Cancellation Agreement

A cancellation agreement kept on a board


Contract cancellation is a common occurrence in the life of a contract, therefore, the importance of a well-defined and legally sound cancellation agreement cannot be overstated. A cancellation agreement serves as a crucial safeguard, providing a structured framework for parties to dissolve contractual commitments in a manner that is both fair and legally binding. A contract may need to be terminated for various beneficial and detrimental reasons. Therefore, it is critical to include the possibility of termination in the contract so that all parties know their rights to terminate if necessary.

What is a Cancellation Agreement?

A cancellation agreement is a contract termination agreement in which the parties legally cancel their contractual relationship. The Agreement specifies the parties, the reasons for cancellation, and how and when the cancellation occurs. All parties must sign the cancellation agreement to the original contract. Any obligations that survive the cancellation will be included in the Agreement, which may also include an optional mutual release of claims. 

There have been numerous cases of contract termination and contract cancellation being confused when both result in the termination of contract performance by both parties. However, contract termination and contract cancellation are not the same things, and the legal consequences will differ in each case. Making a clear distinction between them can help the subjects achieve the transaction’s goal while protecting their legitimate rights and interests. 

Contract cancellation can also be used as a reason for contract termination. However, the number of contracts that are terminated far outnumber those that are cancelled. In particular, the parties may agree to terminate a contract, or the contract may automatically terminate if they fulfil their obligations without breach or damage.

Meanwhile, most contract cancellations result from the parties’ breach of the contract. To learn more about the difference between cancellation and termination, get in touch with our lawyers. Our experienced lawyers at LegaMart can offer you comprehensive information in this regard.

Grounds for Contract Cancellation

There are several reasons why parties may opt to cancel their contracts:

Service Alterations or Discontinuation

A contract can be terminated if the company goes out of business or implements changes that render the services substantially unavailable to the consumer.

Failure to Receive Goods or Commence Services

Contracts can be annulled if the goods are not received within a specified period of the specified delivery date or if services do not commence within the specified timeframe of the agreed-upon date in the contract. If no specific delivery or start date is stipulated, cancellation is permissible if the goods or services are not delivered within the agreed timeframe of entering the contract. 

Besides, for travel, transportation, and accommodation services, immediate cancellation is allowed if they fail to commence on the promised date. It is important to note that a consumer cannot reject delivery or refuse service initiation and later attempt to cancel the contract based on a delay.

Contract or Required Information not Provided

When a contract is initiated by a direct seller, online or remotely, or concerns future performance, personal development, or a travel club, it must be documented in writing. The written contract, containing all required information, must be provided to the purchaser promptly, with immediate provision required for direct sales contracts.

Consumers retain the right to cancel the contract if a copy is not provided or if the contract lacks essential information. For example, if a copy of the contract is not supplied:

  • Consumers can annul a future performance contract.
  • Consumers can revoke an internet or remote contract.

On the other hand, if the contract lacks the required information:

  • Consumers can terminate future performance of the contracts, 
  • Consumers can also rescind the contract.
  • Cancellation due to Changes in Consumer’s Circumstances

A personal development services contract may be cancelled in many circumstances, for example: 

  • The consumer passes away.
  • A qualified medical practitioner provides written documentation stating that the consumer’s ongoing participation would be unreasonable due to their condition or would likely endanger their health.
  • The consumer relocates far from the supplier’s location, and the supplier cannot offer comparable facilities that are closer.

What are the Legal Ways to Cancel a Contract?

There can be various reasons to cancel a contract, whether due to disagreement or personal preferences. Regardless of the motive, here are legally sound methods to conclude an agreement:

  • Mutual Agreement: Often, cancelling a contract can be a straightforward process through amicable discussions. When both parties recognize that the relationship is no longer mutually beneficial, they can agree to cancel the contract through a simple agreement, whether verbally or in writing.
  • Prior Agreement: A well-drafted contract typically includes a cancellation clause outlining conditions for termination. This clause grants explicit cancellation rights triggered by specific events or actions, allowing either party to legally cancel the contract without complications.
  • Rescission: Rescission grants the right to cancel an agreement under circumstances such as: 
  • The other party misrepresented the conditions of the product or service.
  • The execution of the agreement involves illegal activities or includes an unsupervised minor.
  • The contract is affected by a vitiating factor, such as someone signing under duress.
  • A rescission notice detailing the reasons for cancellation is typically required, potentially involving legal proceedings.
  • By the Presiding AuthorityIn high-level disputes, the governing body with jurisdiction can decide to cancel the contract. The presiding court may intervene in cancellation proceedings to ensure compliance with the signed agreement under applicable laws.

