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Contract management software for small businesses

Contract management software for small businesses frees up your time while keeping your administrative details in order. Learn how this type of software can benefit your business and review the top contract management solutions on the market today.

Signing contracts

Contract management software for small businesses is designed to simplify one of the most administrative-heavy tasks that small-business owners have on their plates. By organizing and managing contracts, this type of software frees small-business owners up to tackle other tasks. Learn more about how this type of software can help your business work more efficiently and uncover the best contract management tools for your needs. 

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What is contract management software?

Contract management software is designed to help business owners create, manage, track, and analyze contracts throughout the contract lifecycle. It reduces the amount of time small-business owners need to spend on administrative tasks while also serving as a central hub for document creation, collaboration, e-signing, and more. 

Benefits of contract management software

Contract management software isn’t just for small businesses. Many industries—including legal, procurement, finance, and health care—use some form of contract management. Key benefits include: 

  • Improve contract visibility for both you and your clients.
  • Reduce the risk of breached contracts, oversights, or a failure to renew contracts.
  • Enhance compliance with contracts.
  • Optimize your contract lifecycle management.
  • Take advantage of improved security features for your contracts.
  • Integrate with other types of document management software.

What are the core features of contract management software?

Before you invest in contract management software for small businesses, look for these core features: 

  • Document storage: There should be a central repository where you can store all of your contracts and access them when you need to. 
  • E-signing: Your software should integrate with e-signing tools. 
  • Tracking and alerts: Your software should track key contract milestones and alert you when you have upcoming obligations. 
  • Searching tools: You should be able to search through stored contracts easily. 
  • Audit trails: You should be able to track all changes and activities for transparency and accountability. 
  • Security and compliance: The software should keep your contracts secure and ensure compliance with relevant regulations and standards, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Systems and Organization Controls 2 (SOC 2).

What is the full contract lifecycle? 

Managing the full contract lifecycle means tracking and maintaining contracts from their creation through their execution, performance, and eventual completion or renewal. 

How do I choose a contract management system?

When choosing the best contract management system, make sure it has the necessary core features first. Assuming it does, next evaluate any extra features that help the system stand out, such as robust templates or document collaboration options that help simplify the document creation and management processes. 

Pro tip

 Once you’ve narrowed your choices down to your top two or three options, check for online reviews. Other customers may be able to provide information you didn’t know you needed. 

Do I need a contract management system?

Although it’s possible to manage contracts without a dedicated system, trying to manage contracts manually has a number of downsides, including: 

  • Contracts that look unprofessional
  • Potential to miss important deadlines
  • Lack of integration with e-signing tools
  • Lack of security or compliance with industry regulations and standards

If you’re just starting your small business and have contracts with only one or two clients, you may be able to get away with doing everything manually. But if you’re working with more than a couple of clients, using a contract management system is the safest way to go, and it will likely save you money and heartache in the long run. 

Top contract management software solutions for small businesses (pros and cons)

Now that you know more about contract management software for small businesses, let’s take a look at the top tools for document storage, tracking, and reporting. 

DocuSign CLM


  • Contract workflows that help automate the contract management process while saving you time
  • Integration with many key technologies, including Google and Salesforce


  • Can be difficult to edit or update contracts once they’ve been sent
  • Pricing information available only if you ask the company for a quote



  • Unlimited number of documents and e-signatures
  • Unique “Smart Content” feature that detects errors for more accurate contracts


  • Can use the content library only if you invest in the more expensive Business or Enterprise plans
  • Can’t get any refunds or cancel your service before the end of your stated contract 

Contract Hound


  • Offers approval workflows with handy drag-and-drop features
  • Intuitive and easy-to-use mobile interface


  • Does not offer contract-creation tools
  • Does not provide recurring notifications

Jotform Sign


  • Drag-and-drop e-sign builder that makes online signing easier
  • Strong customer support


  • According to online reviews, can be buggy or glitchy on occasion
  • Limits the number of contracts you can have signed, depending on your payment tier



  • Offers robust, end-to-end client management tools
  • Allows you to create proposals, contracts, invoices, and more in one place


  • Does not have a free version
  • Has a wide range of features, which can be overwhelming when you first get started

Manage your business contracts more efficiently with the right software

Managing an online contract requires an online solution. Investing in the best contract management software for small businesses helps you keep your contracts secure while ensuring you adhere to your side of every business agreement you enter into. Because of the impact this decision will have on your business, it’s best to take your time and choose the software that best meets your needs and can scale with your business. 

Protect your business

Use HoneyBook’s ironclad contract templates to protect your business and clients. 

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