Contracts are one of the most common legal transactions you’ll encounter while running a business. Regardless of what type of business you run, it’s important to have an understanding of what types of contracts there are, and which ones are appropriate for your organization.

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Implied Contract

With an implied contract, a written or verbal agreement is not necessary. Rather, the actions of both parties indicate a mutual intent to enter into a contract. For an implied contract to be created, there must be an unequivocal offer, an unequivocal acceptance, mutual intention to be bound, and also consideration. For example, if you fill your car up with gas, an implied contract is created for the sale and the purchase of gas. You enter the gas station and fill up your tank with the intention of purchasing the gas. The gas station owner intends to sell you the gas. This creates an implied contract between you and the owner of the gas station.

Express Contract

Express contracts are the types of contracts that most people are familiar with. Promises are communicated either orally or in written format. For example, you may promise to create 100 widgets for the Green Company in return for the Green Company’s promise to pay you $200.

Many businesses operate under express contracts, especially when dealing with large, high-volume orders. You can use our free general service contract to create this type of agreement, or visit our service contracts page to find the right agreement for your needs.

Bilateral Contract

A bilateral agreement is one of the most common contract types in the business world. To put it simply, this is a mutual agreement where each of the involved parties agrees to perform an act. Whether you realize it or not, you enter into bilateral contracts all the time. Each time you make a purchase in a store or eat in a restaurant, you are creating a bilateral contract with the seller.

Our general product contract is an example of a bilateral contract, and can be used if you are purchasing or selling goods with another party.

Unilateral Contract

A unilateral contract is when a person accepts an offer by performing a specified act. For example, many people will put up neighborhood fliers for lost pets and state that whoever finds their pet shall receive “x” amount of reward money. In this type of contract, acceptance, performance and completion are simultaneous. Only upon the return of the missing pet is the contract completed. The individual who made the offer is required, by law, to pay the reward (only if, of course, the person saw the reward sign first, and was not simply acting altruistically).

Depending on the type of agreement you require, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer to help you draft your contracts.

Get started Start Your Contract for Services Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.

Get started Start Your Contract for Services Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.