What's an Implied Contract?

Although it is preferred to have all contracts drafted in writing, verbal contracts between parties can still be enforced, even if the agreement has not been written down. There are two forms of implied contracts: those that are implied in-fact and those that are implied by law. Below, I explain the differences between these two implied contracts.

What Is an Implied In-Fact Contract?

Implied in-fact contracts establish an obligation between parties based on the facts of the situation. If the party’s behavior conveys that an agreement or understanding has been made, then the law will see this as an implied in-fact contract. If you have performed your part of the agreement, and the other party benefits from your performance but doesn’t hold up their end of the deal, you can sue for damages. Courts will look at the specific conduct of the parties in question to determine if an implied in-fact contract actually exists.

What Is an Implied At-Law Contract?

Under an implied at-law contract, the duty to perform a contract is enforced by the law, sometimes against one party’s will. This happens in situations where without remedy, one party would unfairly benefit from the other party’s actions. In these cases, the performing party is entitled to be compensated for the services they provided. This is true even if there was never any intent by either party to enter into an agreement. These kinds of agreements are considered quasi-contracts.


There are specific types of contracts that have to be in writing in order to be enforceable. States have laws that outline the kinds of enforceable contracts that should be in writing. Most require written contracts for the sale of land, paying for another person’s debts, services that cannot be performed within one year, agreements over a certain dollar amount, and agreements involving the sale of certain goods.

Do you want to learn more about how to enforce an implied contract? Contact our Hollister implied contracts lawyer to get started on your free consultation today.

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