A lot of small businesses take pride in their ability to build relationships and conduct their affairs in an efficient manner. In many circumstances, this means that businesses choose to forego the formalities of written contracts, instead operating on the strength of their word and the word of the other party to get business done. Although this may certainly speed up business operations and lead to a trust-based relationship, it can also spell trouble when one side of an agreement doesn’t live up to its promises.
Is your verbal agreement a legally enforceable contract?
In these circumstances, the question often becomes whether the verbal agreement is legally enforceable. The answer to this question depends on the facts at hand. If the matter goes to court, a judge is probably going to look at the following factors:
- Whether a realistic offer was actually made
- The nature of the offer
- The history of dealings between the parties
- Whether one party relied on the promise to its detriment
So, if your business has routinely made verbal promises with the party in question and both parties have abided by those agreements, then there’s a better chance that the agreement in question will be deemed contractual in nature. The same holds true if one of the parties were harmed by their reliance on the verbal agreement, such as by missing out on another favorable contract.
Competently navigate your contract dispute
Contract disputes can be more complex than they seem, and there’s often a lot at stake. A breach of contract case that turns out poorly for you can be costly to your business’s bottom line and its reputation. That’s why it may be wise for you to discuss your contract issue with an attorney who can help guide you through the process and ensure that you’re protecting your interests as fully as possible.