Many individuals and businesspeople ask if their contracts must be in writing to be legally enforceable.  The answer in North Carolina is that “it depends.”  It depends on the subject of the contract, the monetary value, and, in some cases, the length of time the contract is in existence.  Whether or not a contract must be in writing to be legally enforceable, it usually makes sense to put your agreement in writing for several reasons including: (1) it documents the understanding between the parties, (2) it decreases the chance of a dispute or lawsuit, and (3) it allows for businesses to have consistent contract terms among various customers.  So make it a practice to put your contracts in writing.  And if you need assistance in creating, reviewing, or interpreting a contract, speak with a licensed North Carolina attorney who handles contract matters.

List of Some Contracts that Must be in Writing

Because you asked, here is a non-comprehensive list of some of the contracts that must in writing to be legally enforceable in North Carolina:

  1. Sale of goods for the price of $500 or more
  1. Sale of real property
  1. Leases of real property longer than 3 years
  1. Covenants Not to Compete, also called Non-Competes or Non-Competition Agreements
  1. Certain Commercial Loan Commitments
  1. