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Changing a Contract May Not Be as Easy as You Think

Businesses often must alter an existing agreement after it has been signed. For example, the parties may have agreed to a new performance date or an alternative payment schedule. Or maybe you simply must make an addition, correction, or deletion to the contract or other details.

Many businesses make the mistake of failing to ensure that the changes are legally binding on both parties. Although it may be tempting to draft contract amendments without the assistance of an experienced business attorney, any mistakes could lead to unforeseen legal consequences.

Below are some quick tips for amending a contract:

  • It should be in writing. Many contracts require that amendments be made in writing and signed by both parties. Also, written changes are easier to establish than relying on both parties remembering the terms of a verbal amendment.
  • The writing should be specific and concise. The goal is to ensure that all parties to the contract understand the new or changed terms.
  • When changing a contract clause, it is often clearer to simply state that a whole clause has been replaced, and provide the new clause.
  • The form of the amendment is not usually important if both parties sign it. The document can be a standard contract, a letter agreement or even emails exchanged, if the parties agree to use electronic communications.
  • Amending the contract is not the only solution available. If the changes are more extensive, it can make more sense to replace the old contract entirely with a new one. This is particularly the case if a new party to the contract is being added.

How We Can Help

If you are concerned about the validity of your business contracts, it is imperative to consult with an experienced business attorney. Our firm can help you achieve your business goals, while also minimizing your liability.