What Is An Enforceable Contract?

Contracts are an integral part of life and business. They are agreements between two or more parties that outline the rights, obligations, and responsibilities of each party. While all contracts should be clear and legally binding, not all contracts are enforceable. So what is an enforceable contract? Read on to learn more about the legal requirements for a valid contract, as well as how to ensure your contracts are enforceable.

The Definition of an Enforceable Contract

In order for a contract to be enforceable, it must contain certain elements that are essential to the formation of a legally binding agreement. These elements are: an offer, acceptance, consideration, and the intention to create a legal relationship.

An offer is defined as a proposal by one party to another with the intention of entering into a contract if the proposal is accepted. In order for an offer to be valid, it must be made with the intention of creating a legally binding agreement. An acceptance is when the offeree accepts the terms of the offer, creating a binding contract. Consideration is what each party to the contract agrees to exchange and can be anything of value, such as money, goods, or services. Lastly, there must be an intention to create a legal relationship, which can be inferred from the parties’ words and actions.

If a contract contains all of these elements, it will likely be enforced by a court if one of the parties attempts to back out or breaches the agreement.

The Elements of an Enforceable Contract

There are several key elements that must be present in order for a contract to be considered enforceable. First, all parties must have the legal capacity to enter into the agreement. This means they must be of sound mind and over the age of eighteen (in most jurisdictions).

Second, the contract must have what is known as consideration. This is something of value that each party brings to the table and which serves as an inducement for them to enter into the agreement. For example, if one party agrees to provide goods or services, the other party must agree to pay compensation in return.

Third, the terms of the contract must be clear and unambiguous. This means that there can be no misunderstanding about what each party has agreed to do. Any ambiguity in the contract can lead to disputes down the road.

Fourth, both parties must sign the contract voluntarily and with a clear understanding of its terms. If either party was forced into signing or did not have a full understanding of what they were agreeing to, then the contract may not be considered enforceable.

Finally, in some cases, a written contract may be required in order for it to be enforceable. This is typically the case with contracts involving large sums of money or complex business arrangements.

The Types of Contracts That Are Enforceable

There are four main types of contracts that are enforceable: verbal, written, implied, and unilateral.

1. Verbal contracts are based on the spoken word and can be enforceable if there is clear evidence that an agreement was reached. This can be difficult to prove, however, so it’s always best to get any important agreements in writing.

2. Written contracts are just what they sound like – agreements that are set down in writing. These are the most clear-cut type of contract, and as long as both parties have signed them, they will be legally binding.

3. Implied contracts are those where the terms of the agreement are not expressly stated but can be inferred from the actions or words of the parties involved. For example, if you go to a restaurant and order a meal, you have implicitly entered into a contract with the establishment to pay for that food once you’ve eaten it.

4. Unilateral contracts occur when only one party makes a promise – such as when you purchase something online and agree to the site’s terms and conditions. In this case, only one person is legally bound to uphold their end of the bargain.

When a Contract Is Not Enforceable

When a contract is not enforceable, it means that the agreement cannot be legally enforced by either party. There are several reasons why a contract may not be enforceable, including:

-The contract was never finalized or signed by both parties.
-One of the parties was not of legal age at the time the contract was made.
-One of the parties was not mentally competent at the time the contract was made.
-The subject matter of the contract is illegal.
-The terms of the contract are impossible to perform.
-The contract breaches public policy.

If a contract is found to be unenforceable, any legal remedy that would have been available to either party under the contract will also not be available. This can be a costly mistake if you enter into an agreement without first ensuring that it is fully enforceable.


In conclusion, an enforceable contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties that requires each party to uphold their respective obligations as defined in the contract. In order for a contract to be enforced by law, it must include specific language, satisfy all legal requirements, and be signed by both or all parties involved. Knowing how to create an enforceable contract is vital for any business transaction involving goods or services and can help protect your interests if something goes wrong.

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