Automatic renewal clauses are also called “evergreen clauses.” They're found in many different types of contracts: consumer, commercial, employment, and landlord/tenant are just a few. Most questions we receive at the law library on this subject are about consumer contracts. Black's Law Dictionary defines an evergreen contract as "a contract that renews itself from one term to the next in the absence of contrary notice by one of the parties." Evergreen clauses are not usually called "evergreen" in contracts. To spot an evergreen clause, look for the following words: Term, Duration, Continuation, Termination, Notice period, Renewal, or Extension. Also, look through the entire contract carefully – sometimes the information you need is spread across several sections.
A sampling of laws about automatic renewals is included in this guide but there are more in the statutes. If you’re searching the NH statutes online, do a keyword search on “automatic renewal,” “membership contract,” or “cancellation rights” because the term "evergreen" isn't found in the statutes. You can also look for the specific type of business. For example, if you want to find out about automatic renewals for health club memberships, search under "health clubs."
Please remember that this guide is for information purposes only and is not comprehensive. It is intended as a starting point for research, to illustrate the various sources of the law, and to provide guidance in their use. NH Law About ... is not a substitute for the services of an attorney.