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How to Legally Change a Contract and Enforce the Modifications

How to Legally Change a Contract and Enforce the Modifications

As much as we might hate it, change is truly the only constant in the dynamic world of business. 

The second you think you have everything figured out, a new idea might pop into your head causing you to change certain things in your business. Or you might be forced to change things based on your audience’s needs or the demands of your market.

Whatever the circumstance may be, change is inevitable when it comes to the business world, which means there’s no point trying to run from it. Instead, one of the best things you can do for yourself as a business owner is being willing to EMBRACE change and expect for it to happen.

Something important to recognize, however, is that when you change things in your business, it’s not as simple as changing them on your website and announcing it on social media… especially when it comes to your products or services. 

When change takes place in your business in a way that directly affects your customers or those interacting with your business in any capacity, there’s one important place that the changes MUST be reflected…

And that is your CONTRACTS! 📝

A lot of times I see people treating their business contracts as “one and done” type of thing, but as your biz lawyer bestie I’m here to say that is NOT the case. 

It’s incredibly important for your contracts to always be up to date and reflect the current state of your business, which means when you change anything in your business, your contracts should reflect those changes. 

But how exactly do you go about that? Glad you asked! In this blog post, you’ll learn how to legally change a contract AND enforce the modifications with your clients and customers. 

When To Change a Business Contract

Before diving into the actual process of changing a contract, it's crucial to understand when a contract amendment is needed in your business. In legalese, a contract amendment simply refers to any alteration, addition, or deletion of terms or provisions in an existing contract.

For example, if your current contract states that your clients can communicate with you via text, but you later decide that you only want client communication to exist via email, that would be considered an alteration to your contract and would constitute a modification. 

YES, even something that simple requires a contract change!

Other times, you may decide to add a new form of payment method or something bigger like a no refund policy – things like that would be considered additions, while other times you might want to delete certain clauses in your current contract that no longer align or serve your business. 

Regardless of the specific changes, all of these modifications constitute a change in contract!

How To Change a Business Contract With Ease

Now that you know WHEN a business contract needs to be changed, you’re probably wondering HOW to go about it.

While it might seem like changing a contract in your business is simple and straightforward, there is an actual process that you need to take in order to implement the modifications LEGALLY!

Legal Requirements for Changing a Contract

Mutual Agreement

When changing a contract in your business, all parties involved – including your clients and customers – must consent to the proposed changes in writing. Without mutual agreement, the majority contract modifications are NOT legally binding.

Consideration

Additionally, to make contract modifications enforceable, there must be adequate consideration exchanged between the parties. In the legal world, consideration refers to something of value given in exchange for the modification, such as a change in pricing, services, or obligations.

Formalities

Lastly, depending on the jurisdiction and the nature of the contract, certain formalities may be required for contract modifications, including written agreements, signatures from all parties, and notarization or witnesses in some cases like real estate transactions.

5 Steps to Legally Change a Contract

When all of those requirements have been met, you’re ready to change your contract! Here’s how to do it. ⬇️

1. Identify the Need for Change 

    First things first, you’ll want to assess the reasons for modifying the contract and determine the specific changes required to address the situation effectively. Essentially, you need a legitimate REASON to make contract changes, instead of doing it “just because.”

    2. Discussion with Parties Involved

      Before making the changes that you desire, it’s important to have a discussion with all parties involved to negotiate the proposed changes and reach a consensus on the modifications.

      Because remember, like mentioned above, there must be mutual agreement for contract changes to be legally enforceable!

      Think about it: how would you feel if someone you’re working with randomly hits you with a price increase with no fair warning? It wouldn’t feel good would it? And you’d likely lose some trust and respect for the person. This is why discussing any changes PRIOR to making them is so key!

      Not only is it the legal way to change a contract, but it also ensures that you maintain solid business relationships, which we all know is incredibly important in the business world.

      3. Drafting

        Once all parties have been made aware of the changes and things are mutually agreed upon, you can start preparing a written document outlining the modifications in clear and precise language.

        When writing your contracts, you never want to leave room for ambiguity. Be as detailed and thorough as possible so that there’s never any room for confusion or misunderstanding.

        4. Review and Approval

          Once you’ve drafted your new contract, it’s time for all parties to review and approve it! This step is where you’ll want to ensure that all concerns or questions are acknowledged and answered so that there’s not any issue in the future. 

          5. Implementation

          Lastly, once all parties have agreed to the proposed changes, you’re safe to implement the modified contract by obtaining signatures and enforcing the changes.

          Overall, invalid contract modifications can have serious legal consequences, including disputes, breaches of contract, and potential litigation, so our hope is that this blog post helps you fully understand how to go about making changes in a way that’s legal and avoids any potential headaches. 

          But if changing your contracts still seems a little confusing to you, we’ve got just the thing to help you out. 👀

          Meet The Boutique Lawyer's Contract Amendment Template 🎉

          This template has been tailored for service providers who understand the value of flexibility to ensure your contracts can adapt just as quickly as your business does.

          ➡️ What it is: A streamlined, customizable template designed for amending any service agreement.

          ➡️ Who it’s for: Aimed at social media strategists, consultants, freelancers, and any service provider in need of an efficient way to update contract terms.

          ➡️ When you need it: Perfect for when your services expand, project scopes shift, or whenever you and your clients agree to modify the terms of an existing agreement.

          ➡️ Why you need it: To protect the evolving nature of your professional relationships, ensure clarity, protect your interests, and keep everything neatly aligned with your current offerings and agreements.

          If you’ve been needing to change your contracts or think you’ll need to do so in the future, CLICK HERE to snag the template for just $39!

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          If we haven’t had the chance to *virtually* meet yet, hey I’m Amber – not a regular lawyer, but a cool lawyer that helps online business owners sell without getting sued. 

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