Many times, business professionals enter into contracts specifying a variety of business conditions. Once the contract is signed, the parties are generally required to adhere to the terms of the contract. If there is a business law dispute between the parties, the court will step in and help determine the enforceability of the contract. Contracts are a significant part of business law, so it is important to understand what they are and what makes them enforceable.
The reality is that not all agreements are legally contracts. A contract requires one party to make an offer and the other must accept it. There must also be consideration, meaning that a promise is made in exchange for something of value. The terms of the contract must be clear and specific.
There are a number of things that can make a contract voidable. For one, if a party did not have the legal capacity to enter into a contract, that contract will be invalid. Minors under the age of 18 and people with mental impairments are generally unable to legally enter into a contract. Parties who were coerced or under duress when signing the contract may also be let out of their obligations.
If there is a mistake, the court may void the contract if the mistake has a material effect on the contract. However, failing to properly read and understand the terms of the contract is not a defense. Both parties must make sure that they understand what is expected of them before signing anything. For that reason, parties interested in entering into a business contract may want to have the document reviewed by an attorney, who can provide guidance on the situation.
Source: FindLaw, "Will your contract be enforced under law?" accessed on Jan. 23, 2017