What Does a Contract Look Like?

The most basic elements necessary to make a contract legally binding include a clear offer from one party and clear acceptance by the other, either in the form of a signature or clear agreement to the terms. A legal contract may be a written offer or series of correspondences.

A contract is a legal document that represents the agreement of two or more parties on a particular matter, such as renting a property or performing a service. In some cases, the law requires the contract to be in writing and contain the signatures of all parties in order for it to be legally binding. In such cases, the contract needs to outline the exact points of the agreement and clearly state the names of the parties entering into the agreement. It must also outline the exact obligations of each party, such as payments, expectations or deadlines.

It is also possible for contracts to take the form of email correspondences that include a clear offer and acceptance. In such a contract, one party must outline the product, goods or services available and any accompanying stipulations to constitute the offer. The other party, or parties, must definitively accept the offer to constitute agreement. If the party responds with a request to modify the terms, or fails to respond altogether, it does not constitute acceptance.