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A promise that, according to its terms, is contingent upon a particular act, forbearance, or promise given in exchange for the original promise or the performance thereof; a demonstration of the willingness of a party to enter into a bargain, made in such a way that another individual is justified in understanding that his or her assent to the bargain is invited and that such assent will conclude the bargain.

The making of an offer is the first of three steps in the traditional process of forming a valid contract: an offer, an acceptance of the offer, and an exchange of consideration. (Consideration is the act of doing something or promising to do something that a person is not legally required to do, or the forbearance or the promise to forbear from doing something that he or she has the legal right to do.)

An offer is a communication that gives the listener the power to conclude a contract. The question of whether a party in fact made an offer is a common question in a contract case. The general rule is that it must be reasonable under the circumstances for the recipient to believe that the communication is an offer. The more definite the communication, the more likely it is to constitute an offer. If an offer spells out such terms as quantity, quality, price, and time and place of delivery, a court may find that an offer was made. For example, if a merchant says to a customer, "I will sell you a dozen high-grade widgets for $100 each to be delivered to your shop on December 31",a court would likely find such a communication sufficiently definite to constitute an offer. On the other hand, a statement such as "I am thinking of selling some widgets" would probably not be labeled an offer.

The question of whether a communication constitutes an offer can be significant. An offer may bind the offerer to the terms of the offer if the recipient of the offer responds by accepting the offer and giving the offerer a partial payment. If the offerer accepts the payment, a deal has been struck, and the offerer is legally obligated to follow through on the agreement. If the offerer fails to fulfill the terms of the offer, the offeree may seek a remedy in court.

There are many notable caveats to the general rules on offers. Generally, a simple price quote is not an offer. Advertisements are considered invitations for offers, not actual offers. However, an advertisement promising to pay an award may constitute an offer because only one person, or very few persons, will have the opportunity to accept the offer.

An oral offer cannot be enforced against the offerer for agreements concerning real estate, contracts for the sale of goods priced at $500 or more, and transactions that cannot be completed within one year. Such agreements must be in writing to be enforceable. These restrictions on oral offers are derived from the Statute of Frauds, 29 Car. II, ch. 3, a law passed by the British Parliament in 1677 and designed in part to prevent false claims that an offer was tendered.

If a person rejects an offer, it is considered terminated. Likewise, if the recipient of an offer changes its terms, the original offer is terminated and a new offer is created. This new offer is called a counteroffer, and the original offerer may accept it.

In offers between merchants, a counteroffer may constitute acceptance of the original offer. Courts often hold that a contract is created when the facts show that two merchants agreed to make a sale but the recipient of the offer added terms to the agreement. In many such cases, a contract will be created as to the original offer, and the additional terms may be enforced. For example, assume that a wholesaler writes to a retailer, "Will sell 750 Grade A Fancy Pears immediately. Also have Grade A Fancy Cherries." If the retailer writes back, "Will take 750 Grade A Fancy Pears and 10 bushels of Grade A Fancy Cherries", a court may find that a contract had been created for the sale of pears and cherries.

Courts find offer and acceptance more readily in communications between merchants because merchants are more sophisticated than non-merchants in the practice of making agreements. Nevertheless, a counteroffer between merchants that adds new terms will not be enforced if the offer expressly limited acceptance to the terms of the offer, if the additional terms materially alter the intent of the parties, or if notification of rejection of the counteroffer was given to the recipient of the offer by the original offerer.

If an offer indicates that it will terminate within a certain period of time, it cannot be accepted after the time has expired. The passage of a reasonable length of time may automatically terminate an offer. The determination of a reasonable length of time depends on the circumstances surrounding the offer. For example, if a wholesaler contacts a retailer offering to sell perishable produce, the retailer cannot wait six weeks and then accept the offer. Even if an item is nonperishable, an unusually lengthy response time may terminate an offer. For example, if the usual practice in the lumber business is a response time of less than two weeks, the offerer may refuse to honor the offer if the recipient of the offer does not respond within that time period.

