In an ideal world, you could seal a business deal with a handshake, and everyone would honor their word. There would be no need for lengthy, often complicated business contracts. Unfortunately, the reality is that written contracts are essential.

Breaches of contract are one of the most common reasons for business litigation. In many cases, the violations are allowed to occur because there was nothing in an agreement that laid out clear consequences if one side failed to keep their word.

What to do if there is a breach of contract

The first thing you should do if you feel someone has broken an agreement is to check the contract itself. If your contracts were written a long time ago, they might be affected by changes in the law. A business attorney can ensure that they are still relevant.

Once you are sure of the facts, you should contact the other party. It could be that they have not even realized their error and can solve it right away. If not, you may be able to reach a satisfactory agreement to solve the problem in a straightforward and amicable fashion.

If the breach has cost you money, and the other party does not seem likely to solve it any time soon, you could go through small claims court. However, you can claim only a maximum of $7,500 there.

Lawsuits are usually the last resort. While they can be highly effective, they will take time and money. They are also likely to destroy your business relationship, which could have serious financial consequences if you lose an important client.

Whether writing a new contract, revising an old one, or dealing with a contract breach, an experienced business law attorney can help you protect your business.