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FAQ

1. When would I use Shake?

We designed Shake to let you quickly record agreements for everyday transactions that you otherwise might do with a verbal “handshake” agreement. For example, you’re lending someone you know $300 – given the stakes, you might not need a long, intimidating loan agreement, but wouldn’t it be nice to get something in writing? When does the money need to be repaid? Is there a penalty if it’s late? Use Shake to agree upfront on simple questions like this and you can avoid hassles later (not to mention awkwardness and hard feelings).

2. When should I *not* use Shake?

Shake isn’t for complex or high-stakes transactions. Are you selling your company? Shake is not for that. You should talk with a lawyer. Are you selling your used computer on Craigslist or hiring a freelance designer for a basic job? Shake is perfect for either of those.

3. Who do I contact for help/support with Shake?

Email us at support@shakelaw.com!

4. Why is Shake available only in the United States?

Shake’s form agreements are thoroughly researched by licensed attorneys to be legally effective. Laws differ between countries and even between individual U.S. states. To ensure the highest quality user experience possible, we’re focusing our time and effort on optimizing our forms for use in the United States.

5. When is Shake coming to Android, Blackberry, Windows, tablets and desktops?

Building cross-platform functionality so that you can create, sign and send Shake agreements from anywhere is on our roadmap. Meanwhile, using our iOS app, you can create agreements and send them out for signature on any device or platform.

6. I already have a lawyer, why would I use Shake?

Shake is a great tool for thinking through the important questions before you talk to your lawyer. Do you want to charge a fee for late payments? Do you want to define a due date for the freelance work you’re contracting out? Your lawyer would likely ask you the same questions. Send the Shake agreement to him/her in advance, with each of these questions answered, and save those billable hours for advice and customization.

7. Will Shake keep me from getting sued?

No document or lawyer in the world can guarantee that you won’t get sued (if anyone tells you otherwise run for the hills). That said, the best way to avoid a dispute is to set clear expectations at the beginning (that’s where we come in). In fact, a “meeting of the minds” is one element of the legal definition of a contract. Unfortunately, over the course of the last 400 some odd years the agreements we sign have become so convoluted (in an effort to be more clear or precise) that we often don’t understand large parts of them. Ah, the irony.

8. OK, but what if there is a dispute? Is my Shake agreement legally binding?

Shake’s agreements are just as enforceable as any other contracts. They’ve been extensively researched and designed by lawyers to contain all the elements required for enforceability, while still being simple enough to help you get business done quickly. See our Terms of Service for more information.

9. Shake agreements don’t have the legalese I’m used to seeing, does that make them less enforceable?

Agreements don’t need to be long and complex to be binding or enforceable! Some legal language exists for very specific reasons but a lot of the jargon is unnecessary (down with legalese!). If you don’t understand what you’re agreeing to, you’re more likely to have a misunderstanding. Establishing a perfect meeting of the minds, without any confusing language, is contract Nirvana. We are working tirelessly to help you get there.

10. I trust the other person, why would I need to document my agreement with them?

When things don’t go as planned, people often realize that they were never really on the same page in the first place. Disagreements, especially between friends and family are rarely a result of one person intentionally trying to take advantage of the other (although, unfortunately, that sometimes happens too). Walking through and answering a few questions together can help uncover differences of understanding before they blow up into problems. Even forcing yourself to write down the basic terms of your agreement is a great step toward making sure both parties understand what they are committing to.

11. Are you trying to replace lawyers?

Not at all! We love lawyers (literally, some of us are lawyers or are married to them) and have a great deal of respect for the law. Shake is here to help with simple transactions so you can save your legal budget for more complicated deals. If you think litigation is a realistic possibility given the size or nature of your transaction, or if you’re concerned about getting a document that’s completely customized to your situation, we encourage you to talk to an experienced lawyer.

12. How are you different than other online legal services?

The pioneers in our field have done a great job taking the existing legal infrastructure and putting it online (templates, finding a lawyer, gathering signatures, etc.). We are starting from scratch and thinking about how agreements should be made in the 21st century. That means harnessing the convenience of mobile – agreements whenever you need them, wherever you are, and with less manual input to capture the terms and intent. There’s only so far we can go if we stay stuck in the paper document paradigm. To really improve the status quo we need to think outside the docs (sorry, we couldn’t resist the pun).

13. Can’t I just download a document from the internet?

There are thousands of documents available on the internet. Some are good, some are terrible. The biggest problem that most people face is finding the right agreement at the right time, which requires understanding legalese so you can make comparisons. Does this version of an NDA make more sense than that version? Does this cover people like me, or companies like mine? Shake’s process gets you the right agreement without forcing you to decipher and compare. You’re not a lawyer, you don’t speak legalese, and we certainly don’t think you should have to learn it in order to find the right template.

14. I already use a mobile signature app to sign PDFs, how is Shake different?

With Shake, documents can be created, signed, and managed all in one place. This means you will no longer have to switch between several services and tools to customize, review, and execute a document. Other mobile signature apps require a lot of zooming and scrolling to actually read or sign a document. That’s because they work with PDFs. With Shake, your agreements are generated natively within the app, and are already optimized for mobile. As a result, they’re much easier to navigate and sign.

15. Where do my agreement documents live?

Shake stores all of your agreements securely in the cloud. This way, if you lose a document or need to look up an agreement in the future, it’ll be there. We always send you PDF copies too, so you can save and archive your files however you like. We will never share your agreements with anyone other than the other party you specify. We lay this out in more detail in our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which we encourage you to read.

16. Do I really need/want to do this on mobile?

Remember when you didn’t have email on your phone? If you’re like most of us you probably didn’t think you would ever need it, let alone rely on it every day. We increasingly depend on our phones to do almost everything. Why should creating, signing, and sending agreements be any different? Digital documents are always accessible, reference-able, searchable, and shareable. They are smarter, and easier to store and manage. Creating and editing on mobile devices allows us to cut one of the few remaining cords that bind us to our desktops.