A contract can be an oral or written document that creates legally enforceable obligations on all parties involved. The burden of proving that a business agreement is enforceable is usually placed on the person claiming the validity of the contract in the first place. In this essay, the primary element of a legally binding contractual relationship is the presence of an offer and acceptance. It is important to examine conditions for making such agreements to understand how contracts later become enforceable in law. In this study, we explain key elements that parties to a contract should look for when starting a binding legal relationship. Emphasis is on understanding the validity of offers and acceptances made between parties involved in a business relationship before contract signing.
Valid Offer and Acceptance
In the process of developing legal and contractual relationships, the parties involved in legal negotiations must prove that there is a valid offer and acceptance. This proof is the basis for the development of any legally enforceable contractual relationship in law. However, there should be an in-depth understanding of the constituents of a valid offer and acceptance to know whether the parties involved in negotiations have complied with the common expectations of a contractual relationship. This action underscores the need to understand conditions for the development of offers and acceptances in business contracts.
What Constitutes a Valid Offer?
A valid offer is developed when one of the parties to an agreement creates conditions that invite acceptance. Similarly, an offer is deemed to be made when one of the parties to a contract indicates a willingness to abstain from taking specific actions in a business relationship with the expectation that the other party would reciprocate their act of goodwill by behaving or taking actions in ways that would benefit them. A person who initiates such a proposal is the one who makes the offer, while the party that reciprocates the gesture makes the acceptance. Notwithstanding the conditions for which valid offers and acceptances are made, a valid offer should have the following essentials – a communicated offer, a legal relationship, certainty of terms of a contract, and assent from all the parties involved. Subject to the parties involved to fulfil these requirements, different types of offers can be made in contractual agreements. The most commonly discussed include general, specific, counter, cross, implied, expressed, and standing offers. The decision to select the most appropriate offer to make is dependent on the jurisdiction and type of business involved.
What Constitutes a Valid Acceptance?
In the same way that a valid offer in contractual law exists, a valid acceptance needs to be provided for a contractual relationship to be enforceable in law. In trying to create conditions where both sets of requirements for offer and acceptance can be fulfilled, different contentions often emerge among the parties involved. Particularly, disagreements commonly emerge when parties involved in a business transaction have to prove that they have met specific requirements for validating a contractual relationship. One of the primary conditions for making such a determination is an express agreement by the parties involved to abide by the terms of a contract. This implicit statement affirms the intention of one of the parties in a contract to abide by the rules set out by the other party. Therefore, a series of agreed contractual terms and conditions have to be fulfilled by all parties for the contract to be enforceable. In the same breadth of analysis, a valid acceptance letter that indicates the terms of the agreement should be written to validate an offer. At the same time, it should be proven that the parties involved have not set out new conditions for adhering to the contractual terms. This requirement makes it possible to validate the acceptance of an offer made by another party.
Overall, a valid acceptance letter should fit the requirements of an original offer made. This expectation is defined as the mirror-image rule, where it is expected that the terms of the offer made should be equal to the terms of the acceptance. Despite the ability of one or all parties involved in a contract to satisfy conditions for making an offer and acceptance, limits in law prevent the abuse of loopholes in implementation. For example, minors cannot purport to make such offers because they lack the legal capacity to enter into contractual relationships.
The above-mentioned reason explains why certain legal statutes have been developed to seal loopholes in the law. For example, the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 outlines specific limitations in enforcing contractual law to prevent people from enriching themselves through business relationships that have criminal elements or that involve minors. At the same time, the Act prevents criminals from profiting off their publications or contractual relationships with business partners of social disrepute. Overall, such kinds of legislation contain measures aimed at reforming the criminal justice system to fill the gaps that offenders and other rogue entities may use to undermine the credibility of contractual relationships. Despite the shortcomings in contractual law, the presence of an offer and acceptance are fundamental requirements for the development of binding contractual relationships.
In this paper, discussions about the validity of offers and acceptances in contractual law abound. Its findings are based on the idea that the validity of an offer and its acceptance is the primary basis for developing a binding contract. To support this narrative, factors that validate an offer and acceptance in a business contractual relationship have been discussed in-depth. Notably, intentions that business partners have before entering into contractual relationships, the standard of reasonable expectations attached to such relationships, and the capacity to sustain them are the main factors impacting the validity of contracts.
The findings of this study can help improve business relationships and contractual rigor through robust legal negotiations. Indeed, legal rigor omits uncertainty in the management of business transactions, thereby enhancing trust between partners. Additionally, the findings of this investigation can enhance contractual law enforcement by enhancing situational awareness among business partners about the potential risks of entering into informal business agreements. In this analysis, enforcing contract law is portrayed as a simpler approach to balancing the trust that businesses share with their partners and the expectations that each of them has in enforcing a contractual agreement.