As a business owner, you manage many important duties to keep your business operating successfully. You face challenges in this effort and one common one is dealing with contract disputes – whether with a vendor, supplier or another business with which you have a relationship. Even if you have been working closely with another party for years, a contract dispute can happen and you may be unsure of how to handle it.
Handling a contract dispute
First, any time a contract dispute arises, business owners should check their contract closely. Make certain the vendor or supplier is actually in violation of the agreement you have signed and don’t make the mistake of breaching the contract yourself in retaliation. Then, if you are confident the vendor or supplier is violating the contract, try some self-help. Speak directly with the owner of that business. Allow the other party to try to resolve the contract breach. For instance, perhaps a supplier can work double-time to provide the materials you need quickly. Perhaps you are unhappy with an IT contract vendor’s service, so identify your concerns to the vendor and see if you can formulate a plan to improve the quality of services.
If your business still faces a contract dispute after trying to work out the problem, you should consult a business law attorney. An experienced attorney can help you negotiate a contract dispute or if all else fails, pursue a breach of contract claim in the courts.
Breach of contract litigation
Through breach of contract litigation, your business could receive the following remedies:
- Monetary Damages. The court could award your damages covering losses associated with how the contract breach impacted your business.
- Specific Performance. The court could compel the breaching party to meet the terms of the contract or pay the cost for another supplier to perform contract requirements.
- Restitution. This remedy involves placing your business is in the same position as it was before the breach. For instance, a judgment that requires the breaching party to repay any funds received from your company.
- Rescission and/or Reformation. The court could order cancellation of the contract or change some of the terms in a contract to resolve inequities.
Unfortunately, sometimes contract litigation is necessary to protect the best interests of your business. With help from an attorney, you can decide if you need to pursue litigation or explore other ways to reach a fair settlement in a contract dispute.