Legal Difference between Bargain and Contract

The legal terms “bargain” and “contract” are often used interchangeably in everyday language, but they have distinct meanings in the eyes of the law. Understanding the legal differences between the two is important for anyone who is buying or selling goods or services.

A bargain is an agreement between two parties in which each receives some benefit. It does not have to be in writing, and it can be completed with just a verbal agreement. The bargain can be as simple as two people agreeing to trade items, or as complex as a business arrangement where one party provides goods or services in exchange for money or other things of value.

A contract, on the other hand, is a written agreement between two or more parties that creates legally binding obligations. It must include certain elements, such as an offer, an acceptance, and consideration (something of value that each party gives or promises to give to the other). In order for a contract to be enforceable, it must also be signed by all parties involved.

One of the key differences between a bargain and a contract is the level of formalities required for each. A bargain can be as informal as a handshake, while a contract needs to be in writing and signed by all parties involved. This is because a contract is a much more serious commitment than a bargain – it creates legally binding obligations that must be fulfilled by each party.

Another difference is in the remedies available if one party fails to fulfill their obligations. If a party fails to fulfill their obligations under a bargain, the other party can seek damages for any losses they have suffered. However, if a party fails to fulfill their obligations under a contract, the other party can seek specific performance (forcing the party to fulfill their obligations) or terminate the contract and seek damages.

In summary, while bargains and contracts can both be used to create agreements between two parties, the legal differences are significant. A bargain is an informal agreement that can be completed without a written contract, while a contract is a formal agreement that must include certain elements and be signed by all parties involved. Understanding these differences is essential for anyone who is involved in buying or selling goods or services.