Consideration – Each of the party needs to draw certain benefits of the contract for it to be binding on them. This is a clause under the English laws of contracts and not under the Scottish law (each party must be paid for the services or products being provided). The seller would have to provide the goods or services to the buyer, whereas the buyer would have to pay its cash or credit equivalent. The delivery should be completed for the contract to be enforceable (Larson, 2003). – The contracts that has been signed should be done for a purpose which is legal.
Contracts are meant to establish a healthy and a working relationship between the buyer and the seller. However, it is important that this relationship is not performed for an illegal purpose. All online contracts are subjected to the same laws as offline contracts. The terms and conditions of the contract imposed by both the parties have to be ‘reasonable’. If either of the party has an extraordinary term or condition, then it has to be highlighted to the other party to make sure that they are aware of it and is agreed upon during the contractual agreement process.
For online contracts, the courts would decide the reasonable nature of the terms and conditions of the contract. Each and every nation would have a set of terms and conditions that would help guide the internet service providers in providing online contracts. Each and every nation has clearly stated the importance of providing the terms and conditions to the opposite party. For an online service provider, the terms and conditions of various nations would have to be fulfilled so as to ensure that no hassles occur during business.
If the terms and conditions of any one nation are not being met, that particular nations should clearly be excluded from business (Larson, 2003). In the UK, online contract laws came into existence in the since the year 2000. The consumers had to be provided with certain information before and after the contract were signed. Besides, the consumers had to be given a 7-day period during which, they could withdraw from the contract, without assigning any reason. This ensures that the buyers get good quality of products for their purchases. The online contract laws actually came into existence in the year 2002 in the UK.
In the year 2004, certain online contract laws came up for financial products and services. In the US, the FTC has heavily criticised the use of click-wrap process online. The buyer would have to agree to the terms and conditions, but need not have to go through them before actually agreeing to them. Several courts in the US have clearly stated that agreements that do not bring in the special terms of the contract to the buyer, they would not be binding on the buyer. On the other hand, the browse-wrap process would compulsorily need the owner to read through the terms and conditions of the contract.
It is a more valid process legally (FTC, 2008, Rambarran, 2006). It is also important that in international online contracts, the jurisdiction of the court settlements is mentioned and agreed upon by both parties. This is a special requirement under online contracts, as the area where the buyer or the seller is existent is not known. Besides, the area where the contract is actually agreed upon is also not known. Hence, it is very important to mention under which court the issues would be dealt with in case there is an issue. However, if the court is not mentioned, then the court in which the consumer lives would be chosen.
One of the areas of interest recently with regards to online contracts has been online memberships. Many of the websites would be trying to increase the number of subscriptions through advertisements. However, it is also important to keep legal issues in mind. There are certain basic issues to be kept in mind before the contract is enforced:- Agreements should be made for people above the age of 18 Nature of services that are provided Benefits to be provided to the members The conditions under which the contract can be terminated and whether the remaining amount would be refunded The obligations of the members