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How Can I End a Contract?

Posted by Jonathan Krems | Dec 23, 2021 | 0 Comments

In today's Freedom Friday blog and email newsletter, I want to answer a question that I don't get from a lot of clients, but honestly, a lot of clients are afraid to ask this question, too.  That question is, “How can get out of this bad contract?”  Or, put another way, “How can I end a contract?”  Clients don't want to ask this question because they're afraid of the answer.  They're afraid the answer is, “You can't get out of this contract.”  Maybe that's true, that there are some contracts which might hold a client in bondage, and in that case, there might need to be creative ways to end that contract.  But many contracts have provisions for being ended or “terminated,” which is the legal term for ending a contract.  In today's Freedom Friday blog and email newsletter, I want to share with you four (4) different ways that a contract can be effectually terminated, depending on the contract itself and what is provided in the termination provision of the contract.

1.  Notice

The first way that a contract can be effectually terminated, and this depends on what is provided in the termination and notice provisions of the contract.  Some contracts can be terminated by simply giving the other party or parties sufficient notice, usually 30 or 60 days, and sometimes this notice must be given at a certain time, such as a number of days or weeks before the contract renews.  Almost always any notice of termination must be given in writing, possibly signed, or even notarized.  The notice provision might also specify whether notice may be given electronically, such as through email.  There also might be a method of delivery requirement, especially with older contracts.  Some contracts require notice to be delivered in a certain way, such as via certified mail, personal/hand delivery, or nationally recognized overnight courier.  There is also usually a date effective requirement which you should pay attention to as well.

2.  Breach of the Other Party

The second way that a contract can be effectually terminated is breach of the other party.  This is a way to terminate a contract and may be an effective termination if the contract does not have a “termination” provision in it.  If the other party to the contract is not meeting their expectations, this may be a valid way to terminate the contract.  Or it might not be which is why you need to consult a lawyer.  Usually you must provide the other party with notice of the breach and an opportunity to “cure” the breach and make it right.  For example, if the breach is non-payment, and the other party is obligated to pay your business, but they have not done so, you need to provide them with notice of their non-payment, and if they still don't pay within 30 days you can terminate the contract.  However, it's always best to consult with a business attorney regarding your specific situation in these circumstances.

3.  Triggering Events

The third way that a contract can be effectively terminated is triggering events.  Some contracts provide that if the other party becomes bankrupt or insolvent, reorganizes (if it's a business entity), dies (if a natural person), or stops conducting business, then there is an automatic right of termination.

4.  Mutual Agreement

The fourth way that a contract can be effectively terminated is by mutual agreement.  This is when the parties to a contract mutually agree to part ways.  Again, you should have an attorney review the contract to see if this is a possibility, and it may be advised to have an attorney draft an agreement between the parties regarding termination.

What if your contract doesn't have a specific termination provision?  It is always best to have an experienced business attorney review your contract to see what your options are if you are looking to end a contract.  If you need help with any contract in Oklahoma, please contact me at [email protected] to schedule a FREE strategy session regarding your contract problem.

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About the Author

Jonathan Krems

Jonathan is the Founder and Managing Attorney of Liberty Legal Solutions, LLC, a law firm dedicated to building, protecting, and defending the business and personal interests of our clients in Oklahoma.  Jonathan's primary practice areas are business law, contracts and agreements, business liti...


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