Sociology | Mercantile Law | International Law | International Relations

Proposal (Offer) is defined by Sec. 2(a) as, “When one person signifies to another his willingness to do or abstain from doing anything with a view to abstaining the assent of that other to such act or abstinence, he is said to make a proposal.”

Person making the offer is called offerer, and the person to whom the offer is made called offeree.

Types of offer
The types of offer can be categories as:

  1. Mode of offer
  2. Scope of offer

Mode of offer
Offer may be:

  1. Express offer: When offer is made in words spoken or written, the offer is “express offer”.
  2. Implied offer: When offer is “expressed by conduct”, the offer is implied.

Scope of offer
Offer may be:

  1. Specific offer: When offer is made to a particular person, or a particular class of person, and that could be accepted by that particular person or that particular class of person, the offer is specific.
  2. General offer: When offer is made to the world at large, and that could be accepted by anyone performing the conditions of the offer, the offer is general. For example, announcement of the reward to the person, solving some particular problem.

Offer and Invitation to offer
These two terms must clearly be differentiated. Invitation to offer is intention to make offer, or invitation to make offer. On the other hand offer is final proposal by the offerer to be bound by his promise.

For example, Bilal tells Saad that he is going to sell his car for at least Rs.600,000. This is intention to make offer (or invitation to make offer). Saad replied, I can buy it for Rs.500,000. This is offer.

Legal Rules as to offer

  1. Offer must be capable of being accepted and giving rise to legal relationship.
  2. Terms of offer: Terms of offer must not be ambiguous, uncertain and vague.
    For example, I will pay you Rs.1,000 more if there is rain on that day.
  3. Offer is different from: (i) Declaration of intention, tenders etc. (ii) Invitation to make offers, quotations, circular etc.
  4. Offer must be communicated.
  5. Offer must be made with a view to obtaining the assent, and not merely with a view to disclosing the intention of making an offer.
  6. Offer should not contain a term, the non-compliance which would amount to acceptance.
    For example, I plan to sell you my car for Rs.500,000. If I don’t receive a reply I presume that you have accepted the offer. In this case the offer is not accepted if person don’t send reply.

It may be Acceptance of offer or Revocation.