A lot of companies communicate with customers via email, including sending agreements and documents such as credit applications. That could spell trouble.
Fact: When you discuss terms or contract details — as might happen with your Credit department — via email, that could turn into an enforceable contract if the email:
- states the terms of the agreement
- contains language expressing or contemplating a final agreement or settling on terms
- indicates you’ve come to a final agreement with a customer, or
- contains an offer to sell or purchase and an acceptance of the offer, tied to a price.
You can protect yourself by including a disclaimer in your email, such as:
- “This is not a final agreement,” or
- “To finalize our agreement, we will need a physical signature from an authorized company representative.”