Oral Contracts Are

Oral Contracts: Understanding the Basics

Oral contracts, also known as verbal agreements, are a common occurrence in business and personal relationships. They are agreements made between two or more parties, without the need for a written contract. While oral contracts are legally binding in most cases, they can be difficult to enforce in court because of the lack of written evidence.

What Makes an Oral Contract Valid?

For an oral contract to be legally binding, it must meet certain criteria. First, an offer must be made by one party and accepted by the other. The terms of the agreement must be clearly defined, including the price, scope of work, and timeline. The agreement must also be entered into voluntarily by both parties, without coercion or duress.

Enforcing an Oral Contract

If a dispute arises over the terms of an oral contract, it can be difficult to enforce. Without written evidence of the agreement, it can be challenging to prove what was agreed upon. However, there are ways to demonstrate the existence of an oral contract. For example, if there were witnesses to the agreement, they can provide testimony to support your claim.

It is also important to document any correspondence or actions that support the existence of the oral contract. This can include emails, text messages, or other communications that refer to the terms of the agreement. Additionally, if one party has already performed their obligations under the agreement, that can also serve as evidence of the contract.

Pros and Cons of Oral Contracts

Oral contracts can be a convenient way to establish agreements quickly and informally. They also allow for greater flexibility and can be beneficial in situations where parties may not have access to a written contract. However, they can also be difficult to enforce and can lead to misunderstandings or disagreements if the terms are not clearly defined.

Additionally, certain types of agreements, such as those related to real estate or contracts that are required to be in writing by law, cannot be made orally. It is always a good idea to consult with an attorney to ensure that any agreement entered into is legally enforceable.


While oral contracts are a common way to establish agreements, they can be challenging to enforce in court. It is important to clearly define the terms of the agreement and document any evidence that supports its existence. If you are unsure whether an oral contract is legally enforceable in your situation, it is always a good idea to consult with a legal professional.

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