Contract Legal Purpose

Contract Legal Purpose: Understanding the Basics

A contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties that defines their obligations and rights. Before signing a contract, it is important to ensure that its legal purpose is valid under the law.

What is a Legal Purpose?

A legal purpose refers to the reason why a contract is created in the first place. In general, a contract`s legal purpose must be lawful, not against public policy, and not in violation of any legal statutes.

The purpose of a contract may include the transfer of property, the provision of services, or the payment of money. Whatever the purpose, it must be legal and enforceable under the law.

A contract with an illegal purpose is unenforceable. For example, a contract to purchase illegal drugs is invalid because it violates federal drug laws. Similarly, a contract to commit a crime is against public policy and therefore unenforceable.

Understanding the Doctrine of Illegality

The doctrine of illegality is a legal principle that prohibits the enforcement of contracts that are illegal, immoral, or against public policy. This principle is based on the idea that parties should not be allowed to profit from their illegal or unethical actions.

Under this doctrine, a court will not enforce a contract if it involves illegal conduct or a purpose that is against public policy. For example, a contract to defraud or deceive another party is considered illegal and unenforceable.

Also, contracts that are perceived to be against public policy will be unenforceable. Public policy is defined as the principles and values that society considers important. Therefore, contracts that are deemed to be harmful to society, such as those that promote discrimination, are not enforceable.

Limitations on Legal Purpose

There are some limitations to the legal purpose of a contract. For example, a contract may be legal but may still be unenforceable if it lacks essential terms or involves elements of fraud or duress.

Essential terms refer to the basic requirements that must appear in a contract, such as the identifying information of the parties, the subject matter, and the terms of payment. Without these essential terms, a contract may not be enforceable.

Fraud and duress are other limitations on contract legality. Fraud occurs when a party intentionally misrepresents a fact to induce another party to enter into a contract. Duress occurs when a party is forced to enter into a contract against their will, such as by threats or intimidation.


In conclusion, the legal purpose of a contract is an essential aspect of the validity and enforceability of a contract. Before entering into a contract, it is important to ensure that its purpose is legal and not against public policy. Any agreements associated with illegal or unethical activities, including those that violate statutes or elements of fraud or duress, are unenforceable. As a result, it is important to consult with a legal professional to ensure that the contract is legally binding and valid.