Consequences of Not Legally Canceling a Contract

Choosing not to cancel a contract through legal means exposes you to various legal and financial repercussions. Legally cancelling a contract releases both parties from their obligations, offering a formal and less contentious way to end professional relationships. Legamart Lawyers can provide guidance and ensure your agreements incorporate proper cancellation provisions.

Therefore, if you walk away from a legally binding contract without issuing a notice of cancellation, you risk encountering significant challenges that can impact your time, finances, and reputation.

Breach of Contract Liability: Failure to fulfil the terms of the contract, whether through actual or anticipatory breach, can lead to legal consequences. Lawsuits may be initiated against you, resulting in potential fines and damages.

Financial Obligations: Not legally cancelling an ongoing agreement with service providers means you remain obligated to pay for the services rendered, regardless of your desire to terminate the contract. Charges will persist, and your credit card may be billed until formal contract termination.

Reputation Damage: Unilaterally abandoning an agreement, even if not explicitly considered “flaking,” can harm your reputation. Besides, perceived unreliability or unprofessionalism may adversely affect your business reputation, potentially impacting future dealings and collaborations.

Difference between a termination agreement and a cancellation agreement

A termination agreement is mainly used in the following scenarios:

  • When the contract and its obligations have been completed. 
  • When the parties have agreed to terminate the agreement.
  • When the person who entered into the contract dies or ceases existence, the contract between the parties could have been performed only by that person. 
  • When the contract cannot be performed because the object of the contract is no longer in existence.
  • When there is a fundamental change in circumstances, and the parties have failed to reach a consensus for modifying the contract within a reasonable period. 
  • When one party has committed a serious breach of contractual obligations, and the other party has chosen to terminate the agreement. 
  • When the contract undergoes other situations, as might be prescribed in your specific jurisdiction. 

A cancellation agreement is mainly used in the following scenarios:

  • When any of the parties has breached the contract, which was a condition for the cancellation agreement agreed by the parties. 
  • When any of the parties has committed a serious breach of contractual obligations.
  • Late performance of obligations as prescribed in the agreement
  • Inability to perform the obligations as prescribed in the agreement
  • In case of any loss of or damage to the property 
  • When the contract undergoes other situations, as might be prescribed in your specific jurisdiction. 

It is possible to use the cancellation of the agreement as a ground for termination of the agreement as well. However, cancellation is mostly a result of the breach of obligations by the parties, while termination is used in those cases where no breach has occurred. 

Consequences of termination agreement and cancellation agreement

Consequences of termination agreement:

The applicable conditions for termination agreements are much wider than cancellation agreements, which is why the consequences of termination agreements are much more diverse than cancellation agreements. After termination, the parties are not expected to continue the performance of any of their obligations. However, it might be supported by other factors such as compensation of damages, penalties, or any other consequences as might be mutually agreed between the parties. 

Consequences of cancellation agreement:

When a contract is cancelled, it ceases to be valid from the time of its entry. Hence, the parties are not required to perform their obligations except for any agreement on penalties, compensation, and dispute settlement. Here, the cancellation agreement completely cancels the contract, and the existence of the contract itself is not recognised under the law. 

Hence, the rights and obligations of the parties are returned in the manner they existed before the signing of the agreement, and the parties are expected to pay compensation or return whatever amount they have received during the agreement after the deduction of reasonable expenses which arise in the contract performance, along with other expenses of property preservation and development. 

Common Sections in Cancellation Agreements

A cancellation provision clause generally requires that whenever a party chooses to cancel the policy, that party sends written notice to the other party involved. For example, an insurance company is required to refund any prepaid premiums on a pro-rata basis. A cancellation provision clause in an insurance policy is a provision that allows an insurer to cancel a policy at any time before its expiration date.

