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Contract Extension Agreement

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A contract extension agreement is a legal document where the parties decide to extend the original contract's end date. These are given out when the original parties are pleased with the original contract's terms and conditions, or if they agree that a longer contract is necessary to complete the work. An extension agreement may include the termination date, the parties names and addresses, the original contract details, etc. On Lawrina, you can edit this legal form and save a prepared copy for your needs.
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A contract extension agreement is a legally binding document that extends the timeframe of an existing contract. The agreement includes the identity of the parties, the obligations of the parties, terms, conditions, and the extension period. Create a contract extension agreement template in just a few simple clicks: edit to reflect your circumstances, download, print, and use.

What Is a Contract Extension Agreement?

A contract extension agreement is a legally binding arrangement between parties of an existing contract seeking to extend its end date. It extends the terms and conditions of an existing contract and can be used to extend lease agreements, employment, service, or sale of goods contracts. 

Insight

Contract extension means that an existing contract is continued for a certain period. This will be exercised through the extension options in the contract upon mutual agreement of the parties. 

Parties of the Contract Extension Agreement

The parties in an extension letter for a contract should be the same ones in the original document, and they include: 

  • The party extending the contract. In the original arrangement, this is the individual or company that made the offer. 
  • The party accepting the extension, also known as the offeree or the individual or company who accepted the offer made in the original contract. 

Key Terms

To fully utilize a general contract extension agreement template, you’ll need to understand the complex terms used in drafting the document, which include the following:

  • Counterparts –– These are the copies of an original contract extension agreement. Due to logistical reasons, parties to a contract may have to sign different copies, such that one of the documents is original and the others are counterparts. In a contract extension addendum, the term is used as part of a clause that states the signed counterparts are all part of the same instrument. 
  • Entire agreement –– The phrase means that the current contract represents the agreement between the parties and takes precedence over all other agreements and arrangements. 
  • Force Majeure –– In this contract forms sample, force majeure translates to “superior force” or “act of God,” which refers to an event beyond the parties' control that may prevent one or both parties from fulfilling their contractual obligations. 
  • Indemnification –– It refers to an undertaking by one party to compensate the counterparty in case of a loss arising from third-party claims. For example, in a consultancy contract, the consultant can indemnify their client against any liability arising from negligence as they perform their contractual obligations. 
  • Material Adverse Change (MAC) –– Refers to a negative change in a party's financial or business condition. In a contract extension addendum example, the phrase is used in a clause that permits either party to terminate the contract if there is a material adverse change in the other party's circumstances. 
  • Severability –– The term means a contract is divided into individual parts. It is used to show that should a court of law find that parts of the contract are invalid, such parts will not affect the validity of the rest of the contract. 
  • Survival clause –– The clause provides that certain rights and obligations will survive the end or termination of a contract. For example, a contract may provide that any intellectual property arising from the engagement survives the contract period. 

Please note this list is not exhaustive since terminologies vary depending on the project, industry, and parties. 

What To Include in a Contract Extension Agreement?

All that is required for extension is a pdf contract extension agreement template. This is an amendment to the existing contract as long as both parties are willing to extend it.

Rather than writing a whole new contract for extending the existing contract, parties can just specify their desire to extend the existing contract. This should include the following:

  • Names and addresses of both contracting parties;

  • Existing contract title;

  • Existing contract start and end dates;

  • Contract extension period end date (e.g., when the extension ends); 

  • Terms that have been added or changed (i.e., an additional purchase of materials);

  • Signatories' signatures.

As with any contract, parties are legally bound by the addition of this agreement they create and sign. 

How To Write a Contract Extension Agreement

Here are the steps on how to write a contract extension agreement example for both parties. 

The Party Extending the Contract

Once you have agreed with the counterparty on the importance of extending the contract, make the contract extension agreement form according to the following steps:  

  1. Review the current contract –– Review the original contract to refresh your memory on the terms of engagement you and the counterparty had settled on.

  2. Highlight and document reasons for the extension –– Identify why you want the parties to extend the contract period and what modifications need to be made to the original contract.

  3. Indicate the extension period –– Indicate the new timeframe for the contract. 

  4. Have an effective date –– The agreement should have a date when it takes effect.

  5. Think through termination provisions –– In this section, you’ll need to consider the circumstances that may trigger the termination of the contract. For instance, you could provide that the termination clause will take effect if either party fails to fulfill critical obligations. 

  6. Consult an attorney –– You may consider consulting an attorney in your process to ensure that the extension agreement will mutually benefit all parties.

