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What are the elements of an enforceable contract?

Updated: 5 days ago

In Saskatchewan, a contract is a legally enforceable agreement between 2 or more parties. Certain elements must be satisfied for an agreement to be enforceable as a contract. We will look at the elements below.


An offer is the first stage that can result in the formation of a contract. This begins the conversation which could lead to a contract and makes clear an intention from one party that they are open to coming to an agreement.


Acceptance is a notification, usually in the affirmative, that makes clear that an offer has been agreed to.


In legal contract terms, consideration is an exchange of something of value. The thing of value need not actually be a physical item. Consideration can be a physical item, or it could be money, services, the performance of something, or any legal term of value. All sides to a contract must be providing something of value.


Capacity is the legal ability for the party/parties to enter into a contract. Whether the person has the capacity to enter into a contract can include whether they have reached the age of majority and whether they were in a state of mind where they could adequately understand the terms of the contract when entering into the contract. Another aspect to consider when dealing with agents acting on behalf of another party is whether that agent is truly acting as an agent with the capacity to bind the principal. Another capacity issue can present itself if one party presents itself as a corporation but the corporation has not been incorporated, this results in the party not existing in the claimed legal capacity.

Meeting of the Minds

The meeting of the minds is when the relevant parties have come to a common intention to be bound by the contract.

Legal and Enforceable

The substance and terms of the contract must be legal and enforceable in all other aspects of the law. Things that may make an otherwise legal contract or term to a contract unenforceable can include it being for an illegal purpose (i.e. a term of the contract includes an action that would be unlawful), or the contract does not comply with regulated areas of contract law that apply to the contract (i.e. a residential tenancy contract that is regulated under the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, SS 2006 that contradicts the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, SS 2006). Depending on the contract itself, and the way the law applies to it, one or more terms that are unenforceable may be severed from a contract leaving the remainder of the contract enforceable.


The elements of a legally enforceable contract in Saskatchewan can be summarized as: offer, acceptance, consideration, capacity, meeting of the minds, and legal enforceability. It is important to note that a contract, generally, does not need to be in writing, though it can be much easier to prove the existence of a contract and its terms when it is in writing. Some specific contract types are required to be in writing. The elements in this article deal specifically with the elements of an enforceable contract. If these elements are not satisfied, there may be other remedies under other laws and the common law that may be available.

Contact Gelinas Limited Scope Legal Services today for your breach of contract needs in Saskatchewan where the principal value claimed does not exceed $30,000. Gelinas Limited Scope Legal Services also plans on offering basic residential contract drafting and negotiation services in the near future. Call 705 737 6451 or email me at for a free, no-obligation to retain 30-minute phone consultation. For information on the framework for services offered by non-lawyers approved by the Law Society of Saskatchewan under the Limited Licensing Pilot you can view my blog post here.

Disclaimer: Phoning, emailing, messaging or otherwise contacting Joseph Gelinas, Gelinas Limited Scope Legal Services, and/or Gelinas Paralegal Services, does not establish a representative-client relationship. A representative-client relationship is only established if it has been agreed to by the representative and the client(s). Do not provide any confidential or sensitive information when contacting Joseph Gelinas, Gelinas Limited Scope Legal Services, and/or Gelinas Paralegal Services. Nothing written on this site is to be taken as legal advice. Laws and the interpretations of laws are constantly changing and may have changed since this website was published. The facts of each case are unique and the laws may apply differently.

Important information about my relationship with the Law Society of Saskatchewan: I am not a lawyer or member regulated by the Law Society of Saskatchewan and the Law Society of Saskatchewan does not supervise my education, training or qualifications, or, apply a Code of Conduct or ethical standards (e.g. solicitor client privilege does not apply), provide a complaints or discipline process, nor mandate professional liability insurance with respect to my services; a Consumer Review Form is available to help the Law Society of Saskatchewan understand consumer experiences when accessing legal services through the Pilot.

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