Different Types of Business Agreements

Written by natasha gilani
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Different Types of Business Agreements
A business agreement or contract details a particular business venture. (contract 20309 image by pablo from Fotolia.com)

A business agreement is a formally drawn written document or oral promise between two or more parties that details a particular business venture. A typical business agreement specifies details such as cost of goods sold, the product or service required, milestones, insurance, and work completion deadlines.

Unilateral Agreement

A unilateral agreement or contract is a legal binding one in which one party undertakes a promise without securing a similar promise or undertaking from another party. A unilateral agreement is a one-sided contract between an offeror (or promisor) and an offeree (or promisee). The party making the promise in exchange for goods or service is the offeror. The party acting on the offeror's promise is the offeree.

An example of a unilateral agreement is a newspaper ad offering reward for a lost item, such as a passport. The offeree is under no legal obligation to look for the passport, but if he does find and return the lost item, the offeror is legally bound to pay the reward money.

Bilateral Agreement

A bilateral agreement or contract is one in which two parties exchange legally binding promises. Most business transactions undergo bilateral agreements, in which buyers and sellers exchange promises to buy and deliver a product or service.

A sales contract is a bilateral agreement. One party promises to deliver a good or service, and another is legally bound to incur the cost of the good or service purchased.


A partnership is a type of business agreement that is made between two or more parties or general partners (owners). A partnership agreement is a formal document that details the general provisions, capital, profit and loss, salaries and withdrawals, interest, managerial duties and restrictions, banking, books, voluntary termination, death and arbitration.

The general provisions include the name of the partnership, purposes, place and term of business.

Capital refers to financial or other contributions by the partners.

The profit and loss incurred by a partnership is shared between its partners.

All partnership funds are commonly deposited in bank checking or saving accounts.

All partnership information--such as assets, liabilities and others--are maintained in partnership books that are equally accessible to all partners.

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