Contract law deals with agreements between parties involving the exchange or transfer of goods, money, and property. A contract, which is a concept dating back to ancient times, is an agreement between two or more people or entities which dictates they have a lawful objective to do something or purchase some product in exchange for a corresponding valuable benefit or compensation. Contract law is inextricably linked with the vast majority of business dealings and property transfers, and as such occupies one of the most significant areas of legal concern.
Within the field of contract law, the elements involved in the creation of a contract are offer and acceptance, intention to create legal relations, and consideration. Offer and acceptance involves the extension of an offer to contract (on certain terms) one party, known as the ‘offeror’, to another person or party known as the ‘offeree’, and an indication of acceptance of those terms on part of the offeree. This element is often referred to as a meeting of the minds. Intention to be legally bound is a technical term which denotes whether a court or judicial entity should presume the parties involved in the agreement wish it to be enforceable at law.
For most commercial agreements, it is generally presumed that parties intend to be legally bound unless they expressly state the contrary. Consideration refers to the concept of legal value within a contract establishment – it is any good or service of value offered when drawing up a contract, up to and including money, physical property, a service or skill, promised actions, and more. Most contracts within contract law adhere to a principle of mutuality of obligation, in which one party cannot be required or expected to give substantially more than the other.
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