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Characteristics Of A Simple Contract

There must be offer and acceptance. The offerer is the party that makes the offer and the offeree is the person that the offer is being made to. There must a clear offer and clear acceptance for a contract to be binding. Consideration is the price paid by one party for the promise of the other. Thus if one party promises to provide goods or services, something of value must be given in exchange. This may be in the form of money, goods, services or it may be an act of forbearance. The capacity to contract Parties to the contract must be over 18 years, of sound mind, not under the influence of drugs or incarcerated. There must be no force, misrepresentation or fraud. Persons should not be forced to sign a contract e.g. blackmail. They should not be lied to e.g. giving the wrong year of a car. Fraud may involve forging someones signature. There must be an obvious intention to create legal relations.This is based on the actions of the parties e.g. offer, acceptance and consideration. A contract must be legal- thus, agreements made between parties concerning illegal drugs and any other illegal activity is not a contract.

A simple contract includes three core elements: an offer, an acceptance, and consideration. The terms and conditions of the deal, if any, are an optional fourth element. The way that these elements must be presented varies depending on what, exactly, is being contracted, as well as local laws and contract rules. Written contracts must always name the parties, and must be dated. Original signatures, either written or electronic, must also attach. Most contracts are written, but not all are. In fact, many of the very simplest contracts occur in daily life, sometimes without participants even realizing it. The three required simple contract elements are always present, though. A customer who purchases a loaf of bread, for instance, enters into a contract with the grocer. The grocer lists a price on the bread, which is an offer. By bringing the bread to the register, the customer accepts that offer. When the customer pays, he offers consideration, or something of value, and the grocer does the same when giving the purchaser the bread. The stores return policy and any freshness guarantees act as the terms and conditions governing the transaction. Written contracts are usually a bit more complicated. The form and content for written agreements is usually stricter and more often than not must follow governing drafting laws and best practices. How the elements are presented in written contracts matters and in many ways dictates how the contracts will be enforced and how they can be broken.
n agreement to be legally binding. There is no broad requirement that a contract be in writing; oral contracts are generally equally as enforceable as written contracts, although the terms are often much more difficult to prove in court. There is also no requirement that a contract have a signature or be

preceded by a shaking of hands, but either would be helpful in court to prove a partys assent to the contract. Of course, writing a contract with clear terms and having both parties sign is usually a good idea not only for evidentiary reasons, but also so that the parties are completely aware of the terms. However, it is important to know that a contract may still exist even if there is nothing written down or you didnt sign anything. There are three requirements for a legal contract: offer, acceptance, and consideration. Remember that this is the general law only, and many statutes provide nuance to the law that makes the outcome different in particular factual situations. If you are not sure whether or not you are bound by a contract, you should consult an attorney who can examine your specific matter.

1. Offer
The first part of a contract, the offer, signifies a persons desire to enter into a legal contract. For instance, if Person A says to Person B, I want to purchase your piano for $250, Person A has made an offer. He may withdraw the offer at any time, and Person B may respond with a different offer called a counter-offer if she prefers a different agreement, but an identifiable offer must be present in order for a contract to be formed. Advertisements are generally not considered legal offers, but rather invitations for customers to make offers themselves.

2. Acceptance
Once the other party signifies her agreement with the terms of the offer, acceptance has occurred. This is the second requirement of a contract. The acceptance can be a statement, or in the form of an action such as beginning to perform the terms of the contract. Both offer and acceptance must be clear and unequivocal, and represent each partys intent to enter into a legally binding agreement. The terms must be wholly defined and unambiguous no contract is formed, for instance, if there is a vague agreement to paint a house for some unspecified price.

3. Consideration
Even when both parties intend to be bound by an agreement, a contract is still not formed unless both parties provide consideration. Consideration is some type of new legal obligation both parties take on as a result of the contract. For instance, the piano agreement between Person A and Person B would be a valid contract because Person As consideration is the payment of $250, and Person Bs consideration is the transfer of the piano. The law does not require that the consideration be equivalent, so it does not matter if the piano were actually worth $40 or $5,000, the fact that both parties take on a non-zero obligation is sufficient. One important feature of consideration is that the obligation must be new. If a painter made an agreement with one roommate to paint a house for $200 and then a separate agreement with the other roommate to paint the house for $300, the second agreement would fail because the painter has not taken on a new legal obligation; he already had the obligation to paint the house due to the terms

of the first agreement. Similarly, a parent who promised to give a 20-year-old daughter $50 in exchange for her promise not to drink at a party would also not create a valid contract. The daughter already has a preexisting legal obligation to the state not to drink.

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