Businesspeople used to close deals with a quick handshake and the unspoken agreement that all promises made in the course of the contract must be maintained as a matter of policy. In other terms, a man’s word was his bond, and in certain instances, a formal declaration in writing was unnecessary.
Therefore, in today’s exploitive culture, company attorneys typically advise their clients against depending on this kind of agreement. According to the Florida Bar Association, written contracts are generally preferable to oral contracts since a written agreement makes it possible to settle a dispute about the agreement’s terms and conditions. Furthermore, as the Florida Bar points out, the absence of formal information allows it to be more complicated to execute oral or written contracts in arbitration.
However, this would not exclude verbal agreements from being enforced in Florida courts. Here is what you should remember before signing a contract like this.
First, a contract is described by law as any arrangement under which an offer is given and agreed in return for a “valuable service or good.” Let us presume John is relocating from New York City to Fort Lauderdale and inquires about Mike’s Moving’s relocation facilities. Mike’s Moving claims that it will move all of John’s furniture and household products from his New York City apartment to his new home in Florida for a separate fee and on a specific date. In-person or electronically, John accepts and completes and signatures the requisite paperwork (agreement). All parties have entered into a formal arrangement as soon as an authorized official from Mike’s Moving reviews and signatures the paperwork.
A verbal or oral contract, on the other hand, is a contract that is made rather than printed. This suggests that the parties in the preceding case would enter into a verbal or oral contract, whether they negotiated the deal on the phone or in-person but did not record the interaction in writing.
Let us say something occurs to spark a disagreement between John and Mike’s Moving, resulting in his furniture being a few days late at his current Fort Lauderdale house. Maybe some of the furniture is destroyed during shipping, and John declines to compensate Mike’s Moving for their services. Mike’sOn the other hand, Mike’s Moving had stated that it would not be liable for any injury and now seeks to sue to recoup reimbursement for services provided.
Mike’s Moving would have to show that it is an entity to a legally binding verbal agreement with John. Mike’s Moving would provide ample facts in a Florida court to show that:
1) the arrangement exists, and
2) both sides were confident that they had entered into a legally binding agreement.
One option for the organization to do that will be to present a neutral witness to the conversation.
It would be best to realize that any agreement made verbally or in writing that includes unlawful action or is made for illegal reasons is void – and therefore, unenforceable. You should also be mindful that such documents are only legally binding once they are written down. There are some of them:
- Contracts that cannot be completed in about a year
- Real estate transactions, which include, but are not restricted to, any purchases or interests of real estate.
- Contracts for home repairs, health-care services, or loan arrangements
- Contracts in which one side promises to pay off another’s debt
It is essential to thoroughly comprehend the ethical ramifications of entering into a verbal or oral arrangement in today’s world. Contact your trusted legal professional today to learn more about this form of agreement and its possible impact on your firm.