One of the most important things you can do before entering into a contract is to make sure that it is legally enforceable. There is not much point in signing an agreement if it would not mean much in a courtroom. Checking for enforceability will grant you protection in the event that a breach occurs.
There are four main components that will ensure that your contract would hold up in court, and those are the following:
- The parties involved may not include people such as certain convicted felons, people who are not sound in mind or juveniles.
- The parties must enter into the agreement willingly and not under unfair pressure.
- The subject matter in question must be legal.
- There must be benefits or considerations for both parties.
The benefits for both parties is key because it illustrates what should be gained, therefore what would be lost in the event of a breach. For example, if you enter into a contract that states that you will do the landscaping on someone’s yard in exchange for money, your benefit is money, and theirs is the work. If they refuse to pay you, you will be able to point out the clause in the contract that depicts exactly how much they owe you.
As Entrepreneur magazine points out, even oral contracts can be legally enforceable. However, certain transactions require written documents, such as real estate. When in doubt, it is advisable to put those agreements in writing so you have tangible proof of the terms.
While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.