A contract is an agreement between two parties that is legally enforceable by law. In the state of Florida, this can be either a written or verbal agreement. However, verbal agreements can be difficult to prove. Business contracts usually involve employment, sales or property lease. There are three elements of a contract prior to finalization
The first element is an offer. For example, a property owner needs to have plumbing work done. A plumbing company looks at the property and tells the owner what needs to be fixed and how much they will charge. This step can include negotiations. Perhaps the toilet is leaking and needs to be fixed now, but the plumbing company also notices that other pipes are deteriorating and also need to be fixed. The plumbing company states fixing the toilet will cost $300 and replacing the other pipes will cost an additional $1000. The property owner then has a choice to make. In this step it is important that neither party gets confused that an “offer” is a finalized contract. The easiest way to do that is make sure there is the understanding that the final contract will be a written one. Although Florida does recognize verbal contracts, without witnesses or paper documentation they are nearly impossible to enforce. If you have experienced breach of a verbal contract, contact a Miami business contract attorney to determine if you can legally enforce it.
The second element of a business contract is acceptance of an offer. In the property owner and plumbing company example from earlier this would mean the property owner accepting the plumbing company’s bid on the work. This type of contract might also include how long the work should take to complete. At this point the contract is legally binding because both parties have read and agreed to the contract by signing it. The easiest way to avoid breach of contract is to read the contract in its entirety. You should absolutely never sign any document without reading it thoroughly. If you are confused by aspects of contract, make sure you get clarification before signing. A Miami business contract law firm can help you understand a complicated contract before you sign it.
The third element of a business contract is consideration or completion of the contract. This step will include the completion of the work and the transfer of money or something else of value between the two parties. This is the most common step in which one party believes the other is in breach of the original contract.
If you are entering into a contract similar to the example given, you will probably not need to hire a lawyer before signing. However, business contracts can become extremely complicated. If you are considering entering into a contract or believe that another party is in breach of your contractual agreement, hire a Miami business contract lawyer who can help protect your rights.