Some offers may be made irrevocable. An irrevocable offer is one that cannot be revoked by the offerer and terminates only upon the passage of time or rejection by the recipient. There are three types of irrevocable offers: (1) where the recipient of the offer pays the offerer for the promise to keep the offer open; (2) where the recipient of the offer partly or fully performs his or her obligations under the offer; and (3) firm offers under section 2-205 of the Uniform Commercial Code. A firm offer is an assurance by a merchant to buy or sell goods. The assurance must be in writing. No consideration is necessary to support the promise that the offer will remain open. A firm offer created under section 2-205 remains open no more than ninety days.


n. a specific proposal to enter into an agreement with another. An offer is essential to the formation of an enforceable contract. An offer and acceptance of the offer creates the contract. (See: contract)


(Propose), verb bid, bring forward, hold forth, hold out, invite, lay before, make a bid, make a proposition, make an overture, offerre, pose, proffer, profiteri, put forth, put forth for acceptance, put forth for connideration, put forward, put forward for consideration, submit, suggest, urge upon, venture


(Tender), verb advance, cede, extend, offer perrormance, pay, present, present for acceptance, produce, proffer, proffer payment, remit, render, submit, tender perrormance
Foreign phrases: Praesentare nihil aliud est quam praesto dare seu offere.To present is no more than to give or offer forthwith.
See also: adduce, administer, bear, bid, hold out, introduce, invitation, overture, pose, present, proffer, proposal, propose, proposition, propound, remit, suggestion, tender, yield


an expression of willingness made to another party to form a binding legal contract. It is to be distinguished from an invitation to treat, which is merely an indication that a person is open to offers. Normally it requires an ACCEPTANCE to form a contract.

OFFER, contracts. A proposition to do a thing.
     2. An offer ought to contain a right, if accepted, of compelling the fulfillment of the contract, and this right when not expressed, is always implied.
     3. By virtue of his natural liberty, a man may change his will at any time, if it is not to the injury of another; he may, therefore, revoke or recall his offers, at any time before they have been accepted; and, in order to deprive him of this right, the offer must have been accepted on the terms in which it was made. 10 Ves. 438; 2 C. & P. 553.
     4. Any qualification of, or departure from those terms, invalidates the offer, unless the same be agreed to by the party who made it. 4 Wheat. R. 225; 3 John. R. 534; 7 John. 470; 6 Wend. 103.
     5. When the offer has been made, the party is presumed to be willing to enter into the contract for the time limited, and, if the time be not fixed by the offer, then until it be expressly revoked, or rendered nugatory by a contrary presumption. 6 Wend. 103. See 8 S. & R. 243; 1 Pick. 278; 10 Pick. 326; 12 John. 190; 9 Porter, 605; 1 Bell's Com. 326, 5th ed.; Poth. Vente, n. 32; 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 577, et seq.; and see Acceptance of contracts; Assent; Bid.

References in periodicals archive ?
We implemented a better solution during formal discussions with the offerors.
Negotiations are exchanges, in either a competitive or sole source environment, between the government and offerors that are undertaken with the intent of allowing the offeror to revise its proposal.
T]he honest exchange of information in a preaward debriefing may well obviate the need for, or discourage, a bid protest; competitive range evaluation results for excluded offerors are always "fresher" in the preaward than in the post-award time frame .
According to the Offeror's Press Release, since the Offeror's establishment in 1918, the Offeror has been conducting business broadly in the electronics industry, guided by its basic management philosophy, which states that the mission of an enterprise is to contribute to the progress and development of society and the well-being of people worldwide through its business activities.
Exchanges are any exchange of information in the midst of a source selection between the government's source selection team and the offerors.
Please be informed that the measures implemented by the Tender Offeror as described below are based on the explanation made by the Tender Offerors.
Each Offeror must complete Exhibit 6 Qualification Statement.
Because the non-quantitative system provides the evaluation team and SSA with greater flexibility in assessing the various benefits and impacts of different approaches taken by offerors to the requirement.
Second, the Offering Materials state that the Offerors will not purchase more than 4.
Deadline to Submit Offerors 10/27/2017 Additional Written Questions 5.
306(d)(3), Exchanges with Offerors after Receipt of Proposals, the agency is required to discuss with all competitive-range offerors the significant weaknesses, deficiencies, and other aspects of the proposal that could, in the opinion of the contracting officer, be altered or explained to materially enhance the proposal's potential for award.
Accordingly, Patriot will only permit units to be transferred pursuant to the Offer if the general partner determines, in its sole discretion, either that the cumulative total number of transfers in any tax year (including transfers prior to the Offer, transfers pursuant to the Offer and any amount reserved for future transfers outside of the Offer) falls within the safe harbor or that the Offerors have provided sufficient assurances and protection to Patriot, its partners and unit holders to allow the transfers even though the aggregate annual transfers of Patriot units may exceed the two percent safe harbor limitation.