Our society runs on contracts. When two parties make an agreement, there’s an expectation that each side will fulfill their obligations. Sometimes, though, one party fails to uphold the contract. Breach of contract is a serious matter, and being aware of the laws surrounding contracts can help when it’s time to enter into one.  

breach of contract laws Wisconsin

What is a Breach of Contract?

A breach of contract occurs when one party violates the terms of the contract. That could be failing to complete an action on time, failing to complete the action, or operating outside of the terms of the agreement. The result of branching a contract includes damages for one party, 

Wisconsin law names three elements of a breach of contract claim:

  • A valid contract between two or more parties
  • Evidence of the breach of contract
  • Proof of damages resulting from the breach 

There are four types of breaches of contract in Wisconsin. An anticipatory breach occurs when it becomes evident that one party won’t be able to uphold their part of the contract. During a fundamental breach of contract, one party fails to fulfill their side of the contract in a way that necessitates the other party to refuse their part. The damaged party can then cancel the contract and seek compensation for any damages. The third type is a minor breach, in which one or both parties make a minor mistake that can often be quickly corrected. Lastly is a material breach, which happens one one party completely disregards their duty to the contract. 

Statute of Limitations

Wisconsin allows six years to begin taking action against a breach of contract. The statute of limitations allows both parties the time to resolve the conflict and come to an agreement. It also allows time for damages that may not be immediately apparent. 

Good Faith

By Wisconsin law, all contracts must be created and honored in good faith. That means that each party enters into the contract with the duty to complete their obligations as defined by the contract. Although the precise definition of “good faith” has never been spelled out in Wisconsin law,  the duty of good faith can be successfully argued in court. 


One of the greatest issues with a breach of contract is that one party suffers damages, such as loss of money, time, or reputation. Wisconsin law allows damages to be awarded to the non-offending party in a breach of contract. There are several types of damages that can be awarded in a breach of contract case. 

  • Compensatory damages make the non-breaching party whole by returning them to the same position they were in before the contract was in effect.
  • Liquid damages are often defined in a contract to cover non-monetary or other types of damages that aren’t easily defined.
  • Although rare in Wisconsin breach of contract cases, nominal damages are awarded when there was a clear breach of contract, but the breach didn’t result in any monetary damages. 
  • Punitive damages exist to punish the breaching party by offering compensation beyond compensatory damages. These types of damages are rarely awarded in Wisconsin contract cases.

Breach of Contract Lawyers in Wisconsin

Atolles Law, S.C. has a team of lawyers who can serve as your contract law expert. Whether you suspect the other part is breaching your contract or you’re being accused, we can both defend and take action on your breach of contract case. To run your case by one of our skilled attorneys, contact Atolles Law, S.C. now for a consultation.