Contracts form the backbone of many business relationships. Essentially, a contract exists when each party to the contract promises to do something for the other party in exchange for something of value. However, gone are the days when business contracts are made with a handshake and a smile. These days, they are often heavily negotiated and reduced to writing, so there is documentation of what each party promised to do.

Unfortunately, there are times when one party to a contract does not deliver on their promise. This is known as “breach of contract” and it could lead to business and civil litigation. In general, the contract will be enforced if it meets four requirements.

First, the contract itself must be valid. If any element of the contract is absent it cannot be enforced. Second, the party claiming that the contract was breached bears the burden of demonstrating that the other party did not follow the terms of the contract. Third, the party claiming that the contract was breached must have performed all they promised to do under the contract. Finally, the party claiming the contract was breached must have given the other party notice of the breach before pursuing a lawsuit. Written notification is stronger than verbal notification when it comes to proving this element.

This is only a very general overview of breach of contract claims. In the end, there are many circumstances in which a breach of contract claims may take a slightly different trajectory. Because these claims are so complex, it may be useful for our readers to get more information about this area of law.