Offer Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Offer, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Offer?

It is a desire or an expression to enter into a contract with someone else .Before entering into a contract an offer has to be made which shall become enforceable by law once it is accepted by the party to whom the offer is made.

History and Meaning of Offer

An offer is a crucial element of a contract. It is a proposal made by one party to another, declaring the intention to enter into a contract on specific terms without further negotiation. The offer may be specific or implied from the conduct of the offeror. Once the offer is made, it is then up to the offeree to accept or decline it. If the offeree accepts the offer, then it becomes a binding contract between the parties.

The rule of offer and acceptance has been derived from the common law, and is fundamental to the formation of legally binding contracts. It is a well-established legal principle that requires both parties to have a clear understanding of the terms and conditions of the contract they are entering. To constitute an offer, there must be an intention to create a legal relationship, and the offer must be communicated effectively to the offeree.

Examples of Offer

  1. Mary offers to sell her car to John for $5,000. If John accepts the offer, a contract will be formed between them.

  2. A store advertises a sale on its website that says, "All winter coats are 50% off." This advertisement is an offer to sell winter coats at a discount to anyone who meets the conditions of the advertisement.

  3. An employer offers a job position to a job seeker. The job seeker may choose to accept or reject the job offer.

  4. A contractor sends a bid to a homeowner for a construction project. The bid constitutes an offer and will be binding if the homeowner accepts it.

Legal Terms Similar to Offer

  1. Acceptance - Acceptance is the agreement by the offeree to comply with the terms of the offer.

  2. Invitation to treat - An invitation to treat is an invitation to make an offer or enter into negotiations. It is not an offer itself.

  3. Counteroffer - A counteroffer is an offer made by one party to the other that varies the terms of the original offer.

  4. Revocation - Revocation is the act of withdrawing an offer before it has been accepted.

  5. Consideration - Consideration is something of value that is given in exchange for the promise or performance of the other party.