When you think of a contract, you likely think of a long, multi-page document that contains a significant amount of arcane legal wording. While it’s certainly true that many contracts are written, the reality is that a verbal agreement is just as enforceable under certain circumstances.
Verbal Contracts and the Statute of Frauds
So when are verbal contracts enforceable? The answer is they are generally enforceable unless they are specifically required to be in writing under a legal doctrine known as the statute of frauds. The statute of frauds requires that the following types of contracts are required to be in writing in order to be valid:
- Marriage agreements
- Contracts involving the sale of real property
- Contracts guaranteeing the debts of another person
- Agreements that cannot be completed within a year
- Contracts for the sale of goods over $500
- Contracts formed by executors or other estate representatives promising to pay damages from their own estates
- Agreements to lend money
Agreements Should Be in Writing Even if They Don’t Have to Be
While you can certainly use verbal contracts to enter into agreements, the fact is that you should use written agreements whenever possible. Using written contracts will ensure that each party fully understands the terms of the agreement and reduces the risk of disputes after the agreement has been executed. Additionally, should a dispute arise, having the terms of the agreement written down will protect your rights should your case go to court.
Call Us Today to Speak with an Experienced Atlanta Contracts Attorney
If you are considering entering into a business agreement, it’s a good idea to speak to an attorney as soon as you can. A lawyer can draft an agreement that protects your interests and accurately describes the terms of your deal. To schedule a consultation with an Atlanta contracts attorney, our office today at 470.398.0720 or contact us online.