Answering Contract Law Questions
Business contracts are never as simple as they seem on the surface. In fact, there are many times when businesses enter into binding contracts and their accompanying legal obligations without even knowing it.
Most business owners and entrepreneurs are the “do-it-yourself” type, so they assume they can figure out the nuances of contract law as they go. This, however, is not a good idea. It is extremely common to make simple mistakes and miss important details when entering into business contracts, and these oversights can be catastrophic to an otherwise successful business. Attorney Eric Sloan represents businesses throughout the states of Florida and Idaho. Please peruse the following questions and answers and reach out to The Sloan Firm, PLLC.
Does a contract have to be in writing to be valid?
No, it does not. Although we usually think of a contract as being in writing by necessity, people enter into binding agreements all the time without ever putting pen to paper, and without ever realizing they are entering into a binding legal agreement.
There are numerous situations in contract law that require an agreement to be in writing before it is considered legally binding. For example, contracts in which asset transfer that is worth more than a certain minimum value, contracts that cannot be fulfilled within a certain length of time and contracts for certain types of consideration could all be considered unenforceable if they do not include the written component. But the general rule is that if at least two people who are legally able to enter into a contract make a mutual agreement, they have thereby entered into a contract.
What constitutes a breach of contract?
Breach of contract is a legal concept that means pretty much what people think it means. Breach is when one party does not fulfill the terms of the contract. There are numerous forms of breach. For example, a homeowner hires a contractor to fix the roof within a month’s time for an agreed-upon amount of money. The homeowner pays the contractor immediately.
The contractor can breach this contract in a number of ways. He could not do any work at all; he could do the work but take more time than agreed upon in the contract; or he could do only some of the work but not complete the job. Each of these possibilities would be an example of a breach of contract.
What are the remedies if a contract has been breached?
There are a number of things a disgruntled party can do to remedy a breach. In terms of bringing a successful breach of contract lawsuit, the court can enforce financial damage awards, force the breaching party to fulfill the obligations of the contract, or determine some other type of appropriate remedy. Outside of courtroom litigation, there are options for settlement negotiations. In some cases, a simple discussion can result in fulfillment of the contractual obligations and possibly even a financial award for damages caused by delays.
No two breach of contract cases are the same, so it is important to work with a lawyer like Eric Sloan who has seen been practicing for 20 years. He has seen it all and can fight to obtain the appropriate remedy if you have been victimized by a breach of contract.
How can I resolve contract issues?
The best way to resolve contract issues is to avoid them before they arise. Attorney Eric Sloan can help you with negotiation, drafting and review of contracts throughout the life of your business to make sure you avoid legal problems and the likelihood of breach.