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Client won't sign contract, but emails may hold up in court

1 Answers. Asked on Mar 22nd, 2017 on Contracts - Florida
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Hello, I am making an app for a client and I asked for $1000/week. He agreed, but a few weeks later he said I could get paid when certain tasks were completed. I emailed him saying, (summarized) "We had agreed on $1,000/week and that's what I need. The next phase is 8 weeks long and I cannot wait 8 weeks before I get paid". He replied, "I think we have a miscommunication. There is no reason you would not be paid before 8 weeks. You can invoice on a weekly basis and the result will be a weekly check." Now, I asked him to sign a contract I created (with a freelancer template) explaining my pay and frequency and that I will give him full ownership of the software once I'm paid. He was spooked by the contract talk and seems like he doesn't want to sign it. If I do not have a contract, and I am not paid and must take this to court eventually, will my emails hold up as a contract and get me my money?
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Answered on Mar 23rd, 2017 at 6:52 AM

This is not a legal issue but a business management one. You need to decide whether you can afford to walk away from the deal or do the work and not get paid and move on if that occurs. This person is ALREADY sending up signals that he intends to stiff you.People that wont sign an agreement memorializing what they say usually do so to avoid documenting thier BS promises. At BEST, you need to be vigilant with your invoicing from the start - the minute the first payment is delayed or missed - you stop work and explain why. DO NOT do 3-4 weeks worth of work you can't afford to lose and THEN address delayed or missed payment. 

All responses are NOT to be considered legal advice nor to be relied upon in any as such nor to establish any form of attorney/client relationship. Opinions expressed are solely informational and not a substitute for proper legal advice provided by a properly retained after thoroughly researching the issues presented.

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Most people and business enter into contracts on almost a daily basis. Simply put, a contract is a legally binding agreement between two parties. One party makes an offer to do something in exchange for "consideration," or payment, and the other party accepts that offer. Contacts can be verbal, in writing or even implied. Some contracts--such as signed credit card receipts--are very simple. Others--such as those used to buy or sell real estate--are far more complicated. If you are entering into a complex transaction, it pays to hire a contract law attorney as early as possible in the process. Your lawyer can help negotiate the terms and conditions of the agreement, then draft the contract or review the contract that has been presented to you. Law firms with experience in contract law can also defend you if you or your company has been accused of breaching a contract, or if you need assistance enforcing a existing contract.
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