Business Contracts and Legal Agreements

Black’s Law Dictionary defines a contract as an agreement between two or more entities which creates an obligation to do or not do a particular thing. To be legally enforceable a contract requires three elements:

a subject,
consideration,
and competent parties.

There is no such thing as a “Standard Form”

Don’t be fooled by preprinted contracts or forms purchased from the Internet. These are attempts to convince you that a contract is not an individual, custom negotiated agreement between parties.

The best analogy is “standard form clothes.” This is where the 200 lb man gets a “standard form” outfit…unfortunately it is a size 4 woman’s miniskirt!

What is a Business Contract?

Contracts are promises that the law will enforce. The law provides remedies if a promise is breached or recognizes the performance of a promise as a duty. Contracts arise when a duty does or may come into existence, because of a promise made by one of the parties. To be legally binding as a contract, a promise must be exchanged for adequate consideration.

Adequate consideration is a benefit or detriment which a party receives which reasonably and fairly induces them to make the promise/contract . For example, promises that are purely gifts are not considered enforceable because the personal satisfaction the grantor of the promise may receive from the act of giving is normally not considered adequate consideration. Certain promises that are not considered contracts may, in limited circumstances, be enforced if one party has relied to his detriment on the assurances of the other party