Is an oral contract enforceable?


Posted on: July 01st, 2016

Although you should always put a personal or business agreement in writing, courts do enforce oral contracts in some circumstances. As we noted in an earlier post, as long as you can prove offer, acceptance, and consideration, Utah courts will enforce every term of an oral agreement as vigorously as terms of a written agreement.

There are, however, some limitations are placed on the enforceability of an oral agreement.

  • First, the statute of limitations to sue on an oral agreement is much shorter than that of a written contract. In Utah, to enforce an oral contract it must be done within one year of the agreement being broken. For written contracts, it is within six years.

Code for oral:
Code for written:

  • Second, there are some circumstances where the law will not recognize an oral contract unless there is written evidence to support it. Utah’s Statute of Frauds requires written contracts for real property transactions, agreements whose terms cannot be performed within one year, indemnification agreements, credit agreements, and others.
  • Additionally, contracts involving the sale of goods for $500 or more must be in writing. To satisfy the Statute of Frauds, there must be a written or electronic record that identifies the key terms of the agreement that is signed by the other party. There are exceptions to the Statute of Frauds that may apply depending on individual circumstances.

If you have an oral contract that another party has broken, you should consult an attorney to determine whether or not you can enforce your agreement in court.  The attorneys at Ascione Law are experienced helping people enforce contracts that have been broken.