Arthur R. Lehman, L.L.C.

What is offer and acceptance in New York contract law?

The contract is one of the fundamental concepts of business law in New York. Most businesses here make contracts and fulfill their terms in pursuit of success. If contracts are breached, there usually is some negotiation between the parties. If this negotiation isn't successful in resolving the contract dispute, litigation may result. Two important parts of any contract are offer and acceptance.

Offer and acceptance happens at the time of the formation of a contract. One of the parties will make an offer to the other. This offer can take any number of forms. These forms include delivery of a certain amount of goods for a certain price. It can also involve performing a service, such as constructing a building, in a certain time frame.

Once the offerer has made an offer, the other party has a few options. It can accept the offer, at which time a contract is formed with the terms specified by the offerer. It can also reject the offer, in which case no contract is formed. When the other party rejects an offer, it has the option of making a counteroffer, which the original offerer can either accept or reject. Another possible option when the other party rejects an offer is it can invite the offerer to make another offer.

A third option the other party can take upon receipt of an offer is it can inquire whether the offerer is willing to negotiate while reserving the right to accept the offer if not. Here, the other party should make clear that it is not rejecting the offer, merely inquiring how firm the offer is. The main danger here is that the offerer could rescind the offer before the other party can accept it. The offerer can always rescind an offer before the other party can accept it.

Source: FindLaw, "Contracts Law," accessed on April 26, 2018

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