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What is Acceptance?

Acceptance and offer play important roles in the formation of a valid contract. For a successful contract, there must be a valid offer followed by the offer being accepted.

Types of Acceptance

  • Empress acceptance: It must be stated very clearly in the agreement and must be understood immediately. Suppose a drawer wants to make a qualification during acceptance. In that case, it must be done such that the instrument holder understands what was accepted and on what qualifications it was accepted.
  • Implied acceptance: Section 8 of the Indian Contract Act 1872, provides that acceptance by conduct or actions of the promisee is acceptable. So if a person performs certain actions that communicate that he has accepted the offer, such implied acceptance is permissible. So if A agrees to buy from B 100 bales of hay for 1000/- and B sends over the goods, his actions will imply he has accepted the offer.
  • Conditional acceptance: Conditional acceptance is also known as qualified acceptance. In this case, the offeree agrees to give his acceptance to the offer only if certain changes are made to the terms and conditions of the offer. This now becomes a counter offer which must be then accepted by the offeror for it to become a promise.

    Example: A agrees to make the payment to B for the renovation of his house if the work is completed on the due date.

All of these methods are valid, but it is best to sign a formal contract to make sure there is a binding element in the event of litigation. Ultimately, It is expressing proving consent to the contract.


The Indian Contract Act 1872 defines acceptance in Section 2 (b) as “When the person to whom the proposal has been made signifies his assent thereto, the offer is said to be accepted. Thus the proposal when accepted becomes a promise.”

When the proposal is accepted and becomes a proposal it also becomes irrevocable. An offer does not create any legal obligations, but after the offer is accepted it becomes a promise. And a promise is irrevocable because it creates legal obligations between parties. An offer can be revoked before it is accepted. But once it is communicated it cannot be revoked or withdrawn.

Essentials of a Valid Acceptance:

  1. It must be given by the person to whom the proposal is made:
  2. It can be given only when the acceptor knows the offer:
  3. Must be absolute and unconditional:
  4. It must be given within the time prescribed or within a reasonable time:
  5. Must be given before the lapse of the offer: 
  6. It must be communicated.
  7. It must be communicated to the offer or himself.
  8. That must be in the prescribed manner.
  9. It must be given in some usual and reasonable manner.
  10. That must show an intention that the acceptor is willing to fulfill the terms of the offer.
  11. It may be expressed or implied.
  12. It cannot be presumed from silence.

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