An offer is a declaration of the terms that the offeror is willing to be bound. It is directed to an offeree who is expected to accept or reject it after reading the terms and conditions. It is thus important to know the specified mode of acceptance before agreeing to the conditions of a contract. This will help the offeree accept or reject the offer within the set duration of time. In most cases, either acceptance will be oral or in writing; however, in some cases, it involves the delivery of goods as a response to an offer to buy. When two parties are considering entering into a contract, one party becomes the offeror and makes the other party an offeree. Expression of assent by the offeree is referred to as acceptance. Acceptance may be in any form unless the offeror stipulates the particular mode of acceptance. Acceptance rules may include specified methods of acceptance; silence does not amount to acceptance, the exemption to communication rule among others. This study discusses the various modes of acceptance in Saudi Arabia and United States’ laws. Moreover, it seeks to show how the contract law has been established in these States.
Acceptance of an offer is the assent to its terms and conditions to make a contract legally binding. The law governs the manner and nature of acceptance. Parties to a contract must understand the difference between acceptance and invitation to treat. Invitation to treat refers to a person’s willingness to negotiate a contract and does not signify agreement with the set terms and conditions. The offeree must be aware of the offer and accepts it unconditionally. By accepting it, the offeree makes approval in the way requested by the offeror. The agreement may be by mutual promise or by performance. In the case the offeror gives the If the offeror approves the acceptance mode, its value becomes authentic when and if addressed correctly. Otherwise, it should not make it to the offeror. Each nation has a contract law, which governs the formation and execution of contractual obligations. These laws vary from one nation to another. However, there may be similarities in the contract laws because of common descent. For parties to strike an agreement, both sides must be willing to be bound by the contract unconditionally. In case the offeree rejects the offer, it is terminated, and the offeror is under no further obligation even if the offeree decides to accept the offer at a later date. The requirements of a contract depend on the type of contract being offered. Acceptance disregards the ability of the offeror to revoke an offer and any attempts to cancel it would be considered as a breach of contract.
Mode of Acceptance in Saudi Arabia
The law of contract in Saudi Arabia is overseen by the conservative Hanbali school of Sharia Law, which interprets the Quran. Contracts, which are not barred by the Sharia Law, are legally binding with no discrimination against the non-Muslims. The prohibitions govern freedom of the contracts in the Quran and the two principles of Sharia law; Riba and Share. Riba refers to increase. In most cases, it refers to interests. The Hanbali School does not provide room for doubt that agreements for payment and receipt are void. Disagreements, which emerge from the invalidity of agreements, are enforceable through Saudi Arabian courts. Contracts must be free from ambiguity, which is known as “the rule against gharar” for them to be accepted. All members in a contract should have perfect knowledge of the counter values intended to be exchanged. In essence, a contract must be defined before it is accepted in Saudi Arabia.
Arabia is ranked 140 out of 183 economies as the easiest economy to enforce contracts. In Saudi Arabia, an offeror cannot revoke a contract after the offeree accepts it. If the offeror withdraws it, it is considered a breach of promise on his behalf (Baamir n.p.).This is a sin in Islam because it boosts mischief and rivalry among people. Additionally, Saudi Arabia law necessitates acceptance to be made by the parties in a contract before physically parting ways. Terms such as parties, quantity, price, and payment must be stated before an agreement is enforceable. The Sharia legislation makes the offer statement a past tense thus making it valid and with a high probability that it will be accepted. According to Saudi Arabia law, an offer is accepted after the offeree indicates assent to the offer. For example, a seller offiering a buyer a TV set must make a valid offer that ios within the buyers reach and ability. If the buyer accepts the TV set with the sellers terms and conditions, the seller will not have a valid right to later revoke the offer. The law stipulates that acknowledgment of receipt of an offer or expression of interest does not signify acceptance. Moreover, the offeree must not be compelled to accept the offer and must sign for written offers. The acceptance must also not contain variations of terms of the contract.
