How to Terminate a Contract for Services

By Kristen Porter
Terminating a Contract for Services

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Terminating a contract for services involves reviewing the existing contract, finding relevant language and then writing a termination letter according to that language. While anyone can write a termination letter, it should be reviewed by a licensed attorney if the other party has not performed his obligations under the contract. In these situations, one party is accusing the other of breaching the agreement, and this could lead to litigation. Because of this, it is important that an attorney review the letter to ensure it is professional and complete.

Determine why you are ending the agreement. This may determine the method you use to communicate that you are terminating it. If you are terminating the agreement because the other party has breached the terms of the contract, you will need to site specific occurrences of when the party did not meet his contractual obligations.

Write a professional letter to the other party stating that you are providing notice that you are terminating the agreement. In the first part of the letter, identify the agreement by specifying the parties, the title of the document ("Agreement for Lawn-Mowing Services, for example.), the date it was signed and the termination date. Many agreements require that one party give the other party notice of termination and the termination occurs after that notice in usually 30, 60 or 90 days. The final date is the agreement's termination date. Next, address why you are terminating the agreement. Finally, outline the process for finalizing the termination, such as returning materials or equipment, if applicable.

Hire an attorney for a quick review of your letter, especially if you are terminating an agreement because the other party breached the terms. Contentious situations may lead to litigation, and having an attorney review your termination letter may significantly protect you because the letter can be introduced into court.

Send the letter by certified mail or other mail service that requires a signature at delivery and gives you proof of such delivery. Maintain all records of the agreement and its termination.

About the Author

Kristen Porter published her first article in 1991. She is a corporate attorney who has been published in numerous periodicals, including the "Humanist" and "Corporate Counsel," and on various websites. She received her Juris Doctor from William Mitchell College of Law. Porter writes on sustainable living, parenting, cooking, pets, politics, culture and law.

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