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Essential elements of a valid offer

From the above definition, the following are essential elements of a valid offer:
  • Two parties: For a valid offer, there must be two parties. A person cannot make an offer to himself. The parties to contract are:
    • The person who makes offer is called Offeror or proposer
    • The person to whom offer is made is known as Offeree or proposee
  • Offer may be positive or negative: The offer may involve doing something or not doing something. An offer to do something is a positive offer and an offer not to do something is a negative offer.

Anil proposes Sunil to manufacture 1000 shirts. The proposal is to do something, i.e., to manufacture shirts. This is a positive proposal.




Anil a debtor to Sunil proposes to Sunil, “If you do not file a suit against me for defamation for next three months, I shall give you ₹ 500.” Over and above the outstanding amount such proposal is said to be a proposal to abstain from doing something. This is a negative proposal.


  • The offer must be made with a view to obtain the assent of the other party: The offer must be made with an intention to obtain the assent of the other party. The offer made as a prank or joke is not a valid offer and therefore if accepted, it cannot amount to a valid contract.

If B jokingly offers M to sell his scooter at ₹ 10 and M knowing that B is not serious, accepts the offer, then such acceptance does not hold any value as the offer made jokingly is not valid.


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