We Mind Your Business
So You Don't Have To

Drafting and Enforcing Business Contracts in Tampa Bay

Latest News

What Should Be Considered When Preparing to Draft Business Contracts in Tampa Bay?

There are many considerations when it comes to successfully drafting a business contract that can withstand legal challenges and be legally enforceable if need be in the future. While every contract is unique in terms of what business it’s meant to transact, there are some elements that should appear in every business contract.

Parties Involved

A business contract must clearly identify and name every person or business entity involved. Contact information may be included, but the critical factor is the name.

Terms of the Products or Services Being Contracted

The contract must include detailed descriptions of the products or services that are being contracted for. This helps define the relationship between both parties in the contract. How detailed the terms are depends on the nature of the contract.


Deliverables should be clearly defined and noted along with any relevant due dates and what’s needed from each party to ensure those deliverables are completed by the due dates.

Process and Details for Changes or Cancellation

A good contract should have allowances for the fact that circumstances may change unexpectedly. There should be a clause explaining what process needs to happen if the contract needs to be changed (for example, the scope or due date of the deliverables) or ended (one side wishes to withdraw from the contract altogether).

Financial Matters

The contract needs to specify what compensation has been agreed to for the first party to deliver the stated deliverables to the second party. If there are changes to the compensation (reduced payment or late fees) if the due date isn’t met, that should be covered here, too.

Consequences of Breach of Contract

If either party violates the terms of the contract, there should be clear actions set out. For example, the contract may state that if one party breaches the contract, it must pay fees or undergo arbitration.

Final Authorization

Contracts should end with a place for all relevant parties to sign their agreement to the terms and conditions laid out in the document.
These are the primary elements that help make a business contract legally enforceable. It’s highly recommended that you work with an experienced business contract attorney to ensure your contract is drafted in a way that complies with state laws and regulations, or it may not be enforceable. For example, if a contract contains a requirement for an action that’s illegal in Florida, the contract isn’t enforceable.

Are Oral Contracts Legally Enforceable in Florida?

Technically, yes, Florida considers some oral contracts to be legally binding. However, they may be more difficult to enforce. There are also some exceptions to that where Florida requires contracts in writing. Examples include real estate transactions or contracts that will take longer than one year to fulfill.

What Are Options to Take if I Need My Contract to be Legally Enforced in Florida?

If you’re concerned that you’re involved in a breach of contract, it’s best to contact an experienced business attorney. There are numerous considerations involved in determining what type of breach has occurred and what the legal ramifications are.

There are two broad categories of breach of contracts.

  • Material breach. A material breach is required to pursue legal claims. It is defined as a breach that causes significant harm to the party expected to receive benefits, whether goods or services, from the contract. For example, if a restaurant contracts with a kitchen equipment manufacturer to order critical components and the manufacturer agrees to deliver them by a specific date but doesn’t, that may cause the restaurant monetary harm.
  • Non-material breach. This type of breach is not eligible for legal claims because it doesn’t lead to significant harm. For example, a general contractor enters a contract with a lumber supplier for a home renovation project. The lumber is delivered a day or two later than specified, but it doesn’t severely impact the renovation project timeline or the general contractor’s ability to finish the project on time. There may be some renegotiation of late fees, but no one was drastically harmed.

If a material breach is involved, there are a couple of legal options to consider.

  • Mediation. Florida recognizes mediation as an approved Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) method. It has the advantage of potentially being less time-consuming and costly than undergoing litigation. A third-party mediator has conversations with both parties about the breach and how to resolve it amicably. The mediator doesn’t take either side and may offer options neither party considered. If both parties agree to a solution in mediation and sign the mediation agreement, it becomes legally binding.
  • Litigation. If there was a valid contract, that contract suffered a material breach, and you or your organization was harmed as a result of the breach, you may have the right to pursue legal action. This may involve going to court or renegotiating the contract, or both.

What Should I Do if I’m Considering Entering into a Business Contract?

Call Venerable Law, at 813-680-4530 to request a free consultation. These are complex legal documents that are best done in conjunction with a knowledgeable business contract attorney. With more than 20 years working with major corporations all over the world, I have insight and experience that could make an enormous difference in helping you end up with a contract in your favor and legally enforceable. At your free consultation, we can review your plans and determine what’s possible.

Related Articles