When Can I Sue for Breach of Contract?
Whether you are a small enterprise staffed entirely by yourself or a large business expanding throughout Oklahoma and Texas, you likely work with multiple other individuals or companies. It does not matter what product or service you offer, you need help from vendors, suppliers, financial experts, and marketing agencies to effectively draw in customers, close sales, keep your books in order, and pay the right taxes. When you need to work with another person or business, you sign a contract to ensure you each know your rights and duties. At the most basic level, you understand what you are getting and at what cost or you know exactly what you must deliver in exchange for a payment. But what happens when you do not receive what you are supposed to or never get paid? You may have to take the other party to court based on breach of contract.
Do You Have a Contract?
The first step to determining whether you can sue another person or business for breach of contract is to analyze whether you had a valid contract to begin with. A contract is an oral or written mutual agreement to do or not do a specific thing based on sufficient consideration. To create a contract, there must be an offer and acceptance of that offer between competent individuals. For instance, an accounting firm may offer to prepare your taxes for your business at a certain price and you may accept. Or, you may offer to sell a person five handmade widgets for $500 and that person may accept. It is important to note that for a contract to be valid, both you and the other party must agree to all of the exact terms of this relationship including when payment is due and when and how the services or products are to be provided.
Consideration is the promise to do or not do something in exchange for something else from the other party. For the accounting firm, you will pay money for its professional services. For the widget sale, you promise to create your handmade goods in exchange for payment by the customer. Consideration does not have to be a payment, though; it can also be another good or service.
Most business contracts are in writing, though Oklahoma law does allow for oral contracts. For a written contract to be valid, it should be signed and dated by all of the interested parties. If you believe you had an oral agreement with another person or business, contact an experienced Oklahoma City breach of contract lawyer to determine whether this spoken agreement amounts to a legally binding contract.
How Do You Know There Has Been a Breach?
Breach of contract sounds like a serious legal term, and it can be hard to translate it into everyday language to determine if it fits your current predicament. The essence of a breach of contract claim is that a party did not do what they promised to do in spite of the agreement. This could entail any number of actions, including failing to deliver supplies you purchased or failing to pay you for work you completed. The claim can also arise if a party refuses to accept a service, item, or payment as they are supposed to under the agreement or if a party interferes with another person or business’s ability to perform under the contract.
Call Brown & Gould, PLLC Today
If another individual or business has not held up their end of an agreement, you should contact a breach of contract attorney at Brown & Gould, PLLC right away. We will review whether you have a legally enforceable contract and how that other party violated the agreement. If it is clear that you have suffered a financial loss due to a breach of contract, we will help you file a claim in court. Call today at 405-235-4500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.