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Legal Considerations To Protect Your Business Interests In Contract Law

Gherman Legal is a trusted resource to businesses in the Miami area, namely business owners in the Russian and Romanian communities. He is well-versed in Florida contract law as well as federal trade regulations and international law.

Sergiu can help you manage risks and attend to the critical details in the negotiation of business deals, from standard commercial contracts to complex and sophisticated agreements in niche areas such as sports law and music copyright licensing. He can also assert or defend legal action in breach of contract litigation.

What Is A Contract?

Formation of contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties that creates a legally enforceable obligation. A contract can be written or oral, but it is always best to have a written contract to avoid any misunderstandings.

The Elements Of A Contract

There are four essential elements that must be present for a contract to be valid:

  1. Offer: One party must make an offer to the other party.
  2. Acceptance: The other party must accept the offer.
  3. Consideration: Each party must give something of value to the other party.
  4. Intention to Create Legal Relations: Both parties must intend to create a legally binding contract.

Types Of Formation Of A Contract

There are many different types of formation of contract, but some of the most common types include:

  • Bilateral Contracts: In a bilateral contract, both parties make promises to each other. For example, a contract for the sale of goods is a bilateral contract because the buyer promises to pay the seller for the goods, and the seller promises to deliver the goods to the buyer.
  • Unilateral Contracts: In a unilateral contract, only one party makes a promise. For example, a contract to find a lost dog is a unilateral contract because the person who lost the dog promises to pay a reward to the person who finds the dog.
  • Formal Contracts: Formal contracts must be in writing and signed by both parties to be valid. For example, contracts for the sale of land are formal contracts.
  • Informal Contracts: Informal contracts do not have to be in writing to be valid. For example, a contract to buy a cup of coffee is an informal contract.

Void Contracts: What They Are And How To Avoid Them

If the subject matter of a contract is illegal, that contract is void from the start. Gambling contracts are absolutely void and unenforceable by reason of public policy. So too are contracts where one of the contracting parties exceeded its authority in entering into the pact, like where a township exceeds its statutory authority in entering into a contract, the township’s act is ultra vires and the resulting contract is void ab initio. A void contract is a contract that is not legally binding. This means that neither party to the contract has any legal rights or obligations under the contract. Void contracts are void ab initio, which means that they are void from the beginning. There are several reasons why a contract may be void. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Lack of capacity: One or both parties to the contract may not have the legal capacity to contract. For example, a minor (someone under the age of 18) cannot enter into a contract without the consent of their parent or guardian.
  • Illegality: The contract may be for an illegal purpose. For example, a contract to commit a crime is void.
  • Fraud: One party to the contract may have defrauded the other party. For example, if one party lies about the value of a property to sell it to the other party, the contract may be void.
  • Coercion: One party to the contract may have coerced the other party into signing the contract. For example, if one party threatens to harm the other party if they do not sign the contract, the contract may be void.

If you are considering entering into a contract, it is important to have an attorney review the contract to make sure that it is valid. If you have signed a contract that you believe is void, you should contact an attorney to discuss your options.

Tips To Prevent Void Contracts

  • Ensure that all parties have capacity to contract.
  • Ensure that the contract is for a legal purpose.
  • Read the contract carefully before signing it.
  • Do not sign a contract if you do not understand it.
  • Get an attorney to review the contract before you sign it.

By following these tips, you can help to avoid void contracts and protect your legal rights.

Examples: In Allied Van Lines, Inc. v. Bratton, 351 So.2d 344, 347–48 (Fla. 1977), the Florida Supreme Court articulated this principle of law in no uncertain terms: It has long been held in Florida that one is bound by his contract. Unless one can show facts and circumstances to demonstrate that he was prevented from reading the contract or that he was induced by statements of the other party to refrain from reading the contract, it is binding. No party to a written contract in this state can defend against its enforcement on the sole ground that he signed it without reading it. In line with this principle, one court decided that: Although Ms. H… was 92 years old, had a fourth-grade education, could not spell, often had to sound out words while reading, had memory problems, was increasingly confused, and she “could not possibly have understood what she was signing” when she signed a financial agreement containing an arbitration agreement, she was nevertheless bound by the agreement where there was no evidence that the admissions staff at Spring Lake used any improper methods to obtain her signature or misled her, and that “[f]or better or worse, her limited abilities are not a basis to prevent the enforceability of this contract.” See Spring Lake NC, LLC v. Holloway, 110 So.3d 916, 917 (Fla 2d DCA 2013); see also Rocky Creek Ret. Props., Inc. v. Estate of Fox, 19 So.3d 1105, 1108 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009) (holding that a party is generally bound by a contract the party signs unless he was prevented from reading the contract or induced by the other party to refrain from reading it, and “[t]his is true whether a party is physically unable to read the agreement, or simply chooses not to read the agreement”).

What Does An Experienced Contract Lawyer Do?

A contract lawyer is a lawyer who practices or specializes in contract law. Contract lawyers help their clients with a variety of tasks related to contracts, including:

  • Drafting contracts: Contract lawyers can help their clients draft contracts that are legally sound and that protect their interests.
  • Negotiating contracts: Contract lawyers can help their clients negotiate favorable terms in their contracts.
  • Representing clients in contract disputes: If a contract dispute arises, a contract lawyer can represent their client in court or arbitration.

When you are facing a legal challenge, you need an experienced lawyer who can fight for your rights. An experienced lawyer has the knowledge about formation of contract and skills to navigate the legal system and get you the most favorable outcome. Here are some of the benefits of hiring an experienced lawyer.

  • They have a deep understanding of the law. Experienced lawyers have spent years studying and practicing the law. They know the ins and outs of the legal system and can use their knowledge to your advantage.
  • They have the skills to negotiate effectively. Experienced lawyers are skilled negotiators who can get you the most favorable outcome in a settlement or trial.
  • They have the resources to build a strong case. Experienced lawyers have access to a wide range of resources, including investigators, experts and other lawyers. They can use these resources to build a strong case that will help you win your case.
  • They can provide you with peace of mind. Hiring an experienced lawyer can give you peace of mind knowing that you have someone who is fighting for your rights. You can focus on your case and let your lawyer handle the rest.

For dependable advice on the front end of a complex business contract or strategic representation in contract litigation, reach out to the Miami office of Gherman Legal by calling 305-390-1945 or via the online contact form.