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What is a contract?

Authored By: Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, Inc. LSC Funded

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This week’s legal term of the week is “Contract.”  A contract is an agreement between two or more persons, or between persons and companies.  Usually, a seller agrees to deliver a product or provide a service, and a buyer agrees to pay money.  A contract may be oral or in writing.  An example of an oral contract is a babysitter’s agreement to look after children and a parent’s promise to pay an hourly rate.  Some contracts must be in writing, for example, a contract for the sale of land.  A written contract could look very formal and official or be handwritten on a plain sheet of paper.  A contract states the rights and duties of the buyer and the seller. 

Last Review and Update: Jul 24, 2012