Contract Forms in English

Contract Forms in English: What You Need to Know

Contracts are essential for any business deal, and it is important to ensure that the language of the agreement is clear, concise, and legally binding. In English-speaking countries, contracts are typically written in English, making it important to have a good understanding of the language and the various contract forms that may be used.

In this article, we will discuss the different types of contract forms used in English, their structure, and the importance of understanding the language used in contracts.

Types of Contract Forms

There are several types of contract forms, and the type of form used will depend on the nature of the agreement and the parties involved.

1. Simple Contract Form

A simple contract form is a basic agreement between two parties, usually in plain language, and contains the essential elements of a contract, including the parties involved, the terms of the agreement, and the signature of both parties.

2. Bilateral Contract Form

A bilateral contract form is a contract form that requires both parties to promise something in exchange for something else. In other words, both parties have obligations they must fulfill to receive the benefits of the agreement. This type of contract is common in business deals, where each party has something they want from the other party.

3. Unilateral Contract Form

A unilateral contract form is a contract that requires one party to perform an action in exchange for the other party`s promise to pay or provide something. For example, paying for a service or product.

4. Executed Contract Form

An executed contract form is a contract in which all the parties have completed their obligations, and the contract is considered complete or “executed.”

Structure of Contract Forms

Regardless of the type of contract form used, each contract should have specific elements that make it legally binding. These elements include:

1. Offer

An offer is the proposal or promise made by one party to another, and it should be specific and clear. This offer should state the terms, conditions, and any other essential elements of the agreement.

2. Acceptance

Acceptance is the agreement of the other party to the terms of the offer made. This acceptance should be communicated clearly and in writing.

3. Consideration

Consideration is the exchange of value between the parties to the contract. This could be in the form of money, goods, or services.

4. Capacity

All parties involved in a contract should have the legal capacity to enter into such an agreement. For example, minors or persons with a mental disability may not have the legal capacity to sign a contract.

5. Legality

The contract should not be against the law. The terms and conditions of the contract should not be in violation of any laws or regulations.

6. Signatures

The signatures of both parties are required to make the contract legally binding.

Understanding the Language Used in Contracts

The language used in contracts can be complex and difficult to understand. It is important to take the time to read and understand the terms of the agreement before signing. If you do not understand the language used in the contract, it is advisable to seek the help of a legal professional or language translator.


Contracts are essential in business deals, and it is important to choose the right type of contract form to suit your needs. Understanding the structure of a contract and the language used in it is essential to ensure that the agreement is legally binding and that all parties understand their obligations.