Can an Unsigned Contract Be Enforced in Florida?
Most people have a general idea of what should show up on the last page (or the bottom) of a contract: each party will have to sign on the dotted line. Most contracts are signed by the parties in order to confirm that they are accepting the terms of the agreement. Whenever possible, individuals and businesses should always get their contracts signed.
Of course, that is not always what happens in the real world. Contrary to the belief that many people have, a signature is not always required to make an agreement valid. In fact, a signature on a contract is somewhat less meaningful than many people think. In certain circumstances, an unsigned contract can be legally enforceable in Florida.
A Signature is Not an Essential Element of a Contract
Technically, a contract does not even have to be written down in order for it to be legally valid. Oral contracts can sometimes be enforced in Florida. When a contract is drafted, a signature, while useful, is not a necessary element of the agreement. For a contract to exist, parties must be able to prove the following five basic legal elements:
- A valid offer must have been made;
- That offer must have been accepted;
- The intentions of each party must be clear;
- There must be consideration on all sides; and
- There must be sufficient certainty in key contract terms.
If an offer was made and accepted in writing, and then the parties intended to carry out the agreement, a valid contract may have existed even if one of the parties never signed the final deal. A breach of contract claim could still be pursued against a non-signing party. Actions matter more than a signature.
Trying to Enforce an Unsigned Contract? Get a Lawyer Now
To prevail in contract litigation, the non-breaching party will be required to prove their side of the case. The lack of a signature can sometimes make it more difficult to prove that: 1) a valid contract existed and 2) what the specific terms of that agreement actually entailed. If you or your South Florida business is currently trying to enforce an unsigned contract, it is imperative that you consult with a skilled Miami commercial litigation lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will be able to help you put together the evidence, so that you can build a strong case that you were the victim of a contract breach. Only with strong supporting evidence that the contract was legally valid will you be able to recover financial damages.
Contact Our Florida Contract Litigation Attorneys Today
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our contract law attorneys are committed to providing top quality legal service to our clients. We help individuals and businesses draft, negotiate, review, and litigate contractual agreements.
If you need legal advice, please do not hesitate to contact us now for a free, no strings attached review of your case. With offices in Miami and West Palm Beach, we handle contract law cases all over South Florida.