At what age can you sign a contract? Actually, any time you make a purchase, you are taking part in a contract. For a contract to subsist, you have to offer to purchase something, the seller accepts your offer, and then an exchange for something of value occurs. A binding contract is an agreement executed in writing and signed by the participants of the agreement so that a court of law has the authority to enforce a contract if one of the parties doesn't hold up their side of the agreement.

By law, it is not legal for someone to participate in a binding contract if they are under 18 years of age in most states. There are many reasons why it is necessary to sign a binding contract for goods and services. For example, with cell phone service, cable service, and gym membership contracts, it is imperative that you understand what the legal ramifications are on the contract before you sign it. It is a necessity to be of legal age when entering into a contract because you are old enough to be responsible for your own actions.

Things to Remember When Signing a Contract

Before deciding to sign a contract with one company, research all companies to see what they are offering. The more information you have about each company, the more you can compare prices, warranties/guarantees, and the length of time each contract is for, along with any other terms or conditions that are relevant. Other things to consider are:

  • Research the company you would like to do business with by verifying their reputation with websites like the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and Facebook.
  • Most contracts are negotiable, so you can probably use the information you collect while investigating the companies to get the most favorable price for your desired service.
  • Don't let the companies you're doing business with coerce you and make you feel pressured to sign their contracts at once.
  • Read the contract all the way through and pay close attention to the details. Make certain that any claims or verbal agreements made by the sales representative are also mentioned in the contract. If you have any concerns, make them known to the salesperson.
  • Make sure you understand everything stated in the contract. If there is confusion about any aspect contained in the contract, ask the sales representative questions to get a clear comprehension of what you're signing.
  • When reading the contract all the way through, don't forget to read the fine print. It is especially important to read the fine print as it is a part of the contract and it will undoubtedly contain very pertinent information about your purchase of goods or services. If you think you need extra help that the sales representative isn't giving you, take the contract to a lawyer so they can review it.
  • When you are dealing with the sales representative, be sure to get contact information for customer service in case there is a need for assistance or to file a complaint. In addition, request that the representative gives you information for the proper steps that you need to perform when filing a complaint.
  • One thing to keep in mind is that any contract that you sign is a legally enforceable document, so whatever you've agreed to by signing the contract, you will have to deal with the consequences. If you have second thoughts about the contract you have signed, there is a way to get released from it. There is a short period of time, known as the "cooling off period," where you are able to cancel a contract without incurring a penalty, which is information that will be referred to in the contract.

If you have any further questions about the minimum age at which you can sign a contract and other contract details, the lawyers of will assist you in all your legal questions or help you if you are involved in a contract that you want to be released from. Post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace to ask any legal questions concerning how these agreements can impact your business.

UpCounsel has the most knowledgeable and experienced lawyers on their staff that are ready to assist you with your legal needs. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers, coming from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law, having an average of 14 years of legal experience which includes working with or on behalf of companies like Menlo Ventures, Airbnb, and Google.