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Need help with a Contract Amendment?
What is a Contract Amendment?
As the name suggests, a contract amendment happens when you or the other party to a contract feel the need to make changes to the terms or other aspects of the contract. These changes can include when you modify or delete terms of the document.
With a contract amendment, you can therefore change the rights and obligations of the parties in terms of a contract. Once amended, the contract, as a legally binding document, will then outline the new rights and obligations of every party in terms of the agreement. Keep in mind, though, that contract amendment is only necessary after a contract has been signed.
Before that, any changes can be made to the contract and the parties can initial the changes.
There are many reasons why you would want to amend a contract.
- For example , you may enter into a contract with another party for a certain time period. As the end of the time period approaches, you may then wish to extend this time and a contract amendment will be necessary.
- Another example would be where you buy a certain quantity of goods from another party in terms of the contract. After the contract is signed, you then decide to buy more of the goods. Here, a contract amendment will then be necessary to increase the amount of goods purchased in terms of the contract.
Keep in mind, though, that these are just two examples of when a contract amendment will be necessary and that there are many more. These include basically any term of the contract you and the other party want to change and even include instances where an amendment is necessitated due to something out of the control of the contracting parties.
Here is an article about how to write a contract .
How Do You Legally Amend a Contract?
When you use a contract amendment to make a mutually agreed change to any existing contract , you must ensure that the amendment complies with the legal requirements of the underlying contract.
For example, the current contract may specify the requirements necessary to amend the contract. For a contract amendment to then be valid, these requirements would then need to be adhered to.
In addition, some states may have added requirements to contract law regarding the amendment of certain types of contracts . These requirements may include having witnesses to witness the contract signing or requiring that the parties’ signatures be notarized.
Also, to be legally enforceable, amendments to a written contract should be made in writing and signed by both parties. And, while it’s perfectly acceptable in certain circumstances to enter into oral contracts, it's always better to have the terms of an oral contract reduced to writing. This eliminates any disputes later on.
Considering the above, there are some best practices that you should follow for contract amendments.
Below is a list of rules for best practices when going through the contract amendment process:
- Always put the contract amendment in writing and ensure that both parties sign the amendment.
- In the amendment, refer to the original contract, the parties, and the date on which the original contract was signed. This eliminates any doubt as to what document you’re amending.
- Attach the amendment to the original contract.
- Don’t make too many amendments . This is especially important when you want to amend a previous amendment. In this case, it’s better to rather prepare and sign a new agreement with the new terms.
- When making a contract amendment, it’s always better to rewrite the entire section or paragraph of the contract with the changes. This makes it clear exactly what the changes are.
Here is an article about how to legally amend a contract.
When Can You Make a Contract Amendment?
There is no specific time or legal requirement regarding when you're able to amend a contract. It should therefore happen at any time when you or the other party wants to make changes to the terms of the contract.
For example , let’s say you buy a new car. You then sign the sales contract, but the car dealer needs time to order and deliver the car to you. When the dealer orders the car, it appears that the cost price of the car increased. They then approach you and negotiate a higher price for the car.
If you then agree to pay the slightly higher price, a contract amendment would then be prepared which both you and the dealer need to sign. Once signed, this contract amendment will then reflect the amended price in terms of the agreement.
Another example is when you need to deliver products to a client within seven days after they place an order with you. However, throughout the existence of the contract, you deliver the goods 10 days after they place an order.
Here, although the other party has not objected to the late delivery and you both agree that you're only able to ship the products within 10 days after the date of the order, it's always a good idea to amend the contract to reflect this change.
Here is an article that goes into more detail about Contract Lawyers .
Amendments vs. Addendums
Although many people use these terms interchangeably, there is a substantial difference between contract amendments and addendums . Typically, with a contract amendment, you change the existing terms and conditions of the contract.
In contrast, with an addendum, you add terms or requirements that you may have left out of the original agreement or which have become necessary after the original agreement was signed.
When the terms of an addendum can potentially conflict with the terms of the original contract, you should also prepare an amendment of the original contract which determines which terms will have precedence in the case of such a conflict.
Here is an article about the average cost of hiring a contract lawyer .
Get Help with Contract Amendments
It may be necessary from time to time to make changes to a contract between you and another party. When this happens, a contract amendment is necessary. When you amend the contract, you must comply with the requirements and best practices for an amendment.
If you need help with a contract amendment or need to find a contract lawyer to assist you with one, feel free to post a project on ContractsCounsel’s marketplace.
Meet some of our Contract Amendment Lawyers
The Law Office of George K. Fuiaxis, from the very beginning in 2002, has built a reputation with its clients as an unmatched, diligent, hands on law practice that is always on duty to find the best course of action for its clients. With a supreme pledge of exceptional service to its clients in the areas of Real Estate (Commercial & Residential), Loan Modifications, Intellectual Property, Corporate Law & Business Transactions, Wills, Trusts & Estates, the Law Office of George K. Fuiaxis creates solutions for the many faceted problems faced by its clients. The office represents several various clients, including well known lending institutions, foreign and domestic corporations, sellers and buyers of residential and commercial real estate, residential and commercial landlords and tenants, well known restaurant and business owners, automobile dealerships, airline companies, well known fashion, sports and entertainment industry individuals and corporations, information technology (IT) startups and well known IT companies.
Mr. Muhammed Uzum represents corporate clients and their employees as well as individuals in all aspects of U.S. immigration, nationality, and consular processes. Mr. Uzum’s core immigration practice focuses on strategizing and filing E-2, E-1, L-1, and EB-5 applications. His area of expertise includes responding to complex H-1B RFEs, PERM Audits, and Appeals. He also advises clients in obtaining employment-based green cards as well as self-petitions through EB-1 and NIW applications. Mr. Uzum also has vast experience in a variety of other non-immigrant visa matters including B-1, F-1, P-3, E-3, and TN filings.
I'm a business law generalist with over 24 years of experience, including as in-house General Counsel, as outside counsel through my own firm and as an attorney in an Am Law 100 law firm. My employers and clients uniformly appreciate my ability to (i) negotiate and close transactions quickly and effectively, and (ii) to make the complex simple. Among other things, I can efficiently assist you on entity formation, governance, and structure; HR issues; mergers and acquisitions; and the negotiation and drafting of all types of commercial contracts. I'm the proud recipient of multiple Martindale-Hubbell Client Distinction Awards given only to the top 5% of attorneys for quality of service.
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Mr. Mehdipour attended the University of California San Diego where he received his degree in political science. After graduating from UCSD, Mr. Mehdipour attended Southwestern University School of Law where he received his JD. Upon passing the bar, Mr. Mehdipour gained invaluable experience both in a law firm and business setting. Mr. Mehdipour uses his prior business and legal experiences to negotiate the most advantageous results for his clients.
Alen Aydinian is a versatile attorney with over a decade of experience working with business owners and real estate professionals. Client engagement is central to a successful attorney/client relationship. Alen personally manages all client relationships so that his clients can see how their interests are being served at every stage of the process.