Many small business owners refrain from accessing attorneys as a way of cutting down on overhead. When operating a business, most day to day operations do not require the help of an attorney. However, you may want to access legal services when a contract is broken, especially if the breach comes with an adverse affect on your business. Listed, are some of the most frequently asked questions lawyers receive from business owners surrounding breach of contract situations:
What makes up a contract?
Contracts are utilized in our daily lives. When it comes to operating a business, you may rely on contracts for a number of business dealings. Deals made with other people or entities can have a significant impact on your business. Essentially, there are two primary elements that make up a contract:
- There must be an agreement between parties regarding the inner workings of the contract and the terms of the deal that are being made.
- You must be making the promise of exchanging money or assets in exchange for the goods or services being offered.
While not all contracts must be made verbally, there are certainly situations in which it may be required. It may also be beneficial to enter into a written agreement whenever possible because they are more easily enforced. Examples of contracts may need to be written include:
- The purchase of property or land
- The agreement to take on someone else’s debt
- Selling goods that are more than $500
- Long term contracts that last for a year or more
Because contracts are so important, you may want to consult with an attorney when necessary to ensure that any contracts you are entering are clear, valid and in your best interest.
What is a breach of contract?
When you have entered into a contract, you and the other party have entered a legal agreement. Because of this, your contract may be legally enforced in the event that one of you does not hold up to your end of the agreement. When a breach occurs, the person who broke it may be responsible for financially compensating the other party.
Can a verbal contract be enforced?
Although verbal contracts are a prevalent part of business today, some contracts must be in writing. Enforcing a verbal contract may be difficult, especially considering it is your word against theirs. In order to do so, they must be held up by some of the same elements as a written contract: an offer, acceptance and consideration. You will need to prove that the person you entered a contract with agreed to do so. When there is no presence of a written agreement, you may be required to provide the courts with the burden of proof needed through both of your actions. If a verbal contract has been broken, it will be important to make sure that you ascertain any evidence that could be relevant to proving your case, such as emails, invoices, etc.
If you are dealing with a business deal gone bad, a business and trademark attorney Chicago, IL trusts can help you by reviewing the contract that was breach and setting a course of action. Not only will we help you wade through the tricky waters of business law and contracts, we may also be able to help you take action against the company or person who did not uphold their end of the deal.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian, LLC for their insight into business law and breach of contracts.