“But you promised. You promised if I gave you my packed lunch, you would let me play with your Pokemon cards.” As a kid, you soon learn that when someone promises to give you something in exchange for something else, not everyone keeps their word.
When it comes to doing business, things are the same. You cannot go around trusting everyone to keep their word, or you will be left disappointed and out of pocket, which is why people who do business together sign contracts.
Sometimes you may want to free yourself from a business contract by having it voided. A court can allow it in certain circumstances. These are known as “defenses” to a contract. Here are some:
- Capacity to contract: Were you a minor when you signed the contract? Were you mentally unfit to sign it at the time?
- Duress: Did someone threaten you or force you into signing the contract?
- Undue Influence: Did you place your trust in someone who abused their position of influence over you to get you to sign?
- Misrepresentation: Did someone lie to you or withhold facts.
- The contract is one-sided or abusive: Is the contract clearly unfair? Unconscionability is the legal term for this.
- Mistake: If both sides agree the contract was a mistake, a court may decide to void it.
- Force majeure: Are you unable to fulfill the terms of a contract due to circumstances beyond your control.? Most contracts spell out what things a force majeure clause covers.
If you have a business contract you would like voided, consider seeking legal help to present your case to the court.