How to Plan Ahead in Order to Avoid Contract Disputes
When it comes to business relationships, reputation is important.
For business professionals, contracts are critical when it comes to establishing proper relationships, protecting your business, and limiting liability. Every relationship that you have in business, with your business partners, contractors, suppliers, manufacturers, employees, and independent contractors, should all be codified by comprehensive contractual agreements. This protects you in the event that they do not follow through on your agreement and also ensures that both parties are clear on what is expected of them and how to avoid a breach. By following these steps, you can minimize the likelihood of a breach of contract occurring and avoid any harm that would occur to your business as a result.
- Do some research on the other party. When it comes to business relationships, reputation is important. It is important not to merely take the other party’s word that they will follow through on the terms of an agreement. While having a contract in place will allow you to enforce the agreement or collect damages in the event that they breach, that may still result in delays or other harm to your business and your business’s reputation in the interim if it leaves you unable to fulfill orders or meet customer’s expectations. For this reason, you cannot expect a contract to do all of the heavy lifting. You must also do your research to make sure that the other party has a history of following through on their commitments and has the resources to meet your needs. If there have been multiple lawsuits against the other party and they have previously filed for bankruptcy, a contract may not be enough to make it a sound business deal.
- Make sure the terms and language are clear. One of the benefits of a contract is that it allows both parties to understand exactly what is expected of them and how to meet those expectations effectively. The goal is to avoid and reduce ambiguity. Oftentimes, breaches of contract are not intentional or malicious but due to miscommunications or misunderstandings about how exactly to fulfill the terms of the contract. For instance, someone may send the right amount of inventory via the wrong method of transport, causing it to arrive late, or they may send the wrong amount of inventory on the right date. Vague or unclear terms can also make enforcing the contract more difficult, so it is critical to make sure that all parties are on the same page and that there is only one way to reasonably interpret the terms of the agreement.
- If the other party does not speak English as their native language, hire an interpreter. If the other party does not speak English, invest the extra effort in hiring an interpreter to make sure that the terms are clear and accurately reflected in the other party’s native language to prevent miscommunications.
- Make sure the terms of the contract are reasonable. If the terms of the contract cannot reasonably be followed, it will not be an effective agreement.
- Have an attorney draft and review your contract. The best way to ensure that your contract will be valid and enforceable is to hire an experienced business attorney to draft and review the contract.
Schedule a Consultation with the Munizzi Law Firm, representing business professionals statewide throughout Florida.
If you own or help operate a business in Florida and want to make sure that your business agreements are iron-clad and enforceable in court, contact the experienced business lawyers at the Munizzi Law Firm in DeLand and Longwood, Florida, today to schedule a consultation and find out how we can help you.