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Does My Contract Need to Be in Writing?

While oral or verbal contracts are often enforceable, they are not recommended.

It is virtually impossible to prove the terms of a verbal contract, which invites trouble when things go sour with vendors, employees, contractors, or business partners. Written contracts help clarify what the terms of the agreement are, make sure both sides are in agreement, and give legal protection in case one party doesn’t live up to its obligations.

Contracts relating to real property (lease or sale), commercial loan guaranty agreements, and contracts for the sale of goods more than $500 are specific transactions that must be in writing in North Carolina to be enforceable.

A binding written contract can be formed by exchange of emails, even where the parties don’t both print and physically sign a document. Contracts can be formed where one party signs and the other starts performing their obligations.


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