Procurement Glossary & Terminologies

Glossary / Letter B / Breach of Contract

Breach of Contract


A legal claim and category of civil wrong known as “breach of contract” refers to when one or more of the parties to a contract refuses to perform their obligations under the terms of the agreement or interfere with the other party’s performance. When a party violates one or more of its responsibilities, in whole or in part, as stated in the agreement, expresses a desire to violate the debt, or otherwise shows signs of being unable to fulfill the obligation. Should a contract be broken, the party who violated the agreement must reimburse the wronged party for any damages.

Understanding Breach of Contract

A breach of contract occurs when a promise that is a contract component is not kept without a valid justification. This includes failing to perform satisfactorily satisfying any express or implicit promise, including the implied warranty of merchantability or industry standards. A court will typically hear a contract case where one or both parties allege that the terms of the agreement have been broken.

The following inquiries must be addressed by the judge when a party asserts a violation of contract:

  1. Was a contract there?
  2. If yes, what did the agreement demand of each party?
  3. Was there ever a change to the contract?
  4. Did the alleged contract breach happen?
  5. If so, was the violation of the agreement material?
  6. Does the violating party have a legal justification for resisting contract enforcement?
  7. What losses resulted from the breach?

Types of Contract Breaches

A contract violation could be seen as either small or significant. When you don’t get an item or service before the due date, that is considered a ""small breach."" Take a suit that you want your tailor to custom-fit. The tailor makes an oral agreement (a promise) that they would bring the altered item in time for your effective presentation, but they deliver it the next day.

When you experience something other than what was promised in the contract, this is referred to as a ""material breach."" Let’s take the example of your company hiring a vendor to send 200 copies of a bound manual to a convention for the auto sector. However, when the boxes get to the conference location, they are filled with gardening brochures.

Additionally, a breach of contract typically falls into one of two categories: an ""actual breach,"" which occurs when one party refuses to adhere strictly to the agreement’s requirements, or an ""anticipatory breach,"" which occurs when one side informs the other in advance that they will not be fulfilling the obligations under the contract.

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