What Makes a Contract Legally Binding?

What Makes A Contract Legally Binding

I’m back with another quick answer to one of your legal questions for your online business!

But you know what I always say…

I can only A if you supply the Qs. So it’s time for you to comment below and let me know:

What’s 1 legal question you want me to answer for you about your online business?

This is a 2-way street around these parts. 🤠

(OK here’s the deal – if you don’t have a question right now, comment and let me know if you find these posts helpful!)

Let’s jump into our legal Q&A sesh! 👇

What Makes a Contract Legally Binding?

The Question // Marit asks,

Do contracts need to be looked over/written by an attorney to be legally binding?

The Answer //

Such a good question, Marit! So on the one hand…

No, contracts don’t need to be looked over or written by an attorney to be a legally binding agreement.

Meaning contracts can be written by anyone. There’s nothing particularly unique about an attorney drafting or reviewing one that makes it enforceable.

How to make your contracts legally binding

On the other hand, contracts that aren’t written by an attorney (at any point) don’t tend to be super….good. And that’s what ends up making them not a legally binding contract (aka, unenforceable).

They tend to be missing key provisions you need, not be organized or clear (a requirement for good enforcement), knowledge of your state law, and they also don’t tend to be sent/signed correctly (an absolute must to be legally binding).

If you’re still wondering if writing your own contracts is a good idea, then I have a podcast episode for you! It’s all about how to make sure your contracts are legally binding — including how to send and sign a contract correctly, what they need to say/not say, etc.

Luckily, I studied contract law and that is why I offer legal contract templates that you can download, fill out and use as your own! You can shop all of my legal templates here.

Is an offer letter legally binding

Is An Offer Letter Legally Binding?

Offer letters are not typically legally binding. Instead, offer letters are an invitation to enter into a contractual phase, where the terms of your agreement will be memorialized and signed in contract form. An offer letter signifies what someone intends to pay you and some of the basic terms, but it is not contractually binding in any way.

Verbal agreements are difficult to enforce

Is A Verbal Agreement Legally Binding?

In general, verbal agreements can be legally binding, depending on the circumstances and whether all of the elements of a proper contract are present. Verbal agreements are also referred to as “handshake deals” “oral contracts” or an “oral agreement.” The big issues are enforceability and what type of agreement is being negotiated over. For enforceability, verbal agreements are difficult to enforce because there’s little to no proof that the terms of the contract ever occurred. Of course, if you have a video or audio recording of your verbal agreement, or an eyewitness account, it would help. But some types of deals or transactions legally require a written type of contract and would never allow for a valid contract that is a verbal agreement to take place. For example, real estate, securities, goods valued over $500 (in most jurisdictions), the payment of someone else’s debt, marital arrangements and associated agreements like pre-nups, or contracts that can’t be performed (aka completed) within a year of the date of the agreement.

Hope this was helpful!

PS: Should You Copyright That? One of the only ways to protect your content is to copyright it. But how do you decide what to actually copyright? I’ll tell you in <10 mins in this new episode of On Your Terms!

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