The essential elements of a valid contract include the following: offer, acceptance, consideration, intention to create legal relations, certainty and capacity. All of these must be in place for it to be considered legally valid.
The offer part of a contract is the promise or agreement between two or more parties according to the University of New Mexico's Judicial Education Center. Acceptance is when one party knowingly accepts the offer put forth by the other party in the contract. Consideration refers to giving something in return for the object or service that is being offered. The intent to enter into legal relations must be present, as well. Certainty is another element that must be present as both parties must clearly understand the terms of the contract to enter into it legally. Capacity means that the individual must be in his right mind when entering into the contract.