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The general elements of all contracts


Lawdit Solicitors - Expert Author

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7 June 2009

A contract - like a chef's recipe has many ingredients. These ingredients will now be explained.

The Invitation to take offers.

This technically is not an element of a contract but this happens prior to the crystallisation of the contract itself. This element is referred to as the "invitation to treat", this allows a seller to state in essence that he or she is open for negotiations of an offer. A practical example of this is the price that you may have displayed: 50p for a bag of crisps. This tells the potential customer that the potential seller is open to receive offers of 50p for the crisps.

The Offer and Intention to be bound.

This can be defined as: an expression by the offeror whether written, oral and or by conduct, that the offeror intends to be bound by certain terms and should the offeree accept that offer; both the offeror and offeree intend to be bound by all the terms. Moving on from the example above the potential customer walks up to the counter and hands over the crisps. The customer may say "just these please" and the shop keeper at this stage has now received the offer. He is now open to reject or accept that offer. From the point of view of the customer he or she is open to withdraw the offer at any time provided that, that offer is not accepted by the potential seller.


Trietel defines this as: " a final unequivocal expression of assent to all the terms of the offer." In application to the example above- the shop keeper will scan the crisps into his till and say "that's 50p please" and the customer hands over the 50p. This conduct shows that the offer has been accepted and the obligation under the contract has been performed on the part of the customer, after this the shop keeper must hand over the crisps. When the crisps have been handed over the contract has been concluded.

By Paul Bicknell ( Paul is a legal assistant to Izaz Ali ( Izaz is a commercial lawyer who specialises in information technology law and intellectual property law with an emphasis on IT, escrow, online and off-line contracts, and the buying and selling of online businesses.

About the Author

Lawdit Solicitors offer services and advice for litigation, commercial contracts, Intellectual Property and IT legal agreements. We are experts in commercial law with a heavy emphasis on Intellectual Property, Internet and e-commerce law. Lawdit is a member of the International Trademark Association, the Solicitors' Association of Higher Court Advocates and we are the appointed Solicitors to the largest webdesign association in the world, the United Kingdom Website Designers Association.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-07-05 18:07:34 in Legal Articles

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