Essentials and Kinds of Offer

Concept of offer under Indian Contract Act

What is offer?

Offer is also known as proposal under Indian Contract Act 1872.

According to section 2 (A),
When any person signifies his willingness to another person to do or not to do anything with a view to obtain his assent on it, is said to make a proposal.

Essential elements of proposal are,

1. There must be two parties.

2. The proposal must be certain.

3. The offer must be communicated.
Related Case: Balfour v Balfour

4. There must be intention to create legal relationship.
Related Case: Lalman Shukla v Gauri Dutt

Note: ‘Communication’ means the content of offer must come into the knowledge of the person to whom the offer is made.

Note: There are some offers where there is no intention to create legal relationship.
For example-
Family matter, Religious matter, Political matters etc.


1. General Offer. It is an offer to the whole world.

2. Specific offer. It is an offer made to a particular person or group of persons.

3. Express offer. It is an offer which is made by words either oral or in writing.

4. Implied offer. It is an offer which is made by conduct or gesture of the parties.

5. Counter offer. When a person to whom the offer is made does not accept the offer [as it is] he counters the condition. This is called counter offer.

6. Cross offer. When two offers of same terms and conditions cross each other at same time, it is called cross offer.

7. Standing offer. An offer is a standing offer if it is intended to remain open for a specified period.

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