You count on enforceable contracts to run your business. Your contracts with suppliers, vendors, clients, customers, employees, independent contractors, landlords, and other parties provide you with much-needed certainty about timelines, deliveries, costs, and profits.
When the contract terms are not satisfied, your business may suffer. You may bring a successful breach of contract case and recover damages if you can prove that:
- An enforceable contract existed.
- The other party breached the contract.
- Your business suffered a loss because of the breach of contract.
Below, our Michigan business lawyers explain each of these elements and how to protect your rights.
What Makes a Contract Enforceable?
A contract is enforceable if one party makes an offer, another party accepts that offer, and both parties benefit from the contract. The offer and acceptance must have enough detail to establish that both parties understood the contract to mean the same thing.
Written contracts are not always required. However, most business contracts are made in writing and signed by the parties. Additionally, contracts, such as contracts for the purchase and sale of real estate or contracts for the sale of goods worth a considerable amount of money, need to be written.
Different Types of Breaches of Contract and Remedies
There are different ways to breach a business contract. In Michigan, you may have a breach of contract case if there is:
- A material breach of contract. A material breach of contract occurs when the contract is breached significantly or substantially, and the non-breaching party is harmed. In material breach of contract cases, the non-breaching party may recover financial compensation.
- An anticipatory breach of contract. As the term suggests, an anticipatory breach of contract occurs before the contract’s delivery date. The breaching party either informs the non-breaching party that it does not intend to fulfill its contractual obligations or takes action that makes it impossible to fulfill its contractual obligations. Either way, an anticipatory breach of contract may cause the non-breaching party financial harm, and the non-breaching party may recover damages.
- Substantial performance of the contract. The terms of the contract may not have been completed exactly as specified in the contract. However, the breaching party did come close to or substantially completed the contract terms. In this type of breach of contract case, the non-breaching party may make a financial recovery for the difference between what was done and what should have been done pursuant to the contract.
Your business was hurt by the other party’s breach of contract, and you would have preferred the other party live up to its contractual obligations. However, you don’t want a party that is unwilling to comply with the contract terms to hurt your business. Instead, you want to make up for any monetary loss and prepare for the future.
Courts typically award monetary damages rather than the specific performance of contractual obligations. However, there are exceptions to this general rule. For example, if the contract was for the purchase of property or another one-of-a-kind item, then specific performance or compliance with the contract terms may be required.
Benefits of Contacting a Michigan Breach of Contract Attorney
Breach of contract cases may become complicated quickly. The other party may allege that:
- You breached the contract first. The party that substantially or materially breached the contract first typically cannot sue the other party for non-performance.
- It did not breach the terms of the contract. The party may allege that it substantially fulfilled the terms of the contract and no material breach occurred.
Our experienced Michigan business lawyers are here to help you create enforceable contracts and recover damages if another party breaches your contract. We want to help your business succeed. Our attorneys will gather evidence, advise you of your legal options, represent you in court, and anticipate possible defenses.
We encourage you to contact us as soon as possible so that:
- All relevant evidence can be gathered while it is still available.
- The statute of limitations does not expire.
- We can help you resolve the breach of contract as quickly as possible and get the recovery your business deserves.