Cancellation clauses require the party wishing to cancel the policy to provide written notice to the other party. The insurer must refund any premium difference if a policy is cancelled before expiration.

Termination by cause/convenience

A provision for termination for cause allows one party to terminate the contract and collect damages from the other party if the other party fails to fulfil their contractual obligations. They can allow their customer to terminate for cause because they failed to meet their obligations, but the customer can also seek penalties. Termination for convenience occurs when a party decides not to proceed with a transaction, although neither party is at fault. When this happens, the clause will explain how to calculate the amount owed by the cancelling party to the non-cancelling party and the limits that can be placed on that amount.

Contract should be duly authorized

Each party represents and warrants that it has not assigned, conveyed, or delegated any claim or right that it has or may have under the contract to any third party or person, in whole or in part. Each party represents that the execution and delivery of this Agreement is the party’s duly authorized and binding activity and that the party’s signatory hereto is duly authorized to execute this Agreement on the party’s behalf.

Time frame

Certain contracts can be set up to expire after a certain period. A contractor’s contract is an example of this, as it may be completed after the construction has ended. A fixed-term contract can have a set term and a provision for automatic renewal for subsequent terms unless one party notifies the other of their intention not to renew the contract.

Effect of cancellation on an agreement

Both parties expressly agree and acknowledge that entering into this Agreement does not constitute an admission of liability, obligation, or wrongdoing on the part of either party. Each party expressly disclaims any and all liability or wrongdoing in connection with the contract.

Except as expressly provided in this Agreement, the Parties acknowledge and agree that their respective rights and obligations under sections [cite applicable Contract provisions] will survive the termination of the contract in accordance with its terms and conditions. Any and all transactions completed by the Parties under the contract before the Termination Date shall remain in full force and effect and shall not be revoked or adversely affected as a result of the Contract’s or this Agreement’s termination.

All communications and their counterparts

All notices or other communications required under this Agreement must be in writing and must be received and made by either hand delivery, registered mail, certified mail, return receipt requested, or overnight mail, addressed to the party to be notified at the following address or to such other address as such party may specify by like notice hereunder: [address] Party A; [address] Party B. This Agreement may be executed in one or more counterparts, each of which will be deemed an original, but all of which will constitute the same instrument without the need for the others to be produced.

Cancellation agreements are necessary to protect yourself if you or your clients cancel an original service agreement. You want clear language in this contract about refunds, fee forfeiture, and confidentiality so that you and your clients understand what is being conducted and terminated by the cancellation. There are several other factors to consider, such as contributory negligence, confidentiality, jurisdiction, the mutual release of claims, representations, warranties, etc.

Avoid including a non-disparagement clause in your Cancellation Agreement

A non-disparagement clause is used to ensure that you would not say anything negative about the products, services, or lenders of the company or the company itself in any form of communication after the cancellation agreement has been executed. The presence of such clauses is used to ensure that the other party does not dent the reputation of the company in any manner in the future. 

The common question is whether a non-disparagement clause should be included in a cancellation agreement to ensure that the clients avoid posting bad reviews online or providing any testimonial-wise bad experience about the company. 

Firstly, the inclusion of a non-disparagement clause looks terrible on the face of the agreement, considering that you are providing an impression that your products and services would be liable for bad reviews, putting doubt in the mind of the client at the start itself. Secondly, it is impossible to stop your client from posting a bad review or criticising the products and services they have obtained from you. This becomes a part of the freedom of speech of the client to write about their experience with your products and services. 

Usually, these agreements are more common in business-to-business contracts and not so common in client-to-business contracts. Hence, avoid using a non-disparagement clause in your cancellation agreement. 

Cancellation Agreement Sample

The best way to cancel a contract is to write a contract cancellation letter, which provides documentation of your intent to cancel. A written cancellation protects you if you and the other party disagree about your intention to cancel. This letter should be delivered in person, by courier, or certified mail. You must provide proof that the other party received the cancellation letter within the contract’s time frame. Any of these delivery methods ensure that you have the necessary proof. What and how to include in the cancellation agreement is provided below. Your cancellation agreement must have the following:

  1. The contract’s expiration date;
  2. A contract number or another form of identification;
  3. A statement stating that you will no longer require the services provided after the date specified;
  4. The reason you are terminating your contract;
  5. A declaration that you will meet your obligations until the specified date and accept any outstanding products or services.

