Define Contract

Clients Rate Lawyers on our Platform 4.9/5 Stars
based on 4,000 reviews

Jump to Section

Need help with a Business Contract?

Post Project Now

Post Your Project (It's Free)

Get Bids to Compare

 Hire Your Lawyer

To define a contract, is to explain what a contract is. Contracts are the foundational elements not just of every business, but if human cooperation and society. A contract is an agreement (oral or written) that enable parties (individuals or businesses), businesses, and society to come together and collaborate towards their specific desires and needs. They are official agreements that are enforceable by law. In other words, a contract is a legal obligation.

Businesses rely on contracts to establish the foundation of their professional relationships while also supplying the agreed-upon procedures that govern those relationships. With a contract, the parties involved establish how they will work together and how each party’s duties and responsibilities will be enforced.

Contract Definition

A contract is an agreement, either written or spoken, between two or more parties that creates a legal obligation.

The terms of a contract are enforceable by law, with clearly defined penalties and remedies should the contract be breached. A breach of contract is a failure, without legal excuse, to perform any parts of the contract.

A contract is created when there is an offer, consideration, and acceptance between two or more parties.

Here is an article that further defines a contract.

Required Elements for a Contract

A contract must contain six essential elements in order to be enforceable:

  • Offer . A promise by one party to another that they will or will not perform a specific action in the future. Example: I will pay you $3,500 for the purchase of your vehicle.
  • Acceptance . Usually mirrors the terms of the offer—an expression, through words or deeds, that both parties agree to the terms of the contract.
  • Awareness . Proof both parties clearly understand and agree to “the basic substance of the contract.”
  • Consideration . Entails something of value promised in exchange for the actions (or nonactions) defined in the offer, the most common of which is payment for goods delivered distinguishes a contract from a gift because it removes the voluntary nature of the act/non-act by requiring something of value in exchange for the promise.
  • Capacity . Each signatory to the contract has demonstrated the “legal capacity” to understand what they are signing.
  • Legality . All contracts are subject to the laws of the jurisdiction under which they operate.

Different Types of Contracts

Contracts are everywhere. You are probably using one or more contracts in your everyday life and do not even realize it. Following are some types of contracts used in our everyday lives.

Contracts are at the heart of every service that you perform or receive. Contracts govern so many facets of life, from individual actions to the actions of a multinational company. Yet though their impact is profound, contracts often operate “under the radar” quietly managing all manner of business and personal relationships. As an individual, there are contracts associated with a variety of day-to-day activities and responsibilities.

In business, the three most common types of contracts are:

Meet some lawyers on our platform

Bryan B.

97 projects on CC
View Profile

Matthew S.

2 projects on CC
View Profile

Todd H.

2 projects on CC
View Profile

Wendy C.

2 projects on CC
View Profile

Examples of Contracts

Listed below are examples of contracts.

  • Bill of Sale . A bill of sale clearly outlines the basics of a sales agreement, such as the involved parties, the agreed upon price, and the terms of the deal. This type of contract will also prove the legal owner’s identity.
  • Promissory Note . A promissory note is the legal version of an IOU and allows someone to borrow money from another person or business entity . The promissory note exists to keep a record of the loan and all its requirements, including penalties, interest, and terms of repayment.
  • Employment Agreement . An employment agreement sets the terms of employment, with details such as termination causes, bonus structure, and compensation.
  • Licensing Agreement . A licensing agreement allows an inventor to make money on their creation or idea by allowing another person or business to use the idea. The licensing agreement will include details about any restrictions on reproducing the product, which is especially useful if you hold legal protection on your intellectual property, but you need help from someone else to produce the item and make money. The agreement may include details about exclusivity and payment terms as well.

When Do I Need a Contract Lawyer?

Hiring a contract lawyer is not always necessary, however, before signing a business contract, always have a lawyer look it over and confirm that you are getting what you expected. The lawyer should go over all the contract clauses before you sign it. You want to be sure that the contract protects your interests specifically.

Whenever possible, hire a business contracts lawyer to help you negotiate the key terms of the contract. Some lawyers are excellent negotiators, and a good one can help you get a better deal. A finalized contract is less likely to allow additional creative solutions or proposals; most of the time, the lawyer will just go over the terms and clauses that are already present. However, if the lawyer actively participates in drafting and negotiating the contract, you are more likely to get a contract that meets your needs and advances your goals.

We have talked about when to hire a contract lawyer, now let us talk about why to hire a contract lawyer. Following is a list of reasons why you should hire a contract lawyer.

  • To help you better understand the contract
  • Identify potential liability issues and resolve them
  • Ensure that the contract is valid and legally enforceable
  • Ensure new regulations and applicable state laws are considered
  • Offer new perspectives and make new suggestions
  • Respond to a breach of contract
  • Advocate on your behalf
  • Terminate a contract

The terms and clauses in a contract can have direct financial consequence for your business. A well-written contract that is strategically aligned with your business interests is an incredibly valuable guarantor that the obligation to you will be met.

Every business deserves that peace of mind and contractual protection. To ensure your contracts will stand up to scrutiny, it might make sense to delegate the writing, reviewing, negotiation, or execution of your contracts to a contract lawyer. Delegating this critical task to a knowledgeable contract lawyer is one of the best ways to manage risk.

The consequences of a poorly written contract, or worse, not having a contract to begin with, can be severe. Hiring a contract lawyer is certainly a worthwhile expense for your company. Better to err on the side of caution, rather than not.

What is the average cost of hiring a lawyer to draft a contract ? Contract drafting costs range between $200 and $800 for a simple contract and $1,000 and $5,000 for a complex contract. Contract lawyers can offer hourly or flat fee contract drafting services. The cost of drafting a contract depends upon the scope and depth of your objectives and the complexity of terms and business relationship.

