To perform is to work towards completing a party’s obligations under in a contractual agreement. In any contract, one party makes a promise in exchange for either a return promise or the performance of some action. Each party must perform their obligation to effectively discharge the contract. Not performing a party’s obligation constitutes a breach of contract and can open that party up to legal action. A breaching party usually only needs to pay damages to compensate the nonbreaching party. However, a court can order that party to perform their obligations under the contract. This is called specific performance and is required when no other remedy is sufficient.
[Last updated in August of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]