Reading time: 3 minutes

Contracts can either be in the form of a deed (formal contracts) or not in the form of a deed (simple contracts). All contracts that are not under seal or that are not contracts of record are termed ‘simple contracts’. These contracts are often verbal or oral as opposed to anything in writing or under seal. Certain kinds of contracts are required by various statutes to be entirely in writing otherwise they will be void or unenforceable. Where contracts are of importance, it is generally considered prudent to record the agreement formally. This will set out the rights and liabilities. More importantly, the contract will provide valuable evidence in the event of a dispute. Below are examples of common contracts that need to be in writing.

Examples of Contracts Required to be in Writing

Many types of contracts are required by state legislation to be in writing, including consumer credit contracts, real estate agent contracts and building contracts. Contact a contract lawyer to determine whether your contract is required to be in writing. The list below is not exhaustive:

  • Bill of exchange and promissory notes (Bills of Exchange Act 1909 (Cth));
  • Cheques and payment orders (Cheques and Payment Orders Act 1986 (Cth));
  • Assignments of copyright (Copyright Act 1968 (Cth));
  • Contracts of marine insurance (Marine Insurance Act 1909 (Cth));
  • Assignments and mortgages of life insurance policies (Life Insurance Act 1945 (Cth)); and
  • An acknowledgment of a debt barred by the Statute of Limitations legislation.

Guarantees

A guarantee is a special promise to answer for a debt, default or miscarriage of another person and or entity. A guarantee does not need to be in writing if it is part of a larger transaction or is designed to protect the property of the guarantor.

Real Estate

The definition of an interest in land is wide and varies between jurisdictions in Australia. An interest in land can include freehold and leasehold interests, profits a prendre, easements and covenants that run with the land. Most agreements involving real estate are not enforceable unless they are in writing. In all states and territories, most transactions relating to land are void unless they are in writing.

Variation of Contracts Required by Writing

Where contract variations are required to be in writing, they must be in writing. These may include formal notice requirements for the variation to take effect. Notably, a contract, which is required to be in writing may be rescinded orally. However, where the agreement rescinding the contract replaces the old obligations with a set of new obligations to which a requirement of writing also applies, the new obligations must be in writing or evidenced by writing.

Conclusion

LegalVision can assist you with any questions you may have about contract drafting and review. LegalVision has a team of experienced contract drafting lawyers who can assist you in determining whether your contract is valid or not. Please call our office on 1300 544 755 and our Client Care team will happily provide you with an obligation-free consultation and a fixed-fee quote.

Webinars

Redundancies and Restructuring: Understanding Your Employer Obligations

Thursday 7 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
If you plan on making a role redundant, it is crucial that you understand your employer obligations. Our free webinar will explain.
Register Now

How to Sponsor Foreign Workers For Your Tech Business

Wednesday 13 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Need web3 talent for your tech business? Consider sponsoring workers from overseas. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Advertising 101: Social Media, Influencers and the Law

Thursday 21 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Learn how to promote your business on social media without breaking the law. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Structuring for Certainty in Uncertain Times

Tuesday 26 July | 12:00 - 12:45pm

Online
Learn how to structure to weather storm and ensure you can take advantage of the “green shoots” opportunities arising on the other side of a recession.
Register Now

Playing for the Prize: How to Run Trade Promotions

Thursday 28 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Running a promotion with a prize? Your business has specific trade promotion obligations. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Web3 Essentials: Understanding SAFT Agreements

Tuesday 2 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Learn how SAFT Agreements can help your Web3 business when raising capital. Register today for our free webinar.
Register Now

Understanding Your Annual Franchise Update Obligations

Wednesday 3 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Franchisors must meet annual reporting obligations each October. Understand your legal requirements by registering for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Legal Essentials for Product Manufacturers

Thursday 11 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
As a product manufacturer, do you know your legal obligations if there is a product recall? Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a commercial law firm that provides businesses with affordable and ongoing legal assistance through our industry-first membership.

By becoming a member, you'll have an experienced legal team ready to answer your questions, draft and review your contracts, and resolve your disputes. All the legal assistance your business needs, for a low monthly fee.

Learn more about our membership

Anthony Lieu
Need Legal Help? Submit an Enquiry

If you would like to get in touch with our team and learn more about how our membership can help your business, fill out the form below.

Our Awards

  • 2020 Innovation Award 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice Award 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2020 Financial Times Award 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year Award 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • 2022 Law Firm of the Year Winner 2022 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards