A contract in legal parlance is an agreement between two or more parties creating obligations that are recognisable,enforceable, and binding on both parties at law. Simply put, it is an agreement between two parties.
This agreement could be oral or written. For any contract to be valid, certain elements are essential. They are; offer, acceptance, and consideration exchanged for the good/service offered. Thus, a contract is between an offeror (the party offering a good/ service) and an offeree (the party accepting the good/service).
In accepting the offer, the offeror and offeree usually have different conditions that are considered back and forth before a consensus is reached. These are usually the
terms of the contract. Everyday, somehow, we all have business transactions which entail agreements of various types with various people at various places.
In a fast paced cosmopolitan society like ours, we are faced with so many business opportunities, endorsement deals, sports agreements the list of offers are endless. Unfortunately, Most people enter into these contractual relationships without putting pen to paper.
These agreements, mostly referred to as oral contracts,are the most difficult to enforce because the terms therein are not clearly stated. Where a contract is Oral, it is considered an open contract, in the sense that the terms and conditions can at best be implied. However, due to the documentary nature of a written contract, it is easier to enforce the terms against any party in event of breach.
The courts when approached in such circumstances, usually would grant any of the following orders: specific performance of the contractual obligations, payment of liquidated and or penal Damages by the party in breach, or an order of rescission. Hence, a written contract becomes an insurance and security to either party, because in the event of a breach, the other party can easily approach the court to ensure the terms of the contract are strictly adhered to.
To enjoy this security,the following are advisable:
1. Have your agreements written. No matter how short, and ensure both parties as signitaries to the document.
2. Clearly state the rights and obligations of both parties.
3. State the Conditions for discharge of either or both parties to the contract.
4. Clearly state the Consequence of breach of contractual terms
5. Consult your lawyer.
Always have something written down. Its the safest guaranty you have in that transaction.
By: Temitope Atiba Esq.