The Offer and Acceptance Are Critical to Contract Format

The Offer and Then the Acceptance: How a New Contract Gets Started

The first step to creating a contract in New Jersey is an offer.

An offer is a written or verbal promise to undertake some obligation.

There are several factors that go into making an enforceable offer under a NJ contract.
First is whether the person making the offer is serious. A person who jokingly states that he will sell his or her new house for $100 is not making a serious bona fide offer.

Does the person show a willingness to be held to his/her offer? A person requesting a price quote or who is in negotiations with you is not making an offer. Advertisements usually are seen as invitations to offers.

Does the offer contain definite terms? Are the terms precise? Do both parties know what is expected of them? For example, are the parties identified, is the price listed, are quantities stated, and is a time for performance stated? There should be enough specificity contained in the offer that, if needed, a court will be able to enforce it, if accepted?

Again, when making an offer, protective provisions should also be included. This principle cannot be over emphasized.

The Acceptance of the Offer; How a Contract is Created Under NJ Law

An acceptance to an offer must be made while the offer is still open. An offer ends when its time has elapsed: For example, “I will sell you my computer for $200 but you must decide whether to buy it within 48 hours. If you do not accept the offer within 48 hours, there is no contract.”

If a person changes the terms of the offer in his/her acceptance, the offer is deemed legally rejected and a counteroffer has been made. In our prior example of selling a computer for $200.00, if the response is “I will buy your computer, but I will pay only $150 for it.” ($50.00 is less than the price of $200.00 in the preceding paragraph), there is no acceptance but a counteroffer has been made. The person who made the original offer must respond to the new offer by accepting it, rejecting it, or proposing yet another offer.

Fredrick P. Niemann Esq.

If you have any questions about contract law and/or the acceptance of an offer under NJ contract law, then please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. at or call him toll-free at (855) 376-5291. He welcomes your inquiries and you’ll be impressed with the depth of his understanding of contracts.





New Jersey Contract Law Attorney serving these New Jersey Counties:

Monmouth County, Ocean County, Essex County, Cape May County, Camden County, Mercer County, Middlesex County,
Bergen County, Morris 
County, Burlington County, Union County, Somerset County, Hudson County, Passaic County