Contracts are integral to any business transaction, whether big or small. They serve as legal documents that establish the rights and obligations of the parties involved. But for a contract to be enforceable, it must adhere to certain legal requirements. One of these is the legality of form.
The legality of form in contracts refers to the procedural and formal requirements needed for a contract to be valid. This includes the way the contract is written, signed, and executed. Failure to comply with these requirements can make the entire contract void or unenforceable.
In general, contracts must be in writing and signed by the parties involved. Verbal contracts are usually not enforceable, except in certain circumstances such as when dealing with goods worth less than $500. The written contract should also include all essential terms and conditions, such as the parties’ names and addresses, the subject matter of the contract, the consideration or payment, and the timeframe for performance.
The signatures of the parties on the contract are also important. Each party must sign the contract voluntarily and with the intention to be legally bound by its terms. For contracts involving corporations or partnerships, the signature of the authorized officer or representative must be present.
Aside from the above requirements, some contracts may have additional formalities that must be followed. For example, real estate contracts may require a notary public to witness the signing of the contract. Employment contracts may require a witness or approval from a government agency.
It is important to note that the requirements for the legality of form may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the type of contract involved. Some states may have specific laws on contract formality, and some contracts may require additional requirements depending on the industry or nature of the transaction.
In conclusion, the legality of form is an essential aspect of contract law. Contracts that do not adhere to the necessary formalities may not be enforceable. To ensure that your contract is valid, it is important to consult with a legal professional and ensure that all necessary requirements are met.