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Contract: Glossary of Terms

Series: Contract Glossary of Terms

This is the first in a series of posts about contract terms to help you understand your business better.

There are a massive number of terms used to talk about contracts in the legal world. Most of these terms are legalese, meaning they are only used among legal professionals. We’ll spend a few posts translating a glossary of contract terms from legal jargon to plain language.


A contract is a promise in the form of a legally enforceable agreement between two or more parties, where one or both parties agree to do (or not to do) a certain thing. A contract is also an agreement for the breach of which the law provides a remedy. This definition seems simple enough, but it is incredibly vague. It tells us generally that a contract is an enforceable agreement, but what are the different parts of the agreement? The answer may differ from country to country, state to state. In Florida, a contract requires mutual assent, consideration, and that there are no defenses to formation. Here are the first five items in our contract glossary of terms series that are essential to understanding what makes up a valid Florida contract.

Mutual Assent

Offer and acceptance.


The manifestation of a present willingness to enter into a bargain, made in such a way that a reasonable person could believe that she could conclude a bargain by giving assent in the manner required. Example: an email that states “I will buy your car AS IS for $10,000.” A reasonable seller could believe that if he accepts this offer then a contract has been made: the buyer then must give the seller $10,000 in exchange for the seller’s car.


When two parties agree to the terms of a contract in their entirety. Generally, acceptance comes in the form of agreeing to an offer, but in commerce it can also be when a buyer accepts goods delivered.


An acceptance of an offer that does not “mirror” all the terms of the offer. Because acceptance requires there be no omissions or additions to the offer, if there are any, then the acceptance is then deemed a counteroffer. It is then up to the other party to accept the counteroffer in its entirety or to make another counteroffer.


Something of value that is given in exchange for the offer. A benefit which must be bargained for between the parties. An essential reason for entering into the contract. Consideration is a required element in Florida Contracts.

If you have any questions about these contract terms or about one of your contracts, call Boyer Law Firm today.

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