Hey, things change – and that’s okay! Contracts can be amended. There are a number of reasons the original contract may need to be modified in some way or another. If a contract is not amended correctly, and there is no evidence of such modification, it can be challenging to prove that the parties actually agreed on the new terms.
- This contract amendment template is a universal guide to help you get your changes to an existing contract in writing.
- This simple contract amendment template saves you time and money by quickly modifying your original agreement.
- A contract amendment should always be in writing and signed by both parties.
When Should a Contract be Amended? A contract should be amended when the parties wish to deviate from the original terms of the contract. There are several instances when an agreement should be amended. A contract amendment is a simple way to formally incorporate the new conditions without creating a whole new contract. How Do I Draft an Amendment to a Contract? There are many ways you can amend a contract. However, remember, it needs to be in writing, signed, and dated by all parties. The amendment should also be as specific as possible, do not leave any detail out. Here are a couple of ways a contract can be amended:
- Attaching a detailed exhibit the original document
- Drafting an enforceable amendment using a basic online template
- Striking through terms in the original contract and having both parties initial by each change
There are also three basic approaches when amending a contract. Contract amendments can be styled in one or more of the following ways:
- Replacing an Existing Clause – For example, in a commercial lease agreement, the parties may decide to update the lease term.
The clause in the original contract states: TERM OF LEASE: The term of this Lease shall be for a period of 2 years and 0 months commencing on the 1st day of January 2018 and expiring at Midnight on the 1st day of January 2020 (“Term”). The entire clause can be replaced, and new dates and update terms can be incorporated. The amendment will need to clearly express that an entire clause is being replaced by a new one, and the new provision should be written in the amendment. The amendment may look something like this, depending on the terms the parties agreed upon: TERM OF LEASE: The term of this Lease shall be for a period of 5 years and 0 months commencing on the 1st day of January 2018 and expiring at Midnight on the 1st day of January 2023 (“Term”).
- Strikethroughs – Sometimes, minor changes can be visually displayed on the agreement. If a simple term needs to be modified, the original term can be stricken and the new one written to the side. If a redline change is made this way, both parties will need to initial by the amendment. These changes do not necessarily have to be handwritten, but can be typed, struck, or redlined in a pdf for word format. However, the parties must initial by each amendment.
For example, the original contract may have the following: BASE RENT: In consideration of the Lease, Lessee promises to pay, without demand to Lessor or Lessor’s designated agent, at such place as Lessor may designate, in lawful money of the United States of America, monthly installments of $2,000 in advance of the fifth day of each and every calendar month during the Term of the Lease. Such monthly installments of rent shall commence on the 5th day of January 2018 (“Rent Commencement”). If a simple term needs to be updated or modified it could be redlined as follows: BASE RENT: In consideration of the Lease, Lessee promises to pay, without demand to Lessor or Lessor’s designated agent, at such place as Lessor may designate, in lawful money of the United States of America, monthly installments of $2,000 $2,500 in advance of the fifth day of each and every calendar month during the Term of the Lease. Such monthly installments of rent shall commence on the 1st 10th day of January 2018 (“Rent Commencement”).
- Detailed Description of Amendment – This is standard when amending an existing contract. Each amendment should be described. Using our example above:
BASE RENT: In consideration of the Lease, Lessee promises to pay, without demand to Lessor or Lessor’s designated agent, at such place as Lessor may designate, in lawful money of the United States of America, monthly installments of $2,000 $2,500 in advance of the fifth day of each and every calendar month during the Term of the Lease. Such monthly installments of rent shall commence on the 1st 10th day of January 2018 (“Rent Commencement”). The amendment contract may also include: “ The initial monthly installments read $2,000 per month. However, upon agreement of the parties, the base rent is now $2,500 due on the 5th day of each month.” “The initial monthly installments of rent was to be on the 5th day of January 2018. Upon agreement, that date has been modified to the 1st day of January 2018.” No matter which method a contract is amended, it is standard to attach the existing agreement to the amendment. Either way, the amendment should be attached to the original contract. Do I need a New Contract? If there are several changes to an existing contract, a new one may be best. An amendment is for minor, simple changes usually related to updating or replacing an existing clause. A new contract may be required if the scope of work is different from the original contract’s description of work and expectations. Do I Need an Attorney for Contract Amendments? Consulting an attorney is always a good idea. Preparing your proposed contract amendment(s) can save you time and money. A lawyer can then quickly review your document and provide any advice necessary. An attorney can also walk you through how to obtain the other party’s consent and make sure your contract amendment is enforceable. How Do I Get a Contract Amendment Signed? Contract amendments are generally short because they only address one or two modifications. ApproveMe’s WP E-Signature tool expedites the contract review and signature process. Once your contract amendment is ready to go, press send, and the other party is ready to review and electronically sign the agreement. Quick, painless, and secure! Helpful Resources Running a business has its hurdles, we get that! Here are a few helpful tools to get organized amidst the usual hustle and bustle:
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This Contract Amendment (the “Amendment”) is made between ___________________________ and _______________________ on this _____ day of _______ 20__. This Amendment is to the contract entitled _______________________ originally executed on the _____ day of ________ 20__. The contract is amended as follows: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The below-listed changes are the only changes to the original above-referenced contract. The original contract is attached as Exhibit A. The remainder of the original contract shall remain in full force and effect. Should there be any conflict between this Amendment and the Contract or any previous Amendment, the terms of this Amendment shall prevail. This Contract Amendment shall become effective upon the signatures of both Parties. Dated: _____________________________ ________________________________________ Signature ________________________________________ Printed Name and Title Dated: _____________________________ ________________________________________ Signature ________________________________________ Printed Name and Title
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is a contract amendment?
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What is an amendment contract?
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Contract addendum vs amendment
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What is purpose of contract amendment?
A contract amendment serves different purposes for different people. It can be a legal document that helps a company avoid penalties when it needs to make sudden adjustments in the event of unforeseen circumstances, it can be a means of continuing with business operations when there are not enough resources for both parties, or it can be an opportunity for one party to get out of an agreement without penalty.
How to write a contract amendment letter
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What should I put in my contract amendment template?
- Adding a new party to the agreement
- Changing the term of the agreement
- Adding or removing any specific obligations
- Changing price, consideration, or delivery dates, terms, or methods
- Transferring all or part of one party’s rights under this Agreement to another person or entity
- Replacing one party with another for performance of this Agreement.
What are some contract amendment samples?
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