How to Write an Amendment to a Contract?

Learn how to write an amendment to a contract with Docusign.

Can you amend a contract after signing it? The answer is yes, you can. If the contract has already been signed, all parties must agree to make the amendment. While it can be trickier to change a contract after it’s signed, communicating a clear reason for the change can often be acceptable to the other party. You should propose your changes to the other party first to see if they are acceptable, as all parties must agree. You may wish to reach out to a lawyer to help you agree and negotiate the amendment.

Do you need to amend a contract? Read on to learn how to manage it.


Why is a contract amendment required?

Organisations often need to make amendments if a provision of the contract isn’t working as planned or circumstances have changed. Certain situations, like changes in regulations or the price of materials, can affect ongoing contracts. A contract amendment changes the original contract but does not replace it. Common modifications include a price change, duration change or a liability shift. Sometimes agreements are also modified in scope.

What is the process for amending a contract?

To alter the original agreement, you will have to sign a new contract amendment that defines the necessary changes. This second contract remains valid for as much time as the initial one. Here’s a guide to the process.

  • Identify the changes that need to be made. The first step is to identify the changes that need to be made to the contract. This may involve changing the price, the delivery date, the scope of work, or other contract terms. These should be discussed and agreed with the other parties.
  • Draft the amendment. Once you have identified the changes that need to be made, you can begin drafting the amendment. The amendment should be clear and concise. It should state the changes that are being made and the effective date of the changes.
  • All parties should sign the amendment, ensuring that everyone has agreed that these changes have been made. You could use a template for your contract amendments. This will help you ensure all necessary information is included in the amendment. The amendment should be attached to the original contract. This makes it easy to find the amendment and to see how it has changed the terms of the contract.

What is the difference between a contract amendment and a contract addendum?

An amendment is used when organisations want to change the terms of the original contract. An addendum is used when an additional term or clause is added to the contract.

What are the common mistakes when it comes to amending a contract?

A common mistake is that parties attempt to vary a contract when it has expired. This can happen when a contract has a fixed expiration date but is over schedule. In this circumstance, a new contract is required. A common mistake is to believe one party can amend a contract,  all parties need to agree to the contract amendment.

In summary, a contract amendment is a written document that changes the terms of an existing contract. It is used to make changes to the contract, such as the price, the delivery date, or the scope of work. Contract amendments are necessary because they allow the parties to change the agreement without renegotiating the entire contract.

Docusign offers some of today’s most advanced tools to help contracting teams update contract templates, review existing documents and implement broad changes. Find out more about Docusign CLM.