As anyone who owns a business knows – contracts are an indispensable tool to get things done and protect your business interests. However, if you don’t know anything about the laws that govern contracts, you may be doing more harm than good when you put pen to paper. Let’s talk through some of the basics of contracts and the law to make sure you have a good understanding of what’s at stake.
What Is a Contract?
This is basically a legally-enforceable agreement between parties (two or more) that obligates both parties to fulfill particular things as specified within the contract. By party, this can mean a person, country, company, corporation, etc. What you want to keep in mind is that two things are always implied when the word contract is used:
●That there is an agreement made (something for something)
● The agreement is legally enforceable
What Laws Pertain to Contracts?
One thing about contracts is that the laws that govern them are determined by the state where the agreement between the parties was made. There may actually be a couple of types of state laws that govern the contract as well – depending on what type it is (e.g. property lease, sale of goods). For example, these are two types of law:
1. The Uniform Commercial Code or UCC: These laws govern contracts used for the sale of goods. The UCC is a standardized set of guidelines that oversee commercial transactions. While the code is not law itself, most states have adopted all or part of the code as law.
2. The Common Law: Other business contracts may be governed at least in part by “common law.” This includes all contracts like employment contracts, leases, etc. Each state has their own common law made from court decisions within the state over the years.
How is a Contract Created?
Any time an offer is made and accepted after a sufficient amount of “consideration,” a contract is legally valid. Let’s examine what these terms mean in the context of contracts:
1. An Offer: the terms of this offer must be clear and certain, and the party to whom such an offer is made must reasonably expect the offering party capable of the offer.
2. Acceptance: This is a clear expression from the party receiving the offer that they accept its terms and agree to it.
3. Consideration: There must be some gained and something obligated for all parties involved for the contract to hold. There must be an exchange of some kind of value.
What Happens when a Contract is “Breached?”
Anytime a dispute arises over a contract, one party may feel another party is failing to adhere to the terms of the contract they are obligated to adhere to.
This is considered a breach and can result in legal action by the non-breaching party in an attempt to remedy the situation, which can happen in a number of different ways depending on the type of contract and breach.
How Are Contracts Enforceable Under the Law?
In the event that there is a breach of contract, the most common way to attempt to remedy the situation is to use a lawsuit through the court system.. However, there are other options for dispute resolution before turning to out-and-out litigation. These alternatives are mediation and arbitration.
Yoel Molina, Esq. (AKA “Mo”)
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Yoel “Mo” Molina, I am a lifelong resident of Miami, Fl. I am a graduate of Miami Senior High, Class of 1992, Georgia Institute of Technology, B.S. 1997 and University of Maine School of Law, J.D. 2001. I have been practicing law in Miami Since 2001. I am a former training prosecutor in the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. I have experience in jury trials, appeals, and administrative hearings. I have appeared before judges across the State. My experience ranges from civil litigation matters, collection matters, foreclosure, business and corporate, contracts, real estate, leases and employment matters..
"Mr. Molina has always been there for us with timely, reliable and competent advice. He is an important and valuable part of our team." Corporate Client Eric Delgado, President of American International Export, Inc., a worldwide importer and exporter of brand name appliance parts.
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"My name is Anastasia Yecke Gude and I am the owner of Healing Hands Therapeutic Massage LLC. In the process of my company’s growth and expansion, I suddenly found myself a few weeks ago in need of a 1099 contractor agreement, and I needed it ASAP. As in, the very next day! I contacted the Law Office of Yoel Molina and his assistant put me in touch with Mo. I sent him what I had drafted up and he replied within a few hours with suggested revisions and clarifications, as well as a few insights I had not even considered. I was thoroughly impressed by the quality of work he provided, especially considering the time crunch I put him in (sorry, Mo!). I definitely recommend his services to anyone in need of a good contract attorney, and I will be calling him again for future work…hopefully in less of a rush next time!"