A contract is a written or oral legally-binding agreement between the parties identified in the agreement to fulfill the terms and conditions outlined in the agreement. A prerequisite requirement for the enforcement of a contract, amongst other things, is the condition that the parties to the contract accept the terms of the claimed contract. Historically, this was most commonly achieved through signature or performance, but in many jurisdictions – especially with the advance of electronic commerce – the forms of acceptance have expanded to include various forms of electronic signature. Contracts can be of many types, e.g. sales contracts (including leases), purchasing contracts, partnership agreements, trade agreements, and intellectual property agreements.
A sales contract is a contract between a company (the seller) and a customer where the company agrees to sell products and/or services and the customer in return is obligated to pay for the product/services bought.
A purchasing contract is a contract between a company (the buyer) and a supplier who is promising to sell products and/or services within agreed terms and conditions. The company (buyer) in return is obligated to acknowledge the goods / or service and pay for liability created.
A partnership agreement may be a contract which formally establishes the terms of a partnership between two legal entities such that they regard each other as ‘partners’ in a commercial arrangement. However, such expressions may also be merely a means to reflect the desire of the contracting parties to act ‘as if’ both are in a partnership with common goals. Therefore, it might not be the common law arrangement of a partnership which by definition creates fiduciary duties and which also has ‘joint and several’ liabilities.