There’s No Breach of Contract Without a Contract
Many times, when a dispute arises between people or companies, the issue is whether a contract even exists. In our last article about fiduciary duty and breach of contract, we said that a contract must exist in order to prevail on a breach of contract claim. Today, we will show you what a contract looks like and how to determine whether a contract indeed exists.
What a Contract Looks Like in Florida
A contract is created anytime a product, service or monetary transaction occurs. A contract comes in more than one form. These forms include the following:
- Implied conduct, such as a handshake
Although a contract can exist in verbal form, under the Statute of Frauds, there are certain contracts that must be in writing. These contracts include real estate contracts, marriage prenuptial agreements and contracts where the performance extend beyond a year.
Keep in mind that although verbal and implied conduct contracts may be enforced in court, they are not the best ways to form a contract because there’s no concrete evidence that a contract was in place.
A contract in tangible form – written form – is always best when it comes to making deals. With a written contract, there can be no dispute or challenge of your word against the other party’s word. This is why in contract disputes, the first thing an attorney or judge will want to see is a contract in written form.
How to Determine Whether a Contract Exists
Because making the determination is not always clear, it’s best to consult a West Palm Beach business or contract attorney. The basics of contract law states that three things must happen in order to determine whether a contract exists.
A contract includes the following elements:
The offer simply means that a person must offer or suggest something. For example, your hair stylist offers to cut your hair for $15.00.
The acceptance is self-explanatory. The offer must be accepted. Meaning, when you accept your hair stylists offer to cut your hair for $15.00. Your acceptance is sitting in the chair and allowing the stylist to cut the hair.
Consideration is the exchange of the product, service, or money and the promise of the other party to pay. Consideration is also referred to as bargain for exchange. In the hair cut example, the hairstylist cuts your hair and you promise to pay $15.00.
A contract does not exist without the offer, acceptance and consideration or exchange of a product, service, or funds. Therefore, you cannot claim breach of contract if these elements do not exist. If any one of these are missing, you have no contract.
Contact Our Experienced West Palm Beach Breach of Contract Attorney for Help
If you’re trying to determine whether a contract exists between yourself and another party, contact our West Palm Beach breach of contract attorneys at Kelley Fulton Kaplan & Eller. We’re always happy to discuss your needs and provide you with more information about how we can help. Contact us for a consultation at 561-264-6850.