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What is an Offer in Contract Law?

Updated: Oct 7, 2021

An offer is one of the essential ingredients of a contract; without it there is no legally binding contract. But how does Australian law define an offer? Let's take a look.

An offer is a promise to do or not to do something in exchange for something in return.

The legal rules of an offer under Australian contract law include:

  1. the offer must be communicated from one person (the person making the offer) to the person, people or business that they want to make the offer to;

  2. the offer can be communicated in any way;

  3. the offer can be made to one person, more than one person or the world at large;

  4. an offer is capable of being accepted unless it withdrawn prior to the communication of acceptance

  5. if an offer is rejected, it cannot later be accepted

  6. an offer is capable of being accepted within the time stated in the offer, or if there is no time frame stated, within a reasonable time

  7. if the person making the offer dies and the other person knows this, the offer is no longer able to be accepted

  8. if an offer is conditional upon an event or something else happening or not happening, and that condition is not met, the offer lapses

Offer in Contract Law
Offer in Contract Law

Author: Farrah Motley, Legal Principal of Prosper Law and an Australian contract lawyer.

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