A necessary part of any such agreement is what is called consideration. Consideration is the tit for tat or the quid pro quo that the parties agree to. In most contracts the consideration is money in exchange for some product or service. However, there need not be an agreed exchange of money. There may be something else that constitutes the consideration.
Contracts or agreements may be in writing or may be oral. In some instances there has to be written proof of the agreement for it to be enforceable.In general oral contracts are as binding as written contracts. The advantage of a written contract is that it provides greater clarity as to what the parties agreed to.
See Brien Roche’s book Law 101 published by Sphinx Publishing for more information on this subject.
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For more information about contracts see the pages on Wikipedia.