This may seem obvious but read carefully before signing contracts. Contracts could be between artist and label, artist and promoter, promoter and venue, label and pressing plant etc. Do not sign up to poor practices or agree to unreasonable restrictions on your activities. This applies if you are a musician or an entrepreneur. Consider who is taking what financial risk and if it is fair. Seek advice from a recognised expert or experienced objective third party.
It is possible to draw up your own contract or to amend what someone else has drawn up. Professional bodies (such as the Musician’s Union in the UK) can often provide advice and example contracts, and may provide legal support if there is a contractual dispute. Sound on Sound has some useful guidance about recording contracts. The GMN website has been building a list of professional/representative bodies.