Contract Amendments

Contract Amendments — How to modify an existing contract


Often during the business of writing, a signed contract may require changes because the circumstances around the project have changed too. Maybe a deadline has been extended, or the project scope has broadened. Regardless of the changes, any contract can be updated by a written amendment provided all parties to the contract agree to the changes, which can include additions, deletions, and/or modifications to the existing clauses (also known as terms). If the changes being made are purely additions, and the original contract terms will stand as is, then Contract Addendum is the appropriate title, not Contract Amendment.

How to modify an existing contract

There are three simple ways to change the terms of an existing contract.

  1. Letter – Write a letter (see sample below) that lists the modifications, additions, and/or deletions to the terms of the original agreement.
  2. Contract Amendment – Draft a contract amendment (see sample below) that lists the modifications, additions, and/or deletions to the terms of the original agreement.
  3. Add Additional Pages – Attach or add amending pages with a list of the modifications, additions, and/or deletions to the original contract terms.

In all three examples, reference the original contract by title and date signed, and who the original parties are to the contract. This will ensure it is clear what contract is being amended. The goal of an amendment is to be specific and concise. So, state the term as amended so there is no mistake as to what changes the parties have agreed to. For example, you could state the entire new term, noting that the term in the original contract has been replaced. You could also restate the old term, then use additions (which are underlined) and deletions (which are strikethroughs). Make sure all parties sign and date the amendment. If possible, attach the amendment to the original contract, or scan and add to the digital version.

One additional point

An oral contract can be changed via a written amendment, but an oral amendment to a written contract is typically not enforceable. So, get it in writing!

 


Photo Credit: cchana | Visualhunt.com | CC BY-SA

Legal Disclaimer:  This information is provided for educational purposes only. Consult a qualified lawyer in your jurisdiction for all legal opinions for your specific situation. See the disclaimer link in our website footer for more information.

 


 

Contract Amendment

1. This amendment (hereinafter “Amendment”) is made by [first contract party] and [second contract party, parties to the agreement [original contract title] dated [original contract date] (hereinafter “Agreement”).

2. The Agreement is amended as follows:

[Describe the additions, deletions, and/or changes to the original agreement. Remember, the goal is to be specific and concise. So, state the term/clause as amended or restate the original term with underlining and/or strikethroughs to explain the changes. That way, there is no mistake as to what changes the parties have agreed on in the amendment.]

3. All other terms and conditions in the Agreement that are not hereby amended are to remain in full force and effect.

By: __________________________

Printed Name: _________________

Title: ________________________

Dated: _________________

 

 

By: __________________________

Printed Name: _________________

Title: ________________________

Dated: _________________

 

 


 

Letter Amendment

 

[Date]

[First contract party’s name]

[First contract party’s address]

 

Re: [Contract name or project name]

 

Dear [Second contract party]:

 

This will confirm our agreement to amend the [original contract name] dated [original contract date] as follows:

[Describe the additions, deletions, and/or changes to the original agreement. Remember, the goal is to be specific and concise. So, state the term/clause as amended or restate with original term with underlining and/or strikethroughs to explain the changes. That way, there is no mistake as to what changes the parties have agreed on in the amendment.]

All other terms and conditions in the Agreement that are not hereby amended are to remain in full force and effect. If you agree to the Amendment, please indicate your acceptance by signing and dating this letter below, then returning the original to me.

 

Sincerely,

[First contract party’s signature]

[First contract party’s name]

[First contract party’s title]

[Date signed]

 

 

Agreed to by:

[Second contract party’s signature]

[Second contract party’s name]

[Second contract party’s title]

[Date signed]

 

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