Furthermore, below is a sample provided, which you can follow while sending writing a cancellation agreement letter:

Your surname

Postal address


Recipient’s name

Recipient’s address

Contract cancellation” should be the subject of the letter.


I am hereby informing you that I am discontinuing/cancelling my contract (ABC), dated (1.1.2023), for (XYZ) products and services. Make a specific list of each product or service mentioned in the contract. This cancellation is effective as of the date specified.

Describe why you are cancelling the contract here.

I intend to fulfil my contractual obligations until the date effective. If the contract specifies outstanding products or services, state that you will accept them.

Please contact me at my phone number or email address if you have any questions.


Your signatures

Your name

Besides this, if you need any legal help regarding sending a cancellation agreement to the other party, the services of our lawyers are at your disposal.

How to Effectively Cancel a Contract? 

It is important to understand the step-by-step action plan to guide you through the process of cancelling a contract, which includes:

  • Review the Cancellation Clause: Begin by thoroughly examining the cancellation clause within the contract. This section typically outlines the conditions and procedures for termination.
  • Negotiate Mutual Cancellation: If the contract lacks a cancellation clause, initiate communication with the other party to negotiate mutually agreeable conditions for cancellation.
  • Send a contract cancellation form, often a written notice delivered via certified mail, explaining the reasons for terminating the collaboration.
  • Explore Cooling-off Period and Time-Period Cancellations: If mutual agreement proves challenging, assess whether you qualify for a cooling-off period or any other time-specific cancellation provisions.
  • Act within the stipulated time frames to leverage these options if applicable.
  • Check for Legal Compliance: Verify that the contract meets all legal requirements. Assess whether any violations or breaches of laws have occurred.
  • Wait for Automatic Termination: If the contract is legally binding and enforceable, patiently wait for the designated term to elapse. Many fixed-term contracts automatically terminate upon reaching their expiration date.
  • Legal Assistance if Necessary: If the expiration timeframe is impractical or too distant, consider involving a qualified legal professional to facilitate the cancellation process. Legamart Lawyers can provide guidance and take necessary steps to ensure the contract is cancelled effectively and in accordance with legal standards.


Writing a cancellation agreement can be a time-consuming and draining process. It is recommended that you hire an attorney who can thoroughly investigate the nuisances in your local jurisdictions to determine the best possible outcome for the legal dispute. A cancellation agreement must be carefully drafted to balance the risks and provide a workable platform for both parties to adhere to.

It is critical to include terms that benefit both parties and to draft a document to prevent future litigation. A cancellation agreement ensures that the parties resolve their differences. So, it is recommended that you take legal assistance from lawyers when you are about to cancel an agreement. You can get in touch with our experienced lawyers at LegaMart if you are interested in cancelling an agreement. They will offer you comprehensive information about the procedure and assist you.

Besides the cancellation agreement. If you are further interested to know about five things to consider before negotiating insurance contracts, consult with our service providers or read it here. Their legal advice can help you in making a final decision.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I cancel a contract before it starts?

Yes, it is possible to cancel a contract before it commences, particularly if you act within a specific cooling-off period. During this cooling-off period, you have the right to cancel the contract without incurring legal consequences. It is crucial to check the terms of the specific agreement and relevant regulations to ensure compliance with the stipulated conditions for cancellation before the commencement of the contract.

Why are cancellation agreements important?

Cancellation agreements are necessary for your and your company’s protection in cases where it becomes necessary to cancel an original service agreement. It is always better to have clear language for refunds, fee forfeiture, and confidentiality in the agreement to avoid conflicts between the parties. 

Who helps with cancellation agreements?

Lawyers having experience in dealing with the cancellation of agreements between client-to-company are the best fit for helping you in the cancellation agreements preparation and enforcement. Get in touch with our lawyers at LegaMart to gain a fast resolution to your problem today!

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