  7. Fill out your details, review, and sign –– Once you have covered all the above, review the document and sign.

Insight

Another reason for termination could be convenience. One party doesn't need to make a mistake to trigger termination. You could give the option of either party terminating the contract at any time with sufficient notice. Lastly, you could also indicate that the contract self-terminates upon the lapse of the extended period. 

The Party Accepting the Extension of the Contract

The party receiving the contract extension agreement example should:

  1. Review the documents –– Read through both the original and the extended contract agreements and assess the potential benefits and risks of the extension.

  2. Consult an attorney –– Speak to an attorney regarding any potential risks and benefits of the extension. 

  3. Fill out your details, review, and sign –– Once confident that the agreement will further your business interest, download the printable document as is and sign. 

Insight

In many instances, the terms of the contract being renewed remain the same. Many contracts contain an automatic renewal clause which provides that the existing contract will automatically be renewed for a period specified in the contract, unless one party provides notice to the other of the intent to terminate the contract upon its scheduled termination. Usually, a contract provides the method and timing required to provide the respective notice to the other party. 

Who Needs an Extension of Contract Agreement?

Legal entities with a written and signed contract agreement may need to extend its term if it expires before either party completely fulfills their obligations. 

Insight

Upon or before expiration of the term of the contract the parties of the contract may: 

  • terminate a contract if there is no further requirement for the services;
  • extend a contract for certain period before its expiration;
  • renew a contract for the same or similar services;
  • complete another contract, for instance, for other services or on other terms.

Common Use Cases

A contract extension agreement form extends the term of a contract. Examples of when to use the agreement may include:

  • Extend a service agreement –– For example, when a construction project takes longer than expected, or the scope of the project is expanded, the parties can have an extension contract agreement that documents a more realistic completion date.
  • Extend the term of a lease agreement –– Before the lapse date of a lease agreement, the tenant and property owner can create an extension agreement that extends the lease term. 

In summary, you will need a contract extension agreement template whenever you seek to lengthen the time to perform a contractual obligation.

When Not To Use the Contract Extension Agreement

There are instances when it is not reasonable to have a contract extension agreement form between parties. Some of these include: 

  • If the original contract expires –– Once a contract has lapsed, it may involve complex legal interventions to revive it. A contract extension agreement is not among the interventions. One way to avoid premature expiration of contracts is by having automatic extension clauses that extend the contracts for incremental timeframes or having the parties sign a contract extension agreement form before the end date. 
  • The original contract has a non-extension clause –– Parties may agree in writing that they cannot extend the period for performing the obligations in their agreement. In such instances, the parties cannot have a contract extension agreement. 
  • One of the parties is in breach of a contract –– A material breach of a contract automatically terminates the agreement. Unless the contract provides ways the guilty party can remedy the breach, it is advisable not to have an extension agreement because it may undermine the innocent party’s interests.
  • If the original contract is illegal or against public policy –– An illegal contract is unenforceable; therefore, it is in the best interest of both parties not to extend it. 
  • To change critical terms of the original contract –– It is not advisable to use a contract extension agreement template to change key terms of an original document, such as payment terms or delivery schedules. In such instances, a contract amendment or restatement works better. 

Legal Disclaimer

Please note that Lawrina does not provide any legal services. The information on Lawrina’s Site and its downloadable content, including legal articles and templates, shall not be considered legal advice and is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, and up-to-date. If you require legal advice on your issue, we recommend you contact a qualified attorney licensed in your state. You personally assume full responsibility for any consequences, damages, and costs associated with your use of any content of Lawrina Services available on Lawrina’s Site. 

By using Lawrina’s Site you agree with mentioned above and give your irrevocable consent to comply with and to be bound by the provisions of Lawrina Service terms.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between contract extension and contract renewal?

In many ways, contract extensions and renewals are similar because they allow you to continue your relationship with the other party. However, a contract extension agreement form extends the contract's term based on its existing terms, whereas a contract renewal replaces the existing contract with a new one.

The term “contract renewal” refers to an extension of a contract without any change in its terms. It is used when the other party does not change the nature or scope of its services. When your company has provided accounting services for many years, it makes sense to renew the current contract. Changing the nature of your services will require a contract renewal rather than an extension.

How do you extend a contract that has expired?

A contract that has expired cannot be extended; instead, a new one must be created since the old one does not exist any longer. 

Do you need legal assistance with a contract extension?

Your contract extension agreement may need to be witnessed or notarized, depending on the terms. This is to minimize future disputes. Consult with an attorney if you need help drafting contract extension agreement templates that meet your needs if your agreement is complicated.