Ridout Barron


What are the elements of a business and commercial law contract?

Consumers in Alberta and across Canada typically enter into several contracts each day without even realizing it. Buying property and obtaining a mortgage is a contract entered into with the bank; starting a new job involves the signing of an employment contract, and purchasing items is also a contract. When either party violates the terms or conditions of a contract, the best person to contact would likely be a lawyer with experience in business and commercial law. Regardless of the type of contract signed, it needs to contain six essential elements to make it legally binding.

The first two elements are the existence of an offer made by one party and acceptance of the offer by a second party. The party accepting the offer can do so in actions or words. When entering into a contract, one party benefits by means of interest, a right or profit, called a consideration, while the other party experiences loss, forbearance or detriment. Consideration is, for instance, what happens when one party agrees to pay for an object or service provided by the other party.

Both parties to a contract must accept that the contract will become binding as soon as the other party accepts it, and both parties must understand and accept the terms and conditions of the contract. In the event of a subsequent dispute, only the individuals whose names are on the contract may pursue legal action. These are the essential elements, each with its own additional rules, and it is not uncommon for some of a contract's elements to overlap.

Both consumers and business owners in Alberta who find themselves in a contact-related dispute might have questions about their legal rights to sue. The sensible thing to do in such a situation is to consult with an experienced business and commercial law lawyer. Legal counsel can explain the options and assess the viability of a legal claim. If the client decides to sue, the lawyer can provide invaluable support and guidance while advocating for the client in the ensuing legal proceedings.

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Ridout Barron

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