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What is a legal contract?

While that seems like a basic question, there is a world of difference between a contract how society sees it, and one that would constitute a legally binding agreement. Legal contracts can take many shapes or forms, including domestic contracts, insurance contract, business contracts etc. Sometimes these can be extremely basic. For example, when you enter a store and see a carton of eggs for $2.99 that is the store offering you a contract to purchase said eggs for that price. By picking up the eggs and paying $2.99 at the till you accept their offer and the contract is sealed.
To break that basic contract down, the sign with $2.99 on the label is an invitation to treat. The store is in effect saying that it has goods for sale and is inviting you to buy them. In practice most stores do not negotiate the price. The sticker is the final price. However, at this point there is no contract yet. Even if you pick up the eggs and carry them to the counter you have not yet accepted their offer. However, a crucial first step of a contract occurred. An offer has been made.
When you approach the counter the second step takes place. This is called the meeting of the minds, or the point where the buyer and seller both understand the terms of the contracts. It is understood that you wish to purchase a carton of eggs for $2.99 and the seller agrees to sell them to you for said price. In the event that the eggs are broken without your knowledge the second step has not been fulfilled. You agreed to purchase whole eggs, not broken eggs. In such a case the contract is deemed void. You did not receive the whole eggs you wished to purchase.
Finally, there has to be an intention to enter into a legal contract. A mother promising to let a son play vide games in exchange for chores is not a contract. The family ties and commonality of it, lead to the supposition that the mother did not intend to form a legal contract. In our case however, insignificant though it may seem, an intention to form a legal contract is definitely there. You paid currency for a product. It is understood that neither side is doing the other a favour and both sides understand that if they cheat legal consequences may follow.
If you require a professional contract, or if you feel that you are entitled to legal repercussion for the breach of one, contact the lawyers at Bykov Empel LLP who serve the Toronto and Greater Toronto Region at 416.519.3259.