Our contract lawyers are committed to helping businesses of all sizes. We will take the time to advise on all legal issues and options when you are entering into a contract and take the necessary steps to ensure your business runs smoothly.
Contracts form the basis of many business agreements. A business may enter into a contract to lease office space, create a contract with a vendor, and even offer certain workers employment contracts. Some contracts are very straightforward, while others are incredibly complex. A Spartanburg contract lawyer can work with business owners to ensure their contracts provide the necessary protection.
What is a Contract?
A contract is an agreement entered into by two or more parties, and that is legally enforceable. While most business contracts are written, oral agreements are also considered an oral contract and therefore, are still legally binding even though they are sometimes more difficult to prove. A court will take many factors into consideration when determining if a contract is enforceable, but an agreement must contain the following three elements:
- The offer: All contracts must contain an offer to be considered legally enforceable. The offer must not only outline what is being given, but also certain terms related to the offer.
- Acceptance: The parties that are presented with an offer must accept the offer, present a counteroffer, or refuse the offer. When an offer is rejected, there is not an agreement in place. A contract is not in place until all parties agree to the offer and the subsequent terms.
- Consideration: Consideration is essentially formally creating the agreement. For example, if a business owner agrees to make a purchase from a vendor, the vendor cannot simply drop the goods off at the business and expect the business owner to pay. There must be consideration, and a legal agreement in place before the vendor is entitled to anything from the business owner.
Although contracts will typically include much more than the above three elements, no contract is complete when it is missing one of these elements.
Breach of Contract
In most cases, contracts are legally binding, and the parties named within an agreement are required to fulfill the duties outlined within it. When any party refuses or does not fulfill their legal obligations, they are then considered in breach of contract. This concept holds true even when a party breached the contract because they did not fully read or understand the agreement.
However, certain defenses are sometimes raised in breach of contract cases, and those defenses are often valid. For example, a business may enter into a contract with a vendor that provides them with goods or services necessary to run the business. In exchange, the business owner may agree to pay a certain amount of money for those goods or services.
If the business burns down and the owner is not able to operate, receive the goods or services, or pay vendors, this could provide a defense to a breach of contract claim. A business owner may also have another reason to breach a contract, but they must always prove the reason was valid.
Remedies in Breach of Contract Cases
A breach of contract can hurt all parties that entered into the agreement. The law provides many remedies for parties that have been wronged and have suffered loss as a result of the breach. The remedies available are as follows:
- Right to refuse contractual obligations: When one party breaches a contract, the other party is generally under no obligation to continue to fulfill their obligations outlined in the contract.
- Compelling a party to take certain actions: Through a lawsuit, the party that suffered a loss as a result of a breach of contract can force the breaching party to fulfill their obligations under the contract.
- Compensatory damages: Financial damages are often available in breach of contract lawsuits that can compensate the wronged party for their losses.
To pursue these remedies, the party taking legal action must prove a contract was in place and that they met their obligations, while the defendant did not, and they suffered a loss as a result. While this sounds easy, there are sometimes challenges when proving breach of contract, which is why business owners usually require legal representation.
Why Business Owners Need a Spartanburg Contract Lawyer
Many business owners, particularly those that run a small company, think they do not need a contract lawyer. Although it is true that there are many websites that provide contract templates free of charge or for a small fee, these are not the best contracts to use.
Most contract templates are not drafted by lawyers and so, they may contain issues that result in a legal dispute in the future. Also, the contracts available online are usually not state-specific, meaning they do not comply with state law and may be deemed unenforceable if there is a legal dispute involving the contract.
A contract lawyer will always use language specific to the needs of all parties involved in a contract, negotiate the terms of any contract, and ensure a contract is enforceable.
Contact Our Contract Lawyer Today
At A Business Law Firm, our contract lawyers are committed to helping businesses of all sizes. We will take the time to advise on all legal issues and options when you are entering into a contract and take the necessary steps to ensure your business runs smoothly. Call us today to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys and give your business the protection it needs.