New media, innovation, and technological advancement have changed how society operates as a workforce when contrasted with our recent past. A legal agreement in previous centuries was done by word of mouth, letter, or binding contract traditionally agreed upon by peers. With the advancement of mass communication, the definition of “contract” has substantially changed in the court of law.
Messages, virtual entertainment posts, and even instant messages were significant instruments for showcasing and haggling before the COVID-19 pandemic overturned the manners by which we lead a business. Presently, electronic correspondences are fundamental for carrying on with work.
Assuming you are directing business to a great extent by email and messages, you may not consider these messages as records; not to mention authoritative archives of your intent. However, an instant message or an email could comprise a legitimately binding contract that could prompt lawful and monetary ramifications for yourself and your business if not safeguarded against.
This article will talk about what an agreement is, existing regulations on the point that an electronic correspondence turns into an agreement, and how you might minimize your lawful risk while leading a business for all intents and purposes.
What Is a Contract?
To begin, understanding the legal definition of a contract can help put the danger of text message communications into perspective. A contrast is an understanding between two parties for some exchange. It requires three things to turn into an enforceable agreement:
A Proposition: Party A makes a deal. Party B might answer with a counter-offer.
Acknowledgment: One party consents to the next’s proposition or counter-offer. For instance, Party B could do without Party A’s underlying deal, yet recommends a counter-offer. Party A verbally consents to the counter-offer.
Thought: in legitimate terms, “thought” is a thing of significant worth surrendered by each party and traded with one another. For instance, Party A trades cash for the assistance presented by Party B.
A fourth component may likewise recognize an agreement – The aim of the gatherings is to make a formal relationship. If any of the above have corresponded through text, you could be putting yourself in danger of litigation.
How to Protect Your Business from Text Message Contracts
How can you protect your business from breach-of-contract allegations stemming from texts, emails, or other electronic communications?
One option is to provide clear guidelines to your staff not to conduct aspects of business related to closing, for instance, over informal means of communication. Stick to email and text for general inquiries and communications, but save negotiations for face-to-face or video conversations.
Additionally, you can include a disclaimer on every text message that it does not constitute a contractual offer. As always, preserving your electronic communications in case of future litigation is crucial.
If you’ve received a summons in regards to text contracts, you may need a legal professional to explore all avenues of your defense. Contact our specialists at Dowd Law to determine your next steps, and if the text message contracts that are being used against you are valid.