Acceptance, in a legal sense, is an act or implication that gives acceptance of an offer, resulting in a binding agreement.

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What is acceptance?

Acceptance, in a legal sense, is an act or implication that gives acceptance of an offer, resulting in a binding agreement. For this agreement to be valid, the acceptance has to be given in the way stated in the agreement.

Different types of acceptance

There are different types of acceptance of offers and contracts:


  • Absolute acceptance - the offer/agreement is accepted in full, as written.
  • Conditional acceptance - paying under the condition that the product/service is delivered/performed. If not, the buyer is entitled to restitution.
  • General acceptance - when acceptance is given without qualification.
  • Qualified acceptance - in this case, the accepting party alters the terms of the offer, essentially providing a counter offer.


Valid ways to give acceptance

In order for an acceptance to be considered valid the accepting party needs to be aware that an offer was made. A number of telemarketing companies in the past employed a tactic where they read the terms and conditions of a contract to a customer as quickly as possible, pressuring them into agreeing to offers. While these tactics may still be in use, they are effectively banned by most states.


Acceptance can be given several ways. Orally, by phone, in writing, by handshake, by ceremony or by taking the item offered into possession at the counter.

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Disclaimer: This overview is for informational purposes only and cannot be counted as legal advice.