When it comes to business dealings, written contracts are critical documents that outline the terms of an agreement. However, in certain circumstances, parties may enter into an oral agreement before executing the written contract. This raises the question: can an oral agreement supersede a written contract?
The short answer is no. Written contracts are legally binding documents that formalize an agreement between parties. They establish the terms and expectations of a business deal in a way that is clear and unambiguous. In contrast, oral agreements are more informal and are often open to interpretation.
One of the primary purposes of a written contract is to protect the parties involved in a business transaction. It provides a clear record of the terms of the agreement, which can be referred to if any dispute arises. On the other hand, oral agreements are more difficult to enforce since there is no official record of the terms that were agreed upon.
In some cases, parties may make an oral agreement that contradicts the terms of a written contract. For example, a party may orally promise to deliver goods at a lower price than what is specified in the written contract. In such cases, the written contract takes precedence over the oral agreement since it is the official record of the agreement.
There are also instances where an oral agreement may be considered valid and enforceable. For example, if the written contract contains a provision that allows for oral modifications, the parties may be able to modify the contract orally. However, such provisions are rare and must be explicitly included in the written contract.
It is important to note that parties should always ensure that the written contract accurately reflects the terms of the agreement. Any oral agreements made should be clearly documented in writing and added as an addendum to the contract. This helps avoid any confusion or misunderstandings that may arise from oral agreements.
In conclusion, a written contract is a legally binding document that supersedes any oral agreement made between parties. While oral agreements can be made, they are not enforceable in court in the event of a dispute. To ensure that a business agreement is legally binding and enforceable, parties should always rely on a written contract that accurately reflects the terms of the agreement.