Providing goods or services under an expired contract
Providing goods or services under an expired contract can be tricky, with potential legal and financial risks. In this article, we will discuss the top five things to do if you are providing (whether knowingly or mistakenly) goods or services under an expired contract.
Review the contract terms
The first thing to do when you discover that you’re providing goods or services under an expired contract is to review the contract terms thoroughly. You need to understand the scope of the original agreement and your obligations under it, including the delivery schedule and payment terms. You also need understand whether you will still be able to be paid for the goods and services delivered.
Communicate with the other party
It is essential to communicate with the other party to understand their intentions regarding the expired contract. You should quickly discuss the possibility of renewing or extending the contract or negotiating a new agreement. You should also make it clear that you’re operating on the basis that the agreement is still in force that that any work in progress or goods supplied to them are covered by the agreement. Clear communication can help avoid misunderstandings and disputes.
Document all goods or services provided
To protect yourself in case of any legal disputes, you should document all goods or services provided under the expired contract. You should keep a record of any communications with the other party and any delivery or payment receipts. What you are looking for is actions by the other party that they intend the contract to still be in force and/or that the work you’re doing/goods you’re supplying are subject to the expired contract. This will help establish the scope of work performed, the duration, and any outstanding payments or fees.
Review applicable laws and regulations
You should review the applicable laws and regulations that govern your industry and the provision of goods or services. For example, if you work in an industry that prohibits you from doing any work or supplying goods without a valid contract in place and estimates being provided to the customer, then this is an issue. You will want to understand your legal obligations and protect yourself from any legal liability (or non payment!) that may arise.
Seek legal advice
Finally, you should seek legal advice from a qualified lawyer who can advise you on your legal rights and obligations under the expired contract. A lawyer can help you negotiate a new agreement, write a letter to ensure current work is covered by the expired agreement and pursue legal action if necessary. They will protect your interests in case of any legal disputes.
In summary, providing goods or services under an expired contract can be a risky situation, but by taking these five steps, you can minimise these risks and protect your interests.
Reviewing the contract terms, communicating with the other party, documenting all goods or services provided, reviewing applicable laws and regulations, and seeking legal advice are essential to ensure that you are fulfilling your obligations and protecting yourself from any legal disputes.