Buying a business can be a sizeable step in building your commercial interests. There are many factors to consider, including the creation of a contract you and the seller can both agree to. However, when the seller breaks that agreement, you may not know how to proceed. Speaking to an attorney and asking a few questions could help you get the matter settled without damaging your bottom line.
1. Can I File a Lawsuit?
Before you can move ahead with taking anyone to court, your attorney will likely review the details of the breach. He or she will decide if an agreement in your contract is clear and in what way the other party committed a breach. For example, if he or she agreed to vacate the business location by a certain date and failed to do so in terms listed in the contract, you may be able to sue for any business loss caused by this action.
2. What If I Lost Money?
When you purchase a business, it is not unusual that you would anticipate making a profit as a result of that purchase. A breach of contract could cause a financial loss, such as if the seller delays the sale or misrepresents the condition of a brick-and-mortar locale that will need thousands of dollars in repairs before you can use the property. In this case, you may be able to file for monetary damages in the amount you lost.
3. Is a Breach Difficult To Prove?
Depending on the size and complications of the business purchase, your contract might have been relatively simple or include a variety of features and factors that were agreed upon by both parties. Your attorney can peruse the contract to find sections that may prove the seller broke his or her promise during the sale. The more specific the contract, the easier it could be to prove the breach.
4. Can We Mediate?
A breach-of-contract case may be solved in mediation, where you, the seller, your lawyers and an objective third party work to resolve your issues without having to appear in court. You may be able to reach an agreement through reformation, where you and the defendant agree to rewrite the contract to make certain points clearer if this is what caused the issue. You would both sign the new document and then proceed as directed.
Handling the frustration and loss of profit when a breach of contract occurs during the purchase of a business can feel overwhelming. However, you do have legal options. Contact a business lawyer in Washington, DC, like from Brown Kiely, LLP, today for further assistance and information.