Automatic Renewal Clause: A Comprehensive Guide 

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Automatic Renewal Clause: A Comprehensive Guide

Automatic Renewal Clauses are contract clauses that automatically renew the contract after a specified period. If you want to stop using the product or service, you must contact the company and cancel your subscription before the original term expires. Otherwise, you will continue paying for another term, at the end of which, you will likely receive another renewal notice prompting you to renew your subscription again.

An automatic renewal clause may be included in a service contract, such as telephone, internet, or cable television services. These contracts usually have an end date set by the customer and agreed upon by the service provider. The automatic renewal clause allows the contract to be extended after the end date if neither party terminates it.

In other cases, an automatic renewal clause is used in membership agreements for organizations such as gyms or clubs. It allows members to continue their membership without signing another contract or filling out new paperwork each time. Automatic Renewal Clauses are sometimes called “evergreen clauses” because they allow for long-term contracts that never terminate on their own accord.


Who Uses Automatic Renewal Clause?

Most businesses use automatic renewal clauses, whether they realize it or not. Here are some of the most common cases of usage of automatic renewal clauses.

  • Business Contracts 

At times, a business may want to include an automatic renewal clause in its contracts with customers. For example, suppose you’re selling an online service. In that case, you may want your customers to agree that they will automatically renew their subscription unless they cancel it before the end of the billing period.

  • Leases 

Leases and rental agreements are contracts that may include an automatic renewal clause. A lease is an agreement between a tenant and a landlord that sets forth the terms of the rental agreement. The lease can be for any period, from one day to several years, depending on the agreement between the parties. If there is no specific termination date stated in the lease, it is usually considered month-to-month.

  • Employment Agreement 

Employment contracts usually include a provision for automatic renewal unless either party gives notice of its objective not to renew the contract before it expires. It allows both parties time to discuss any changes they would like made before signing another employment contract.

  • Agency Agreements

These are agreements between an agent and an individual or business that appoints the agent to act on its behalf in some way. For example, an agency agreement is used to appoint a salesperson or an attorney as your agent concerning specific matters. In most cases, these agreements require you to provide notice if you want them terminated before their term expires.


Importance of Automatic Renewal 

Automatic renewal clauses are common in many contracts, especially in event-based industries. They are also important to ensure that your business has access to the services you need when you need them. There are several reasons why automatic renewal clauses are important for businesses:

  • They Ensure Continuity of Service Provision: If a supplier cannot provide uninterrupted service, they must have a backup plan in place – for example, by paying a premium for an extended contract term or agreeing to cover any costs incurred as a result of unexpected downtime or other issues.
  • They Help Prevent Disputes over whether or not a Contract Has Been Terminated: For example, if a contract has been terminated but one party claims it hasn’t been, who will pay for services rendered? If there is an automatic renewal clause in place, then this alleviates uncertainty by clarifying how long the contract will last and when it will end.
  • They Provide Protection against Price Hikes: A supplier may increase prices during a contract without giving notice because they know that they can rely on their customers continuing to pay their current rates until they’re ready to renegotiate terms with them again (at which point they can simply raise prices again). 


Key Issues in Automatic Renewal Clause 

Automatic renewal clauses are a common feature of many consumer contracts. They allow the seller to automatically renew the contract, often with an increased price, if the consumer does not cancel it. Many businesses use automatic renewal clauses to ensure they can continue selling their products or services, even if some customers do not want to continue using them. However, these clauses may incur the following issues:

  • Notice Transmission 

Suppose there is no notice of the automatic renewal clause sent to customers. In that case, it could be considered unfair for businesses to charge for subscriptions that customers did not want or were unaware of. However, sending out notices can also be expensive for businesses as they have to pay postage fees every time they send out reminders to consumers who have not yet canceled their subscriptions.

  • Timeline of Notice

The notice timeline is crucial because it determines how much time you have before your lease expires. The longer this period is, the more time you’ll have to find another location if necessary, but it also gives tenants more time to negotiate with landlords for better terms.


Points to Keep in Mind for the Automatic Renewal Clause

Here are some important points to consider when adding an automatic renewal clause to your business contract:

  • State Law Requirements

Check state law requirements before adding an automatic renewal clause. Some states restrict what can be included in contracts, so ensure you aren’t violating any laws. For example, some states don’t allow companies to automatically bill customers under certain circumstances (such as when they haven’t used their services).

  • Consider the Scope of Your Agreement

If the agreement covers multiple services, such as support and maintenance, there is no need for an automatic renewal clause. However, if the agreement only covers one service, it makes sense to have an automatic renewal clause. It helps you avoid negotiating with the customer whenever they want to renew their subscription.

  • Include Specific Termination Language

It’s important to include specific termination language in your automatic renewal clause so that customers know exactly how long they have to cancel their subscription. If they don’t cancel within this time period, they’ll be charged automatically once their current term ends (and every month after that).

  • Specify How Much Notice is Required before Cancellation

For this feature to work properly, you must specify how much notice is required before cancellation. For example, if you want them to cancel at least 30 days before their renewal date, this must be specified in the terms and conditions. If they don’t give enough notice, they will be unable to cancel and will be charged for another month’s subscription.

  • Provide Proof that Notice was Provided

If you use an automatic renewal clause, ensure that you provide proof that notice was given. It may be helpful to add a provision stating that the customer will receive written notice at least 30 days before the renewal date.


Key Terms 

  • Renewal Term

This term refers to the period between two successive renewals. It may also include a renewal option, which gives one party the right to renew the contract at its end.

  • Extended Term

The Extended Term is the time period that begins on the day after your subscription expires. Your subscription will automatically renew at the end of this term unless you cancel it beforehand. The Extended Term can be any time between one month and one year.

  • Non-Renewal Termination

Non-renewal termination is when you give the notice to terminate your contract before the end of an existing term, either by written notification or by notifying the other party in person.



Automatic renewal clauses allow a business to renew its customers’ contracts automatically unless the customer cancels their contract before the automatic renewal date. It means that you don’t have to worry about remembering to send out renewal notices or collecting payments, as it will all be taken care of by your payment gateway. 


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