COVID-19’s Impact on Business
In addition to the concerns for our health, families and in our personal lives, COVID-19 has also created an atmosphere of uncertainty for many business owners.
To manage and mitigate the business impact of COVID-19, you must be aware of your contractual rights and your legal obligations to make smart business decisions to minimise your liability.
Do you have difficulties in meeting your contractual obligations because of COVID-19?
Some of the solutions available may include:
- Force Majeure – well drafted commercial contracts should contain a force majeure clause which deal with how unforeseen circumstances can impact the performance of obligations under a contract. This may allow the termination or variation of a contract but your rights will depend on the breadth of these clauses.
- Variation – if you can fulfil most of your obligations under the contract or if you can fulfil them but with different conditions/timelines, then you may negotiate the variation of the terms of the contract.
Varying your current contracts, rather than terminating them, may be a more beneficial solution to allow you to continue operating your business on new terms which enable you to work around any COVID-19 interruptions.
- Suspension – if you are providing goods or services, COVID-19 may be making it difficult for you to meet your timetable for production, supply and delivery.
Suspending delivery of the goods/services means you could ride out the COVID-19 wave for a few weeks or months and then return to business-as-usual, without terminating any key customer or contracts.
- Termination – you may want to consider terminating contracts which you are unable to fulfil or are undesirable for you to continue. You must be well informed of the consequences of termination and the potential risks.
- Negotiation – negotiating with the other party is a useful solution to resolve any issues which may prevent you from fulfilling your obligations and allow you to continue business-as-usual.
During these uncertain times, seeking legal advice prior to making a decision under a contract is paramount as failing to do so may likely result in your business suffering significantly. If you are currently unsure of your legal position, what advice to seek, whether these solutions apply to your business and how you can implement them, we welcome you to contact our team of commercial lawyers.
Has the other party failed to deliver or breached the terms of your contract, due to COVID-19?
There are often legal remedies (such as claiming damages) or other forms of compensation available to you. Due to the vulnerability of the economy for many businesses, you must ensure that you act without delay so that you can recover your losses from business prior to them going into insolvency and ultimately liquidation.
We understand that the current COVID-19 atmosphere can be a challenge for many businesses, business owners and employees.
We are here to help and can assist in protecting both your business and personal assets in these tumultuous times.
To learn more about how we can help you and your business, please contact us on (02) 8094 1247, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or provide us with your initial information by clicking here.
Ehsan acts as legal counsel to entrepreneurs and is dedicated to maximising value, reducing risk and devising exit strategies. He has advised local and international entrepreneurs in industries such as information technology, property, telecommunication and e-commerce.
His main areas of practice are commercial law, asset protection, property law and technology.