What Makes a Written Contract Valid

A written contract is a legally binding agreement that defines the terms and conditions of a business or personal arrangement between two or more parties. To ensure that a written contract is legally valid and enforceable, it must meet specific legal requirements. In this article, we`ll discuss what makes a written contract valid and how to avoid potential issues.

Offer and Acceptance

The first element of a valid written contract is the offer and acceptance of the terms. This means that both parties need to agree to the contract`s terms and sign it to show their acceptance. The offer and acceptance must be clear, unambiguous, and made without any pressure or coercion. If either party changes the contract`s terms without the other`s consent, then the contract may not be legally binding.


Another essential element of a valid written contract is consideration. Consideration refers to the exchange of something of value between the parties involved. This could be a service, product, or money. Both parties need to benefit from the contract, and the exchange must be fair and reasonable. If there is no consideration, then the contract may not be legally enforceable.

Legal Purpose

A valid written contract must also have a legal purpose. The agreement must not involve illegal activities or violate any laws or regulations. For example, a contract to sell illegal drugs would not be valid. Any contract that contravenes public policy would also be invalid.

Competent Parties

All parties to the contract must be competent and have the legal capacity to enter into the agreement. This means that they must be of legal age, mentally capable, and not under duress or undue influence. If a party is found to lack legal capacity, then the contract may not be legally binding.

In Writing

A written contract must be in writing to be legally valid. While oral agreements can be legally binding, written agreements are preferred because they are more easily enforceable. The written contract should be specific, clear, and concise. It should also include all essential terms and conditions of the agreement.


In conclusion, a valid written contract must have an offer and acceptance of the terms, consideration, a legal purpose, competent parties, and be in writing. If any of these elements are missing or invalid, then the contract may not be legally binding. To ensure that your written contracts are valid, it`s always best to consult with a legal professional.

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