About This Chapter
Principles of Contract Law - Chapter Summary
Our instructors have developed engaging lessons that make the process of studying the principles of contract law fun and simple. Review these lessons any time, using any computer or mobile device, to ensure you understand sources of contract law, rules of consideration in contract law, parties to a contract and much more. The lessons are available as short videos that average 8 minutes each and full transcripts you can read online or print. Each lesson comes with a short quiz you can take to check your understanding of the concepts covered. Our practice exam offers a broader review of the principles of contract law. Taking advantage of these resources will enable you to do the following:
- Exhibit knowledge of the mailbox rule and contract law
- Differentiate between unilateral and bilateral contracts
- Compare and contrast expressed and implied contracts
- Define and share examples of the quasi-contract
- Explain differences between executed and executory contracts
- Share examples of informal and formal contracts
- Provide the definition and examples of an option contract
- Demonstrate an understanding of lack of consideration in contract law
- Discuss the basics of joint obligation contracts
1. Parties to a Contract: Promisor, Promisee & Beneficiary
There are at least two parties involved in a contract: the promisor, promisee and, sometimes, a third party beneficiary may be named. Each party has a different obligation to the contract terms. The beneficiary in a contract generally does not have the same level of responsibility for the contract's performance.
2. The Mailbox Rule and Contract Law
The mailbox rule applies to offer and acceptance in contract law. This common law practice, by default, states that when an offer or acceptance reaches the mailbox, it means a legitimate offer has been extended or the offer has been accepted.
3. Sources of Contract Law: Common Law & Uniform Commercial Code
There are two sources of contract law: common law, which is based on case rulings, and statutory law, which is based on federal and state statutes. Contract law uses both common law and a set of statutory rules known as the Uniform Commercial Code.
4. Unilateral and Bilateral Contracts: Examples & Differences
There are two types of contracts: a unilateral contract and a bilateral contract. The essential difference between the two is in the parties. Unilateral contracts involve only promisor while bilateral contracts involve both a promisor and a promisee.
5. Expressed vs. Implied Contracts: Differences & Examples
There are two types of contracts: an expressed contract, which states the promises in clear language, and an implied contract, which is where behaviors or actions lead parties to believe an agreement exists.
6. Quasi-Contract: Definition & Examples
A quasi-contract exists in the absence of a written contract and may be court ordered to avoid one party gaining at the expense of another party's actions.
7. Executed vs. Executory Contracts: Definitions & Differences
The main difference between an executed and executory contract is how quickly the contract's promise must be fulfilled. An executed contract must be satisfied immediately, while an executor contract has terms that will be fulfilled later.
8. Informal vs. Formal Contracts: Examples, Differences & Definitions
The distinct difference between a formal contract and an informal contract is its enforceability in a court. An enforceable contract is one that contains certain elements, like offer, acceptance, and consideration, and is in written form. An informal contract does not contain the same elements and can be oral.
9. What Is an Option Contract? - Example & Definition
The difference between a contract and an option contract is in the options that a buyer has a right to exercise in the contract, which makes the contract a bit more flexible.
10. Rules of Consideration in Contract Law: Elements & Case Examples
Consideration in contract law is simply the exchange of one thing of value for another. It is one of the six elements that must be present for a contract to be enforceable. Consideration must be both legally sufficient and bargained-for by the receiving party.
11. Lack of Consideration in Contract Law
One of the main elements of a contract is consideration. Lack of consideration in contract law can make a contract unenforceable when both parties do not receive a benefit from entering into an agreement.
12. Joint Obligation Contracts: Obligations and Promises of Parties
A joint contract involves two or more parties who are jointly obligated to a contract or whom receive the benefits of the terms and conditions of a contract. There are a few ways a joint contract can be written. Each type shifts liability in a different way.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Transferring credit to the school of your choice
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Other chapters within the UExcel Business Law: Study Guide & Test Prep course
- Fundamentals of Business Law
- Legal Classifications & Principles
- Structure of the American Court System
- U.S. Constitutional Principles & Law
- Administrative Law
- Ethical & Legal Decision Making in Business
- Intentional Tort Law
- Negligent Tort Law
- Product Liability and Consumer Protection
- Contract Law Terms
- Contracts: Scopes and Meanings
- Capacity in Contract Law
- Contract Law and Third Party Beneficiaries
- Contracts: Assignment and Delegation
- Contract Enforcement
- Contracts: Statute of Frauds
- Contracts: Discharge of Contracts
- Breach of Contract Issues
- Securities and Antitrust Law
- Creditors' Rights
- Sales & the Law
- The Role of Agency in Business Law
- Forms of Business Entities
- Property Law
- UExcel Business Law Flashcards
- Legal Process & Procedures for Business