Implied mode acceptance is used in Saudi Arabia. This is only applicable when a report has been prepared between the offeror and his customers. In most cases, implied acceptance is action-based rather than a contract. For example, if one hires the same person to audit his company after every three years, he may decide to ask him to come and audit it after the three year period over. If the auditor accepts then, it is referred as implied acceptance. This form of acceptance is mainly used during employment and can only be considered valid if one had a professional history with the person. After the exchange of a commodity or property, the contract is concluded. This rule does not apply when selling alcohol, pigs, and animals, which are not ritually slaughtered. In contract sale, a party is allowed to withdraw an offer even after it is accepted. Sharia law identifies advertisements, tenders, and display of goods on shelves as lawful offers after being accepted. In Saudi Arabia, the concept of consideration does not apply since a contract is a bond between the parties and God.
Mode of Approval in American Legislation
For approval, those involved must connect in a manner evident from a subjective point of view. Under this, one party can resist a claim of breach of contract by ascertaining that it had no intention to be bound by the agreement. The posting rule is applicable in the United States and requires that acceptance takes place when a letter is posted in a post box or handed to a postal employee (Friedman 24). The Postal rule requires that an offer is only valid when it is received by the offeree, and acceptance is effective after it has been posted. Besides, before posting the letter of acceptance, revocation can only be effective when received by the oferee. The posting rule does not apply to optional contracts. This is because an optional contract is accepted when the offeror receives the acceptance but not when the offeree emails it. For example, if a Jimmy’s fruit company receives a purchase order from Yale Smoothie Yark for the supply of 100 cartons of plums. Jimmy has thus accepted the offer in accordance with the purchase order and Jimmy packs the cartons and sends to Yale holdings, it is anticipate that Yale holdings will pay for the goods. The payment may be on spot of in accordance with the terms and conditions of Jimmy’s fruit company.
Silence can operate as an acceptance mode. For this model to be applicable, both parties must first agree that silence amounts to acceptance. There are three situations when this is applicable (Friedman 24). The first arises when the offeree avails himself for services offered by the offeror. The second situation is when the offer requires that acceptance is done by not responding and by remaining silent. The last situation is that of past dealings in which the offeree is expected to say they do not intend to allow. Electronic communication is also a common mode of acceptance. Many contracts in the United States are negotiated by email; accepted and signed electronically (Saylordotorg. Github.Io). The electronic method has been adopted by different countries in the United States like U.S. Virgin Islands. Additionally, the acceptance outruns rejection mode is used in the U.S. In this case, when the offeror rejects an offer first and then sends an overruling acceptance, the rule of effective when received applies. Acceptance of an offer is also done through instantaneous communication. This mode is mostly implemented in face-to-face dealings or when transactions are discussed by phone. An offer is accepted during the conversation, whereby any arising problems are negotiated by correspondence.
Findings and Conclusion
Without acceptance, a contract cannot exist. The offeror may explain how the offer should be accepted or fail to give conditions. In this case, reasonable communication is important. In the legal contracts, acceptance shows the offeree has complied with the terms of the offer made by the offeror. Acceptance may be express, implied, and conditional. Conditional acceptance stipulates that the offeree is willing to accept an offer provided some alterations are made in the terms and conditions. This type of acceptance acts as a counteroffer because it must be received by the offeror before the establishment of a contract. Express acceptance refers to when a person has explicitly agreed to an offer. This may be informed of a handshake, sharing of business cards or signing a contract. This form of acceptance is the most convenient since it leaves no doubt that the offer has been accepted. On the other hand, implied acceptance is one that is validated by acts of signifying a party’s assent to a proposed bargain. For instance, when a customer picks an item in the supermarket and pays for it, the act shows that he has accepted the offer from the supermarket to sell the item at the specified price.
It is evident that the modes of acceptance in the United States and Saudi Arabia are either in written or unwritten method. The written method is effective because of future reference. The Postal rule in the United States helps solve the distant business conflicts. The U.S. government has established amendments that monitor the usage of postal rules in the online business. These rules enhance transparency to the application of the general offer and the acceptance rules. Moreover, the amendment of the postal rules has ensured online business communication thus benefitting both parties. Failure to accept an offer within the specified time will lead to its termination.
“The Agreement.” Saylordotorg.Github.Io, 2012,https://saylordotorg.github.io/text_law-for-entrepreneurs/s12-the-agreement.html.
Baamir, Abdulrahman Yahya. Shari’a Law in Commercial and Banking Arbitration: Law and Practice in Saudi Arabia. Routledge, 2016.
Friedman, Lawrence M. Contract law in America: a social and economic case study. Quid Pro Books, 2011: 1-49