Breach Of Contract Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Breach Of Contract, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Breach Of Contract?

(n) Breach of contract is the failure of a party to fulfill the provisions or conditions contained in a contract in which he is a party. Eg. Failure to complete the job agreed in time. Failure to pay in time

History and Meaning of Breach Of Contract

Breach of contract is one of the most common legal disputes that arise between parties in a business deal. It refers to the violation of any terms or conditions agreed upon in a contractual relationship. This usually occurs when one party fails to live up to their end of the bargain or doesn't perform as promised. The history of breach of contract can be traced back to the 18th century when the first common law principles governing contracts were formulated.

The general rule for breach of contract is that the party who commits the breach is liable for any resulting damages suffered by the other party. The severity of the breach depends on the extent of the damage caused and whether it was a material, minor, or major breach. If the breach is material, that means the other party cannot perform their obligations under the contract, and the party who commits the breach is considered to be in total breach of the contract, leading to possible legal action.

Examples of Breach Of Contract

  • Failure to pay for goods or services provided under the contract.
  • Failure to deliver goods within the agreed time frame.
  • Failure to meet the quality standards and specifications stipulated in the contract.
  • Failure to complete work or services as agreed under the contract.
  • Sharing confidential information without authorization can be considered a breach of contract if there is a non-disclosure agreement in place.

Legal Terms Similar to Breach Of Contract

  • Material Breach: A breach of contract is considered material when it fundamentally affects the agreement's purpose and deprives the non-breaching party of the contract's benefits.
  • Minor Breach: A breach of contract is considered minor when it does not significantly affect the overall purpose of the contract.
  • Anticipatory Breach: This occurs when one party, in advance, states that they will not fulfill their obligations under the contract.
  • Repudiation: This occurs when one party refuses to perform their obligations under the contract, leading the other party to stop performing as well.