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Contents of a Contract - Terms 
 
 

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The contents of a contract are known as terms or clauses. An agreement will generally consist of various terms. Even the simplest forms of contract will have terms. The main terms generally being the price paid and the subject matter of the contract, eg. the goods or services provided. It is common for businesses to have standard form written terms which can be quite lengthy. It is not a requirement that terms are written in simple contracts, although writing is required in certain types of contract eg. contracts for the sale of land, mortgages and consumer credit agreements. Contract terms may be express or implied and they may be classed as either conditions, warranties or innominate terms. Where a contract is formed orally it may be difficult to establish which statements made in negotiating the contract amount to terms and which statements are merely representations.
 


 
 
 
 
Terms may be either:


Express terms -
those agreed between the parties themselves

or
 
Implied terms -
terms which are put into the contract by the courts or by statute
 
 


 
 
Statements made during the course of negotiations
 

Statements made during the course of negotiations can be classified as either:


1. An express term - if not fulfilled the innocent party may bring an action for breach of contract.

2. A representation - if not fulfilled the innocent party may bring an action for misrepresentation.

3. As part of a collateral contract - the innocent party may sue on the collateral contract. The main contract remains intact: 


4. A sales puff - not intended to be binding. Has no legal effect. eg Red Ball gives you wings.
 



Express term or representation

In deciding whether a statement amounts to a term or representation the courts look at four factors: See here
 

Contractual terms