Unilateral Contract

What is a 'Unilateral Contract'

A unilateral contract is a legally enforceable promise - between legally competent parties - to do or refrain from doing a specified, legal act or acts. In a unilateral contract, one party pays the other party to perform a certain duty. If the duty is fulfilled, the party on the other side of the contract is obligated to transfer the specified funds. Only this party is under obligation of the contract, whereas the acting party is not legally obliged to perform the duty.

BREAKING DOWN 'Unilateral Contract'

Unilateral contracts are a contract type where one party is legally obligated to uphold the terms of the contract. For example, if an individual places an advertisement in the local newspaper to provide an award in the event a missing item is returned, that individual is obligated to pay the award if the item is indeed returned.