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A valid contract requires an offer, acceptance of that offer, and consideration.  In general, contracts primarily for services are governed by common law, while contracts primarily for goods are governed by the Uniform Commercial Code, or “U.C.C.” for short.

An offer is a demonstration of willingness to enter into a contract, while an acceptance is a demonstration of agreement to the exact conditions in the offer.  In other words, the parties must express mutual assent to the terms of the contract.

 The simplest example of a contract is when you order something -- say, a hamburger -- from the menu at a restaurant.  The items listed on the menu with their prices are the offer and when you order the item, you are accepting the offer and promising to pay.

After an offer is accepted, the parties have an enforceable contract if there was appropriate consideration, which is something of value.  The individual making the offer must gain a benefit from the contract, and the individual accepting the offer must sustain a loss or detriment of some sort.  In the example above, you get a hamburger, and the restaurant receives the money that you pay for that hamburger. When analyzing the validity of a contract, I first see whether there was an offer and acceptance, or whether the parties agreed to the same thing.  If so, I ask whether the contract is supported by adequate consideration.

Enforcing a contract is always difficult.  If you have a contract with somebody and that person or business is not doing what they promised to do (in other words, breaching the contract), you always have several options.  The best course of action is always different depending on your particular situation, what the contract is for, and who is the breaching party.  The law governing contracts is incredibly complex, and I always recommend that you consult with a licensed attorney if you have a contract issue.

Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C. represents both individuals and small businesses in all aspects of contracts, from drafting and formation to enforcement and litigation..  Please call (763) 450-9494 to schedule an appointment to discuss your situation today!

WARNING: The information contained in this article does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  You should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.