Many contract breaches mean, essentially, that none of the terms of the agreement were met. For instance, your company orders parts from a supplier and they simply never deliver the parts. They clearly broke the contract with you by not doing as it stipulated — perhaps after taking your money and agreeing to honor it.
But what if the breach is smaller? Maybe they uphold most of the terms, but they don’t do it on time. Does that still violate the contract?
All contract obligations must be met
Yes, something like that can definitely breach the contract. All critical terms in a contract must be met. Failing on any of them can count as a breach, even though the other party may argue that it’s not.
For instance, perhaps the supplier said they would deliver on a Monday. The shipment did not show up. You were forced to buy parts at a higher cost from another source. Then the supplier tried to make the delivery on Wednesday. You didn’t need the parts and refused to pay. They may claim that you violated the contract by not paying, but you could counter that the contract was already null and void because they did not deliver on time.
If their failure to deliver on time didn’t cause a material breach — one that negatively affected you — they may have a case. Exactly what constitutes a material breach, however, is often a matter of dispute.
Contract disputes can be very contentious
A situation like this can get very contentious, and it shows why you need to carefully consider all of the clauses in that contract — not just the main goal. If you and the other business owner do wind up in court, make sure you know exactly what legal options you have. You must protect your business and its financial future. Working with an experienced advocate is wise.