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A contract is created at law when there is a mutual exchange of promises upon reasonably understandable terms and conditions. A contract does not have to be reduced to writing in order to be enforceable; however, for the purposes of this manual, the term contract is intended to mean a written form of communication. Please remember that many types of documents can constitute a contract, including invoices, memoranda and letters.

Your contract may be considered a sponsored project. Contact CONHIresearch@asu.edu for guidance.

The Elements of a Contract

  1. Offer: a promise to do or forbear from doing something within a certain time period.
  2. Acceptance: an acceptance of an offer through either a promise or performance.
  3. Consideration: there must be a legal and adequate inducement given in exchange for the promise to do something that one is not legally required to do or to forbear from doing something that one is legally allowed to do.
  4. Form of the Contract: the contract must be in a form as may be required by law, e.g., Statute of Frauds: certain contracts must be in writing; (e.g., a contract to sell goods with a value over $500 (unless there was partial performance); an agreement in excess of one year, sale of real property, a commitment to loan money in excess of $250,000 and not made in connection with personal, family or household purposes. (See Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) § 44-101).
  5. Capacity to Contract: the parties to a contract must have the legal capacity and competency to contract. In addition, a representative of a corporation, partnership or organization must have the authority to bind the corporation, partnership or organization. (See PUR 201-02 and PUR 202).
  6. Legality of the Contract Matter: the subject of the contract must be legally permissible and not against public policy.

Signature Authority

Individual faculty and staff do not have signature authority for the University. Most documents that require a signature it will flow through the Provost Office, which Business Services will facilitate or ORSPA, which the ORS will facilitate.

For overview information on signature authority please view: https://ogc.asu.edu/contracts/contracts-authority


Note: Every employee participating in University contracting is obligated to be familiar with this manual and the University's policies and procedures. Only certain ASU administrators have authority delegated from the President to sign specified ASU contracts pursuant to the ASU Contract Signature Authority Policy (PUR 202), or as otherwise authorized in writing by the President. Refer to the Contract Signature Authority information and the policy.

Questions? Contact OGC

Last revised by Debra Fisher on Friday, January 20, 2017 - 3:44pm