To Be Enforceable Agreements Must Be in Writing If They Are for at Least
In today’s fast-paced business world, agreements are made daily. But not all agreements are created equal. In fact, some agreements require more formalities than others to be enforceable under the law.
One such formality is the writing requirement. According to the Statute of Frauds, certain agreements must be in writing if they are for a minimum value. The value varies depending on the jurisdiction, but the most common threshold is $500 or more.
What does this mean in practical terms? Let’s say that you agree to sell a piece of equipment to a buyer for $800. If the buyer backs out of the agreement, you may need to take legal action to enforce the contract. But if the agreement was made verbally, it may be difficult to prove the terms of the contract in court.
On the other hand, if the agreement was made in writing, you have a better chance of enforcing the contract. The writing can be a formal contract, an email, a text message, or even a napkin with the terms of the agreement written down.
But keep in mind that the writing requirement is just one part of the law governing enforceable contracts. The contract must also contain certain essential elements, such as:
– An offer and acceptance of the terms of the agreement
– Consideration (something of value exchanged between the parties)
– Legality of the subject matter
– Competent parties (parties who are legally able to enter into contracts)
If any of these elements are missing, the contract may not be enforceable even if it is in writing.
In addition, there are some contracts that are exempt from the writing requirement. For example, contracts for the sale of goods under $500 may be enforceable even without a writing. Also, some states allow certain oral contracts to be enforceable in specific situations.
Overall, it is important to understand the writing requirement when entering into agreements. To ensure that your agreements are enforceable, it is always better to have a written contract that clearly outlines the terms of the agreement. This can help you avoid costly legal disputes down the road.