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What are the elements of an enforceable business contract?

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2022 | Business Law And Litigation |

Contracts are the building blocks of many businesses in Long Beach. Contracts are entered into so often that sometimes the process is rushed or confused, leading to a contract that cannot be enforced. It is important to know what elements you must meet to execute an enforceable contract.


The first element of an enforceable contract is an offer. In the offer, one party must promise to either do or not do something specific in the future.


The second element of an enforceable contract is consideration. Consideration is something of value that will be exchanged in return for the offered action or nonaction. For example, money, a promise to perform a service or a promise not to do something are all forms of consideration.


The third element of an enforceable contract is acceptance. To make the contract formal, the offer must be accepted unambiguously. Words, deeds or performance as outlined in the contract are all forms of acceptance.

Acceptance must mirror the offer, otherwise it would be considered a rejection and counteroffer, except in the sale of goods. In the sale of goods between merchants, acceptance does not need to match the terms of the offer unless the acceptance significantly changes the offer or the party making the offer objects to the acceptance within a reasonable amount of time.


The fourth element of an enforceable contract is mutuality. This means there is a “meeting of the minds” of both the party making the offer and the party accepting the offer. Both parties must understand and agree to the basic language of the contract.

Help is available when executing a contract

These are the basic elements of enforceable contracts. If they seem confusing, do not worry. You can seek the assistance of a legal professional when executing contracts. This way, you can learn more about what makes a contract enforceable.

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