When writing a contract between two people, one must propose an exchange of something of value from each party. According to the Cornell School of Law, the proposals must be within each party's capacity and not in breach of any laws for the contract to become legally binding.
A standard contract between two parties plainly states the good or service that each party is promising to the other and a description of what will happen if the promise is not upheld. A contract is an agreement, meaning that all parties must consent to its terms for it to take effect. The author of the contract must write terms that are clear so that each party knows exactly what they are promising to the other. If the terms are not clear, then the contract often has to be revised or amended. The U.S. Small Business Association states that contracts are rarely accepted immediately without negotiations and discussions. Individuals should consult a lawyer before signing any contract.
When a contract is finished and agreed upon, both parties sign it, sometimes with a notary public present to notarize the contract. According to the National Notary Association, a notary public acts as an impartial witness and verifies the authenticity and validity of the contract.