As a businessperson, you may believe that your word is your bond. Unfortunately, not everyone holds themselves to that same standard. Still, Texas state law allows for the enforcement of oral contracts between businesses.
If you and another company reached a verbal agreement and you then made a payment, delivered merchandise or performed services, you should expect that the other party will also fulfill their end of the contract. If they don’t, you may have to go to court.
One of the best ways to protect yourself from the violation of an oral contract is to create a written record of the agreement as soon as possible.
Follow up any handshake deal with a text or an email
When you reach an agreement with someone else and verbally agree or commit to one another with a handshake, you have likely entered into a binding agreement with one another. The other party may find it offensive if you demand a written contract immediately, but that doesn’t mean you have to eschew any form of written protection.
If you don’t think executing a contract outlining the agreement is necessary, you should still put the terms in writing. You can just send a quick email or text message to the other party recapping the specific terms of your agreement and the time and date that you reached the agreement. You should then hold off on delivering goods, starting work or making a payment until they responded to confirm that those are the details you agreed upon.
The good news is that even if you haven’t taken that step with oral contracts in the past, you can still hold the other party responsible if they fail to uphold an oral contract with your company.