Breach of contract is an all-too-common reality in business dealings and can take many forms. However, the four most common types of contract breach are minor, material, actual, and anticipatory. Today, we’ll explore these forms of contract breach in more detail, along with common examples of breach of contract.

What is a Contract Breach?

To begin, let’s define what a contract breach is. A contract breach occurs when one party fails to perform any part of the agreement without a valid legal excuse. The failure could be partial or complete, and it could be either intentional or unintentional.

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Elements of a Contract Breach

Certain elements must be present for a breach of contract to occur. These elements are:

  • A valid and enforceable contract between two parties
  • An obligation on the part of one or both parties to perform according to the terms of the agreement
  • A failure by one or both parties to fulfill their obligations under the agreement
  • Damages caused as a result of the breach of contract

Once these four elements are present, the court can determine a breach of contract has occurred and make an award for damages accordingly.

4 Types of Contract Breach

Now that we’ve covered the basics of contract breach, let’s take a closer look at the four common types. 

Following a brief explanation of each type, we’ll move on to common examples of breach of contract.

Minor breaches

A minor breach happens if one party fails to perform some minor obligation under the contract. The failure must not be intentional or significant enough to void the entire contract.

Material breaches

The second type of breach is a material breach, when one party fails to perform a significant promise that was part of the agreement. The effect of this is to make it impossible for either party to fulfill their contractual obligations.

Actual breaches

An actual breach involves one party failing to perform any part of the agreement without a valid legal excuse. This includes both intentional and unintentional violations.

Anticipatory breaches

The fourth common type is an anticipatory breach, which happens when one party indicates they won’t fulfill their obligations under the contract and makes it clear they have no intention of doing so.

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Common Examples of Breach of Contract

Now let’s take a look at common examples of each type.

Examples of minor breaches

For minor breaches, common examples include failure to pay interest in line with the contract terms or failure to meet deadlines for delivery on time.

Examples of material breaches

Common examples of material breach include:

  • Failure to deliver the agreed-upon goods or services
  • Misrepresentation of facts
  • Providing improper or defective goods or services
  • Failing to pay the full amount owed

Examples of actual breach

Actual breaches take many forms, including non-performance due to insolvency, refusal to perform contractual obligations, and not complying with specific performance standards.

Examples of anticipatory breach

Finally, typical examples of anticipatory breach include a party indicating they will not fulfill their obligations under the contract before its expiration date. This could involve making written statements such as “I will not fulfill my contractual obligations” or verbal statements such as “I’m not going to do what was agreed upon.”

We share other common examples of breach of contract in this article.

Legal Remedies for Breach of Contract

In the case of a breach of contract, the aggrieved party may seek legal remedies from a court. 

Remedies for a breach of contract will depend on the circumstances and the nature of the breach. 

However, common remedies include:

  • Awarding damages for lost or destroyed property
  • Ordering specific performance of contractual obligations
  • Granting an injunction to prevent future violations

Business Litigation for Breach of Contract

Ultimately, it is vital to be aware of all four common types of contract breaches and their consequences to safeguard yourself against potential disputes. By understanding what each type entails and being aware of common examples of breach of contract, you can better protect yourself and your business from costly litigation.

Call the Contiguglia Law Firm in Denver if you need legal advice or assistance in any matters related to business law and breach of contract. Our experienced attorneys will help you enforce your contractual rights and obligations and provide guidance on common remedies for breach of contract. 

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