What You Need To Know About Contracts – Part 3: Are Unsigned Contracts Enforceable?

In modern businessLegal Advice Contract enforceable speed is usually paramount with many transactions taking place incredibly quickly. This usually makes completing the formalities of a contract difficult or not possible and getting a contract signed is usually the thing which most businesses don’t complete.

Do I Need To Get A Contract Signed?

Getting the contract signed should always be your aim because there can be no dispute the contract and the terms have been agreed by both sides. However if you are unable to get the contract signed an agreement may still be binding but it leaves room for the other party to try and dispute this fact.

When Is An Unsigned Contract Binding?

If a contract is unsigned the courts will look at the conduct of the parties and if their conduct demonstrates that they have accepted the contract and are working to its terms they could be deemed to have accepted the contract by conduct. With this in mind, draft contracts can also be found to be binding if they are never agreed and the parties’ conduct appears to amount to an acceptance by both parties.

What Can I Do If I Can’t Get The Contract Signed?

Quite often businesses attach a copy of their terms and conditions to emails sent to clients, stating the transaction is subject to these terms. This is an effective way to argue those terms apply to the relevant transaction taking place.

What About Email Acceptance?

There is no reason why a party cannot confirm over email that they agree to the terms. Email acceptance may leave room to argue it wasn’t them who sent the email but future conduct of the parties in line with the contract could be enough to dispute this assertion.

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