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Are oral agreements enforceable?

| Apr 27, 2020 | Firm News |

Negotiating a deal can be more of an art than a science. There are times when you are having a casual conversation with another business owner when the subject turns to how your companies can work together.

You may realize that it is easier to enforce an agreement that both parties have commemorated in writing but fail to formalize the terms. Unfortunately, it is all too easy for another party to remember to accept the benefits of the agreement while refusing to fulfill their end of the bargain.

Here’s what you should know about enforcing an oral agreement.

What has happened so far?

If there is no formal agreement, it is essential to look at what you and the other party have done up until the point of the conflict. When parties act as though there is a contract, it can support a case that they had agreed to specific terms.

Look back on the actions you and the other party took since you made the verbal agreement. If goods or services have already exchanged hands, it could be an indication that the other party intended to follow through with the deal.

Read all about it

Just because you did not make a formal contract does not mean there is nothing written down. As you think about the documentation of your agreement, consider communications such as:

  • Invoices
  • Emails
  • Memos
  • Letters
  • Text messages

Evidence of contact with the other party that discusses the deal you made could support the agreement, even if there were no written contracts.

It can be difficult to enforce a bargain when there is no contract that discusses what each party hoped to gain from the deal. Keep track of your records that can support your agreement if there is a conflict.