There are six elements that make a contract legally binding or valid. Not all contracts need to be in writing.

Contributor

Evelyn Tadros

Barrister

Must contracts be in writing?

Last updated

1 July 2020

No; not all contracts need to be in writing. In some cases, statute law requires contracts to be in writing (e.g. contracts to buy and sell land, to buy a car, and door-to-door sales contracts). However, it is always useful to write down the terms agreed to by the parties so that there is less potential for dispute about what was agreed. A written contract can be drawn up by listing all the terms agreed to by the parties and getting each party to sign and date the document.

It is useful to keep any documents relating to the agreement (e.g. quotations, invoices and receipts), so that if a dispute does arise, these documents can assist to resolve any differences between the parties.

Back to
Consumers, contracts, the internet and copyright

Buy the chapter ‘How contract law works’