When Is a Unilateral Contract Revocable

A unilateral contract is an agreement in which one party makes a promise in exchange for performance by the other party. Unlike in a bilateral contract where both parties make promises, in a unilateral contract, only one party makes the promise, and the other party accepts it by performing the required action.

One of the critical features of a unilateral contract is that it is irrevocable once action has been taken to accept the offer. This means that once the offer has been made, and one party begins to perform, the offering party cannot revoke the offer or cancel the contract without breaching the agreement.

However, there are some situations where a unilateral contract may be revocable. These include:

1. The offeror reserves the right to revoke the offer.

In some cases, the offeror may reserve the right to revoke the offer at any time before performance has been made. This means that the offer can be revoked at any time at the discretion of the offering party.

2. The offeror sets a time limit for acceptance.

If the offeror sets a time limit for acceptance and the offeree fails to perform within the specified period, the offer will be considered revoked and cannot be accepted.

3. The offeree communicates an intention not to perform.

If the offeree clearly communicates an intention not to perform before the acceptance of the offer, the offer may be considered revoked.

4. The offeree does not fully perform.

In a unilateral contract, the acceptance of the offer is through complete performance of the required action. If the offeree does not fully perform the required action, the offer may be considered revoked.

It is essential to understand that the revocability of a unilateral contract depends on various circumstances and the specific terms of the offer. If the offeror clearly indicates that the offer is irrevocable, then the contract cannot be revoked. However, if the offeror reserves the right to revoke the offer or sets a time limit for acceptance, then the contract may be revocable.

In conclusion, a unilateral contract is generally considered irrevocable once the offeree begins to perform the required action. However, there are exceptions to this rule, as outlined above. It is important to carefully review the terms of the offer before accepting to avoid any misunderstandings or breaches of the agreement.