Contract breaches are one of the leading causes of business disputes. It can be frustrating when someone you work with fails to do what they agreed to in the contract. What makes it worse is if they then try to claim that the agreement does not apply.
If faced with a contract breach, your first step should be to take out your contract and check the wording.
Courts can overturn a business contract
There are several reasons a court may consider a contract invalid:
- The contract is too much in your favor: Contracts need to be fair to both sides.
- The other party only signed under duress: People need to enter into contracts of their own free will.
- The other party did not accept the contract: The contract needs someone to make an offer and the other side to accept it. If you signed the contract, but the other party did not, you may struggle to prove they accepted it.
- The contract has expired: If you pùt time limits on your contracts, put a system in place to remind you to renew them on time. Otherwise, it could leave you unprotected when something happens.
- The contract has a clause excluding certain events: Check the fine print of any contract before signing it. Or better still have an attorney check it for you. A supplier may insert clauses to protect themselves if they cannot supply you because their supplier fails to deliver to them. Or if there is a forest fire or other natural event that prevents them from keeping to your agreement.
If someone you work with has breached a contract, you need to understand your legal options. Once they know you have hired an attorney, they may quickly change their tune. People often try and push their luck yet fall into line with the threat of litigation.