In addition to reading your businessowners insurance policy ASAP, various other contracts that define your business relationships are especially important now. With COVID-19 on the rise and social distancing a critical part of “flattening the curve,” your ability to meet your business’s contractual obligations may be in question.
But don’t panic, the contracts’ terms might provide answers, or at least help. Consider, for example, these key provisions:
- Force majeure—when performance of a contract is impossible because of acts outside the parties’ control (a.k.a., “acts of god”).
- Default clause—what constitutes a breach and related remedies (read in connection with force majeure clause).
- Termination rights—when a party may terminate a contract and the rights of both parties thereafter.
If your customer or supplier is the one unable to come through, lean into the contract provisions listed above as well as:
- Parties’ obligations—what each party promises to do and by when.
- Indemnification—requires a breaching party to make the other party whole.
- Warranties—a party’s promise about, for example, the condition or age of the goods it’s selling or about the quality of the services it’s providing.
- Representations—a party’s factual statements (e.g., about accuracy of information).
Even if your contract is less than clear, read and understand it, or ask for help. We’re here. It could provide you with important remedies for your current business challenges.
And if you need a break from work and COVID-19 news, take some time to relax with your family. Try a board game (we’re hooked on Catan and keep a running winners tally on the fridge) or old-fashioned coloring in Female Illustrators in Natural History. Share your masterpieces and tag them #StandTallInPlace.
Stephanie, owner of Melnick & Melnick, S.C. and self-described law nerd has been practicing law for over 25 years. Stephanie loves taking a deep dive into clients’ businesses to learn what makes them tick. She also relishes a well-written (short and simple) contract and is pleased to draft and negotiate all kinds, including leases, operating agreements, and terms of service.more posts by Stephanie →