When two parties enter into a contract, typically they both agree to fulfill certain obligations. This agreement is known as a bilateral contract, and it is one of the most common types of contracts in business. However, there may be times when one party performs its obligations before the other party accepts the contract. In such cases, can a bilateral contract be accepted by performance?
First, let`s define what we mean by “acceptance.” In contract law, acceptance is when one party agrees to the terms of the contract proposed by the other party. This acceptance can be communicated in various ways, such as through a signed document or an email.
In a bilateral contract, both parties agree to do something. For example, party A agrees to deliver a product, and party B agrees to pay for the product. Both parties have obligations that need to be fulfilled for the contract to be completed.
Typically, a bilateral contract is accepted when both parties have agreed to the terms of the contract. However, in some cases, one party may start performing its obligations before the other party formally accepts the contract.
For example, imagine that party A delivers the product to party B before party B has signed the contract. In this case, party B may be deemed to have accepted the contract through its conduct. By accepting the product and using it, party B is indicating that it agrees to the terms of the contract.
However, this type of acceptance by performance can be tricky. For it to be valid, both parties must have intended for performance to be a form of acceptance. This intention can be implied if the parties have previously had similar transactions and accepted contracts in the same way.
Furthermore, acceptance by performance may not always be enough. If party B raises objections to the terms of the contract after receiving the product, it may not be considered to have accepted the contract even if it has started using the product.
In conclusion, while a bilateral contract can be accepted by performance, it is not always straightforward. Both parties must have intended for performance to be a form of acceptance, and the acceptance must be unambiguous. If there are any doubts or objections to the terms of the contract, a formal acceptance may still be required. As a professional, it is important to understand these nuances to draft accurate and comprehensive articles on contract law.