An oral contract, also known as a verbal contract, is a legally binding agreement made between two or more parties without any written documentation.
Although oral contracts are not as secure as written contracts, they hold legal validity in many circumstances, according to Quizlet. For an oral agreement to be legally binding, all parties must agree to the terms, there must be an offer and acceptance of the terms, and there must be consideration or something of value exchanged between the parties.
One of the benefits of oral contracts is that they can save time and money, as there is no need for lengthy negotiations or drafting formal legal documents. However, the challenge with oral contracts is that they are difficult to enforce in a court of law as there is no physical evidence that the agreement exists.
In certain situations, the law requires that certain agreements be made in writing. Examples of contracts that require written documentation include contracts for sale of goods over $500, contracts that cannot be completed in less than a year, and real estate contracts.
It is always advisable to have a written contract. However, in some instances, an oral agreement can still be legally binding. For instance, if parties have a long-standing business relationship, or if one party has acted on the terms of the agreement, then an oral contract can be enforceable.
It is essential to keep in mind that verbal contracts are often subject to interpretation, which could lead to disputes in the future. Therefore it’s a good idea to have a written contract, which defines all terms and conditions, to ensure that all parties know and agree to what is expected of them.
In conclusion, while an oral contract can be legally binding, it is essential to be cautious when entering into such agreements. Always ensure that all parties agree to the same terms, and if possible, get the agreement in writing to avoid misunderstandings that could lead to legal disputes.