What is an Offer to Enter into a Contract?

Thu, Dec 3, 2015

Bankruptcy

4350431493_768365989c_o (1)An offer to enter into a contract is when a legal obligation is created between parties. The one who is offering to enter into a contract is the offerer. The one who is being asked to join them in the contract is the offeree.

To be considered an offer to enter into a contract there must be serious intent to enter into a binding contract. This means that an offhand offer or a less than serious offer cannot be construed as a contract. This is a reason that most serious contracts are offered in writing, so there can be no disputing that the offer is intended to be an offer to enter into a binding contract.

An example of this type of situation is “I bet you $10 that you can’t chug that beer.” This contract is hard-pressed to be enforced. Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful of who you chug your beer with. Some people aren’t as mindful as the law when it comes to what makes a binding contract!

Another example is when someone says that an advertisement or sign at a store offering a price is a contract…that the price must be honored. That is a situation that is hard to consider a binding contract. The store would have to have a policy that allows for this situation, and it is usually addressed in their advertisements etc. You often see where a store has put up a sign that they made a mistake in an advertisement. However, storeowners or managers could still honor the mistake if they choose. This is a good example of when a contract wasn’t entered into but conditions were still kept.

Florida requires certain kinds of contracts to be in writing, but not all. Overall, it is a good rule of thumb to insist on a written contract in order to protect both parties.

Florida does not have a mandatory waiting period for contracts to be valid. This is a rumor that has been perpetuated, but it is just that…a rumor. Only certain types of contracts must have a cooling off period—so don’t rely on that as a way to get out of a contract you no longer want.

It is wise not to make hasty decisions when it comes to contracts. Make sure you understand what you are signing and all the repercussions.

To learn more about contracts, read our recent blog post entitled, “What is Consideration in a Contract?”

Attorney Christopher D. Smith, Sr. is designated a Board Certified Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyer by the American Board of Certification.  SmithLaw is located in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.  Attorney Smith concentrates on bankruptcy, civil litigation, probate, estate planning, and elder exploitation cases in the Sarasota and Bradenton area.  Call 941-202-2222 to learn more.  SmithLaw offers free consultations in certain areas, including consumer bankruptcy, probate, and personal injury matters.

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