To be a legal contract, an agreement must have the following five characteristics: whether a legally binding agreement has been reached depends on the existence of all the elements of a contractual relationship. If this is the case, the document could be an “intermediate contract” until a full formal agreement is concluded or a simple contract in its current form. If all the elements are not in place, the pre-contracting documents may simply be an agreement that can be reached and such an agreement will not be legally binding. Each contract contains relevant information that can be legally enforceable when signing the contract. A contract lacking a signature is not proof that all parties have agreed to the details, although a dispute may be raised in the event of an exchange, that all parties have agreed to the terms of the contract. An oral contract, z.B. when one party orders the other to provide the service offered, is a tacit acceptance, but can then give rise to differences of opinion as to what the parties actually intended to do. As a result, business contracts are entered into in writing and signed by all parties. Minors, people with an unhealthy mind, people under the influence of drugs or alcohol and people with proven discernment are not legally fit to judge. Contracting parties are not obliged to agree on all the terms of a proposed contract before it can be binding.
All essential conditions must be agreed upon and the agreement cannot otherwise be uncertain, vague or ambiguous. An unsigned written contract may be binding, although a court will consider all the circumstances before concluding that the parties wanted to be linked. The terms of the contract are usually the result of negotiations between two or more individuals or organizations. The contract defines the goods, services or considerations to be exchanged, the date of the exchange and any modifiers for the exchange. Subsequent changes or the length of the contract are additions and generally require the signature of all parties. A contract between individuals is signed by each individual or an agent mandated for the individual. A company has one or more licensed persons whose signature can be taken care of by the company. The list of these individuals and any restrictions imposed by their signatory authority are contained in a decision document approved by the board of directors, directors or owners of the company. It is always best to agree on all important conditions, if possible, in order to reduce the likelihood of an argument. Pre-contract documents often contain a non-binding overview of the conditions on which the parties have agreed in principle, so that the parties can see how close they are to an agreement and provide a framework for future negotiations. However, pre-contracting documents can be used to define certain binding conditions, with confidentiality being a perfect example.
Electronic signatures are a digital representation of a physical signature with exactly the same recognition role as the signatory accepts the terms of the contract and always makes it an enforceable contract. Electronic signatures are a useful invention in many ways, not least because they are faster and more effective than traditional signatures. For more information on the correct signature of contract documents, if they need to be signed, see our previous article. If you are able to record as many agreements as possible, it will help you if, at a later stage, there are arguments about the existence of a contract.