Getting Help with Contracts

Post a project in ContractsCounsel’s marketplace to get flat fee bids from lawyers to draft and review contract. All lawyers in our network are vetted by our team and peer reviewed by our customers for you to explore before hiring.

How ContractsCounsel Works
Hiring a lawyer on ContractsCounsel is easy, transparent and affordable.
1. Post a Free Project
Complete our 4-step process to provide info on what you need done.
2. Get Bids to Review
Receive flat-fee bids from lawyers in our marketplace to compare.
3. Start Your Project
Securely pay to start working with the lawyer you select.

Meet some of our Lawyers

Daniel R. on ContractsCounsel
View Daniel
5.0 (8)
Member Since:
January 1, 2023

Daniel R.

Business and Real Estate Atttorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
New York
27 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NY
New York Law School

NY Admitted Lawyer 20+ years of experience. Focused on Startups , Entrepreneurs, Entertainers, Producers, Athletes and SMB Companies. I have been a part of numerous startups as Founder, CEO, General Counsel and Deal Executive. I have been through the full life cycle from boot strap to seed investors to large funds-public companies to successful exit. Let me use my experiences help you as you grow your business through these various stages. We saw a market for an on-line platform dedicated to Virtual General Counsel Services to Start Ups and Private Companies.

Wendy C. on ContractsCounsel
View Wendy
5.0 (2)
Member Since:
January 17, 2023

Wendy C.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Arizona
5 Yrs Experience
Licensed in AZ, TX
Arizona Summit Law School

Business transactions attorney who is well-verse in general corporate matters, fundraising, and negotiation in technology, blockchain, and consumer product industry

Adjckwc B. on ContractsCounsel
View Adjckwc
Member Since:
December 27, 2022

Adjckwc B.

Founder
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
New York
6 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NY
Florida A&M College of Law

A. Browne Esq. is an entertainment, intellectual property, and business lawyer. Her goal is always to provide the best legal representation for your creative endeavors, both tangible and intangible. Always know that the best way to deal with legal issues is to take measures to avoid them. Learn how to protect your creative work at a law firm that’s passionate about ensuring that creatives own their stuff.

James M. on ContractsCounsel
View James
Member Since:
January 4, 2023

James M.

Owner/Founder
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Boise, Idaho
5 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA, ID, OR
Stanford Law School

Reproductive law attorney focused on reviewing surrogacy contracts and sperm/egg/embryo donation contracts.

Christopher N. on ContractsCounsel
View Christopher
Member Since:
January 10, 2023

Christopher N.

Managing Partner
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Philadelphia
25 Yrs Experience
Licensed in PA
Widener University Commonwealth School of Law

Christopher Nuneviller has practiced in the securities, venture capital, corporate and emerging business sectors, and as a contract-advisor to the federal government, a federal government senior level executive, and as Army Judge Advocate. Like you, he also he is a partner in other business ventures and faces the same pressure to succeed, be profitable, and stay sane, all while making his clients, employees, family and business partners happy. As the managing partner for Philadelphia's MNB Meridian Law, Ltd., his focus is on assisting small and mid-sized businesses grow and thrive. As a business generalist, Christopher provides advice and counsel to businesses, their owners, investors and shareholders on matters ranging from formation, organization, governance, routine and special operations, and growth toward IPO. Christopher is also a former U.S. Army Judge Advocate having served seven years in Washington, D.C. where he gained significant experience with "above the fold" matters of great import and an unhealthy insight into the internal workings of the "beltway" underbelly. Mr. Nuneviller is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and before the Supreme Court of the United States, the Court of Federal Claims, and the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

Patrick N. on ContractsCounsel
View Patrick
Member Since:
January 18, 2023

Patrick N.

Attorney at Law
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Massachusetts
6 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MA
Suffolk University Law School

Before attending law school, I had a prior career in business performance reporting. This experience differentiates me from other attorneys. I can readily read, interpret, and synthesize financial reporting. I also have a passion for legal research and writing.

Dayton M. on ContractsCounsel
View Dayton
Member Since:
January 17, 2023

Dayton M.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Morgantown
1 Yr Experience
Licensed in WV
West Virginia University College of Law

Business Law - Criminal Defense - Immigration

Jonathan M. on ContractsCounsel
View Jonathan
Member Since:
January 18, 2023

Jonathan M.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Charlotte, NC
13 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NC, SC, VA
Charlotte School of Law

Owner and operator of Meek Law Firm, PC. Meek Law Firm provides comprehensive business law representation, precise and informed representation for real estate transactions in the commercial and residential markets of North and South Carolina and efficient succession and estate planning for business owners and individuals.

David A. on ContractsCounsel
View David
Member Since:
January 23, 2023

David A.

Family Lawyer
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Florida
41 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL
University of Florida

Graduated UF Law 1977. 40 years experience in Family Law/Divorce and Prenuptial Agreements. Rated "AV Preeminent" By Martindale Hubble, the oldest lawyer rating firm in the USA. Top 5% of attorneys in Florida as reviewed by Judges and other Lawyers (not client reviews). Personal prompt service and easy to contact--available 24/7. Good negotiator and very personable. My clients are my priority.

Thomas G. on ContractsCounsel
View Thomas
Member Since:
January 27, 2023

Thomas G.

Real Estate Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
7811 Montrose Road, Suite 500, Rockville, MD 20854
21 Yrs Experience
Licensed in DC, MD
University of Maryland School of LAw

https://www.tgravelylaw.com/

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call