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What basics about contracts do Florida businesses need to know?

Almost every business in operation in Florida will need to enter into contracts at some point in time. Agreements between buyers, sellers, vendors and suppliers are all common when it comes to conducting business operations. So, it only makes sense for business people in Florida to know some of the basics of contracts.

What basics about contracts are the most important to know? Well, for starters, people should understand the most basic aspect of contracts. What is a contract? A contract is a written memorialization of an agreement between two parties. The contract, once signed, is legally "binding," which means that both sides are obligated to perform as agreed in the contract.

Next, who can make a contract? This may seem simple enough, but there are actually legal requirements for who can and who cannot execute a contract. Legally speaking, a person must be "competent" to craft and agree to a contract. This means that the person knows what they are bargaining for and realizes what obligations they are agreeing to perform.

Lastly, some people may not realize that a contract has to be mutually acceptable. That is, both sides to the contract must willingly agree to perform the obligations they are signing on for. If a party is forced into signing a contract, or is "tricked" into signing a contract when the terms weren't readily known, the contract may be deemed invalid. When allegations of breach of contract or failure to live up to the terms of a contract arise, the baseline for determining the outcome of the dispute during commercial litigation will be the terms of the contract to which the parties expressly agreed.

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