April 30, 2014 | Business Plans
When signing a contract, make sure to check the “notice” clause or provision. It lays out how you and the other party will communicate during the term of the contract. It states who the notice should be sent to, how it should be sent and delivered, and when it was deemed to be received. It may also state if other parties, such as an attorney, should receive a copy of the notice.
For example, let’s say you sign a contract and the other party does not perform its obligations. You make several phone calls to try and work out the dispute. Under the contract, you must provide written notice of default by first class mail to the vice president at the company’s headquarters. This is generally done in the form of a letter that spells out the other party’s responsibilities and provides a deadline to rectify the dispute.
Remember that a notice should be specific and be written in understandable, professional language.
Can You Send a Notice by E-Mail?
The answer depends on the contract. If it states that notice can be provided by e-mail, then you can send it by e-mail. However, there are reasons why only sending a legal notice by electronic communication might not be the best course of action:
1. You may have difficulty proving the email was received.
2. The other party may have changed e-mail addresses and the one you are sending to could be a closed account.
3. The message could go into a spam folder or be deleted because the recipient thought it was junk mail.
4. It is difficult to determine when the email was actually received.
If you want to send a notice by e-mail, consider sending it by certified mail also, with return receipt requested. That way, you have proof it was received in the event you must go to court.
It is important to strictly comply with the notice provisions in contracts. In one case, a contract required notice to be given in writing and mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested within a specified time frame. However, one party sent a notice by fax, which the court ruled did not satisfy the contractual requirements. Therefore, the case was dismissed.
So pay attention to the notice provisions in contracts you sign. This article only discusses the basics. Consult with Filler & Associates if you need more information about contracts or notice provisions in your situation.