Legal Purpose in Contract Law - Hôtel Les Chalets de Philippe Chamonix Mont-Blanc

Legal Purpose in Contract Law

Legal Purpose in Contract Law: Understanding Its Importance

Contracts are the foundation of modern commerce and business. They outline the terms of agreements between parties and are essential to any transaction. However, for a contract to be enforceable, it must meet certain requirements, one of which is the legal purpose.

Legal purpose is a fundamental principle of contract law that holds that a contract must be formed for a lawful objective. In other words, the terms of the contract must not violate any laws or public policy. A contract that violates legal purpose is considered void or unenforceable.

Why is legal purpose important in contract law?

The reason for such a requirement is to ensure that the parties involved in the contract are acting within the bounds of the law. It also serves to protect the public interest. For example, a contract to sell drugs illegally would not be enforceable because it is against the law, and enforcing the terms of such a contract would encourage illegal activity.

It is essential to note that not every illegal contract is void or unenforceable. The court will consider the nature of the illegality, the extent to which it affected the contract, and the parties` knowledge of the illegality when deciding whether to enforce a contract.

What types of contracts may violate legal purpose?

Contracts that involve illegal activities or public policy violations are often deemed unenforceable. Examples include:

1. Contracts to commit a crime or fraud

2. Contracts that violate federal or state laws

3. Contracts that are against public policy, such as contracts restricting a person`s freedom of speech or right to work

It is essential to note that even if a contract does not contain an explicit illegal or against-public-policy clause, the court can still find it unenforceable if its purpose is illegal, immoral, or unethical.

What happens if a contract violates legal purpose?

If a contract is deemed to violate legal purpose, it is usually considered void or unenforceable. This means that neither party can enforce the terms of the contract. Additionally, if a contract is found to be illegal, any money or property traded as a result of that contract may be confiscated by the government.


Legal purpose is an essential aspect of contract law that sets out the requirement that a contract must have a lawful objective. This requirement serves to protect the public interest and ensure that the parties involved in a contract are acting within the bounds of the law. By understanding the concept of legal purpose, you can ensure that your contracts comply with all legal requirements and are enforceable in court.

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