous if the retail company doesn’t need to provide a reason for terminating the agreement.

4. Automatic Renewal Clauses

When you sign a contract, you typically think that it will last for the agreed-upon period and not beyond it. However, a sneaky automatic renewal clause could see you enter into a longer-term agreement with a retail company than you originally anticipated. These can limit your company’s flexibility and may tie you down to a less-than-ideal deal longer than you want. Be sure to review your contract’s renewal clauses before signing to avoid these issues.

5. Venue Provisions

Often, distributor contracts will include a venue provision that states which court will resolve any issues that may arise during the course of your agreement. It’s important to verify that the court listed is one you won’t have trouble reaching. The last thing you want is to have to fly out of state over and over again because the venue in your contract is far away from your location. It’s another red flag you need to watch out for before signing a retail contract.