How can I enforce a verbal contract?

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How can I enforce a verbal contract?

I have been helping someone their business. Initially, in the beginning, I told her that I would help her out of the kindness of my heart. However, she asked and hired me as her assistant and made a verbal agreement to compensate me with breakfast, lunch and money when she had it until the business was up and running; she’d then be able to reimburse me for the work I put in. No contracts or legal agreements were signed. I found out that she’s just using me to do all the paperwork and get her business started and has no intentions to officially hire me as her assistant. Can I sue her since I came up with the name that was registered under an LLC, designed the website and cards drafted the content for the website, business and the employees?

Asked on September 21, 2013 under Business Law, Florida

Answers:

Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can not sue someone successfully over what you "found out" are her allegedly secret intentions.  She would have to actually breach the agreement first, as in not buy you breakfasts and lunchs or, once the business is up and running, not pay you any money.  Once you agreed to "give" her your time, you can not now insist that she pay you for it retroactively; your lawsuit will fail if it is based on work you have already done.  However, if you want to protect yourself going forward, you could make a new agreement for your services from now on.

Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can not sue someone successfully over what you "found out" are her allegedly secret intentions.  She would have to actually breach the agreement first, as in not buy you breakfasts and lunchs or, once the business is up and running, not pay you any money.  Once you agreed to "give" her your time, you can not now insist that she pay you for it retroactively; your lawsuit will fail if it is based on work you have already done.  However, if you want to protect yourself going forward, you could make a new agreement for your services from now on.


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