Every contract that you execute has an impact on your business. When you hire a new employee or find a new vendor, that could be a major opportunity for your business. However, you could find yourself in a scenario where the other party to a contract fails to meet their obligations to you.
As your business continues to grow, you may eventually have to resolve a significant dispute with a client, former employee or supplier. Following the steps below will increase your chances of a favorable resolution to a contract dispute.
Double-check the contract
The longer it has been since you signed the contract in question, the greater the likelihood that you don’t fully recall all the details included in the document. For example, you may have agreed to a concession when hiring a new executive that deviates from your standard employment contract.
You may also have included a clause preemptively addressing a dispute, such as an obligation to go through mediation before you go to court. When you know what is in the contract, then you are in an informed position to take your next step.
Reach out to the party not upholding their end of the agreement
A contract issue could be the result of an oversight. Someone may have misunderstood their obligations under the contract or may have simply forgotten something they should have done.
Informal communication can be a great second step, especially if you have typically maintained an amicable relationship with the other party. However, if they do not quickly respond to you or resolve the matter, then you will need to send a formal notice, likely citing the contract itself, and asking them to resolve the matter.
File a civil lawsuit, but stay open to communication
If your attempts to informally resolve the matter and formally notify the other party of their failures have not resulted in an appropriate resolution, then it may be time to involve the courts. Filing a civil lawsuit against the other party initiates the process by which you can secure legal intervention.
Taking this step also shows the other party that you are serious about enforcing your rights and may convince them to meet with you to compromise. If they do, you may be able to resolve the matter without proceeding to litigation. If they do not, you will need to prepare to present evidence to the courts and ask for them to uphold the contract or award you damages depending on the circumstances.