When you enter into a contract (or agreement, same thing really) you cannot possibly foresee all future developments of the relationship that is governed by that contract. As a result, you may find yourself in a situation where you have to amend an existing contract.
How do you amend a contract? By entering into a new contract, which provides for the terms of the amendment. Let’s say you entered into a contract on August 10, 2006, which contract provided in its Section 10: “This contract terminates on August 1, 2010.” Now you and your contract partner decide that the contract should really go on until August 1, 2012. You plan on amending the original contract.
Amendment of Contract by separate Agreement
The amendment of the provision should be in writing and clearly reference the agreement that is being amended. The amendment doesn’t have to be very formal, it could be in a simple note or letter, but it should be in writing and signed by all the parties who signed the original agreement.
By way of example, the amendment could look like this:
Joe Junior and Daphne Danzig entered into the Service Agreement dated August 10, 2006 and wish to amend the Service Agreement.
Joe Junior and Daphne Danzig hereby amend Section 10 of the Service Agreement by replacing such section in its entirety with the following:
“This Agreement terminates on August 1, 2012.”
Other than as amended hereby, the Service Agreement shall remain in full force and effect.
So agreed, this ___ day of August, 2007.
Joe Junior (signature)
Daphne Danzig (signature)
There you have it. You can do this as many times as you want, so that you may end up with Amendment No. 1, Amendment No. 2 and so forth.
Amendment by Restatement of entire Old Agreement
If there are many changes to an Agreement at the same time, or Amendments No. 1 through 25 become overwhelming and confusing, you may be better off by “amending and restating” the original Agreement. You would do that by stating, in the beginning of the new agreement, the history of the old agreement:
Amended and Restated ABC Agreement
Whereas, on __ the parties entered into the ABC Agreement and thereafter on ___ amended the ABC Agreement by Amendment No. 1 (collectively, the “Original ABC Agreement”);
Whereas, the parties now wish to amend and restate the Original ABC Agreement by entering into this Agreement.
**This post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice**