How to Determine Penalty and Compensation for Damages from Breach of Commercial Contract?

When drafting a contract, especially a commercial business contract, in addition to basic provisions such as the object, scope of the contract, value and payment method, rights and obligations of the parties, dispute settlement, information confidentiality, and the regulations on the penalty for a breach of the contract and damage compensation are also very important.

Penalty for a breach of the contract

Under the provisions of the Commercial Law 2005, penalty for a breach means that the breaching party must pay a sum of money to the aggrieved party due to the breach of the violating party if the parties agree in the contract on the fine for a breach. Thus, the penalty for a breach only arises when there is a breach of the contract by the violating party and the parties have agreed on the penalty.

The law gives the right to agree on sanctions for violations to contractual parties, but this freedom to negotiate is limited. Specifically, the parties are only allowed to agree to a maximum penalty of 8% of the breached contractual obligation value, except traders providing assessment services issue assessment certificates showing incorrect results caused by their unintentional faults, they must pay penalty therefor to customers. The penalty level shall be agreed upon by the parties but must not exceed ten times the assessment service charge. In fact, the dispute settlement agency also bases on the prescribed limit of the law to handle; therefore, even if the parties agree to a higher penalty for a breach, it is not applicable in practice.

Compensation for damage

Compensation for damage means a remedy whereby the breaching party pays compensation for the loss caused by a contract-breaching act to the aggrieved party. The basis for arising damages is a breach of the contract; there is material loss and act of breaching the contract is the direct cause of the loss. Difference from penalty for a breach, liability to compensate for damages caused by breaches of contract performance obligations arises even in cases where the parties do not have an agreement on this matter. Besides, the law does not provide any regulation to limit the amount of compensation; it is based on the actual damages that the aggrieved party can prove.

When participating in the transaction, if both types of sanctions are specified in the contract, they should clearly specify the basis for the amount of compensation for the damages and the penalty for violation.

In fact, there are many cases where the parties do not agree clearly or agree on the penalty but the amount of the penalty exceeds the prescribed level, the excess could be considered invalid. The parties should also note that there will be no agreement on late payment interest on the infringement penalty and the amount of compensation damages.

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How to Determine Penalty and Compensation for Damages from Breach of Commercial Contract?
Article Name
How to Determine Penalty and Compensation for Damages from Breach of Commercial Contract?
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When drafting a contract, especially a commercial business contract, in addition to basic provisions such as the object, scope of the contract, value and payment method, rights and obligations of the parties, dispute settlement, information confidentiality, and the regulations on the penalty for a breach of the contract and damage compensation are also very important.

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