Are Oral Agreements Enforceable in Georgia?
Sometimes, business partners or entities enter into oral agreements. Generally, oral agreements are enforceable and binding in the State of Georgia. However, the enforceability of an oral contract depends on the type of agreement and facts of your case.
If you had an oral agreement and the other party breached the contract, you may wonder whether you can sue the other party for failure to comply with the terms of the verbal contract. If this sounds like your situation, contact our Atlanta business litigation lawyer at Carroll Law Firm to discuss your options.
What is an enforceable oral contract?
In some cases, contracts must be in writing. For example, contracts for the sale of real estate, the sale of goods valued at $500 or more, contracts guaranteeing a debt, and contracts that cannot be performed within one year must be in writing. However, in many cases, an oral agreement is equally as enforceable as a written agreement in Georgia. While a verbal agreement may be enforceable and legally binding, things can get complicated when the parties involved in the contract have disputes.
However, all contracts – both verbal and written – must meet certain criteria to be considered valid and enforceable in Georgia:
- Both parties are getting something that they have agreed to (or exchange something of actual value for something of actual value)
- There must be mutual consent to enter into the agreement
- Both parties agree to the basic terms of the contract
What is considered an unenforceable contract?
Even if your oral agreement meets all of the above-mentioned criteria, it may still be invalidated by Georgia courts under the following circumstances:
- The parties have agreed to engage in illegal activities or do something that violates state or federal law
- The contract does not clearly lay out the essential terms of the agreement
- The parties had a misunderstanding regarding an essential component of the agreement
Can I sue for a breach of an oral contract in Georgia?
When there is no written contract, disagreements between the parties often lead to “he said, she said” situations. Thus, while you may be able to sue for e breach of an oral contract, resolving a dispute can be problematic.
For this reason, it is important to seek the help of an Atlanta breach of contract attorney to help you establish the enforceability of your oral agreement and pursue legal action against the non-compliant party.
Also, keep in mind that you can sue the other party for a breach of a written contract within six years, but the statute of limitations for breach of oral contracts in Georgia is four years.
How to prove a breach of an oral agreement?
A skilled breach of contract attorney in Atlanta can help you collect sufficient evidence to prove the existence and terms of the oral agreement. The evidence may include:
- Evidence of one party’s performance of services in accordance with the contract;
- Proof of money exchanged between the parties to the oral agreement;
- Proof of any other payments or loans, if applicable;
- A check issued from one party to another as a down payment;
- Statements from witnesses who were present at the time of the oral agreement or knew about the contents of the contract; and
- Correspondence between the parties, including emails and text messages.
Speak with an Atlanta breach of contract attorney at Carroll Law Firm to help you hold your business partner or another party to an oral agreement accountable for failure to comply with the contract. Call 404-816-4555 for a consultation.