As a business owner, you undoubtedly have numerous contracts with your suppliers, your vendors, possibly even your customers. As FindLaw explains, these contracts contain legal obligations for both you and them. But what if one of the other parties fails to live up to his or her end of the bargain?
In such a situation, you can sue the other party for breach of contract. To win your suit, however, you will need to prove the following four things:
- That an enforceable contract exists between you and the defendant
- That you performed your contract obligations
- That the defendant breached said contract
- That you sustained damages as a result of the breach
As you might expect, proving the existence of a written contract is considerably easier than proving the existence of an oral contract. Either way, however, the contract must contain an offer, consideration for that offer, and acceptance, and mutuality, i.e., a meeting of the minds between you and the defendant regarding the contract’s basic terms.
Your own hands must be clean to win your suit. In other words, you must prove that you performed each and every obligation the contract required of you.
You likewise must prove that the defendant failed to perform one or more of the obligations the contract required of him or her, whether through negligence or a deliberate act or failure to act.
Finally, you must prove that you sustained damages as a result of the defendant’s breach. Your damages can take many forms and could include such things as loss of revenue, loss of time, loss of your company’s goodwill or extra expenses caused by the breach.