Ask A Lawyer – Are Oral Contracts Enforceable?

We often get asked if oral contracts are enforceable. Generally, they are. The problem is proving the existence of the oral contract should you ever have to do so. We always recommend reducing your agreement to writing, but a court will enforce an oral agreement if you can provide enough evidence of the agreement. In addition to making it easier to enforce your agreement, putting an agreement in writing usually results in the parties clarifying the terms of their agreement and may avoid misunderstandings.

There are however circumstances where legislation requires that a contract be in writing, such as a contract respecting land or the disposition of land, or a guarantee or indemnity. An oral guarantee or indemnity may end up being enforceable if the guarantor acts upon it, but it is far better to reduce the guarantee or indemnity to writing.

Andrew Brunton is a business lawyer at Pushor Mitchell LLP. You can reach Andrew at 250-869-1135 or [email protected]. Our office offers a wide range of legal services to all types of corporations.  For more information on our Business Law Team, please visit

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