Contracts—what types of agreements need to be in writing?
A contract can be formed by oral and written agreement. Oral agreements may constitute a contract just like written agreements—a “meeting of the minds” is the essential element of a contract. However, to be enforceable in a court of law, a select number of contracts must be in writing, and not just oral. This is called the “Statute of Frauds”. Texas’ Statute of Frauds is codified as Chapter 26 of the Texas Business and Commerce Code. The statute lists the types of contracts that must be in writing to be enforceable. The most common are a contract for sale of real estate, a real estate lease longer than one year, an agreement to act as surety, and a contract where the performance of the agreement would take longer than one year to complete. Each of these written types of contracts have specific requirements that courts will look at to enforce the terms of the agreement.
If you are entering, or have already entered, into an agreement with another person, business, or organization, check with the experienced lawyers at McCleskey to ensure your agreement is enforceable.