Does a Business Contract Need to Be Reduced to Writing to Be Enforceable?

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Does a Business Contract Need to Be Reduced to Writing to Be Enforceable?

May 19, 2017

By: Justin C. Carlin

As a Fort Lauderdale business lawyer, one of the most common questions that my business clients have is whether their business contracts need to be reduced to writing.  Like so many answers to legal questions, the answer to this question is, “It depends.”

Florida’s “statute of frauds” provides that, to be enforceable, the following types of agreements must be in writing and signed by the party against whom enforcement of the agreement is sought:

  • A promise by any person to answer or pay for the debt or obligation of another person (also known as a surety obligation);
  • Any agreement made on consideration of marriage;
  • A contract for the sale of lands, tenements, or heriditaments, or of any uncertain interest in or concerning them or the lease of them;
  • Any agreement that is not to be performed within the space of one year from the making of a contract; and
  • A guarantee, warranty, or assurance of any health care provider as to the results of a medical, surgical, or diagnostic procedure performed by a licensed physician, osteopath, chiropractor, podiatrist, or dentist.

Thus, in the  business litigation context, the most common types of agreements that are subject to the statute of frauds are: (a) those to pay the debt of another (e.g., a personal guaranty of a promissory note); (b) an agreement relating to the transfer of real estate; and (c) an agreement that cannot be performed within one year from the date of the contract.  If you find yourself in any of these situations, then you should make sure that your agreement is reduced to writing, or else the contract may be unenforceable in court, potentially causing your business significant loss.

If you are involved in a business dispute in Fort Lauderdale or anywhere else in Florida, please call a business attorney Ft Lauderdale at (9544400901 to schedule a consultation.  The Carlin Law Firm, PLLC regularly provides legal advice to all kinds of business entities and regularly assist clients with litigating business disputes in Florida state and federal courts.


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