I’m a firm believer in having a contract written up specifically for the client and yourself before you begin any work. However, there are times and situations that can lead to us starting before a contract is made, or working without a contract altogether.

So how do you know what makes the promise between the client and yourself legally binding without having a written contract?

It all comes down to consideration. Shake has a great article that offers a deeper look at what consideration is and how to see if that quick verbal or written agreement you’ve made with a client is legally binding or not.

“Consideration is the word used to describe the requirement that both parties must agree to give up something of value in order to form a contract; you have to give to get. Consideration doesn’t have to be money or a tangible asset, but it must be objectively worth something. Consideration can manifest as giving away a right or interest possessed by a party; an agreement not to act, a detriment to, or a loss by the other.

The comparative value of each party’s consideration does not matter – the only requirement is that each party must offer something of some value. In other words, offering a stick of gum in exchange for a brand new house is valid consideration by both parties.”

Read the entire article at Shake.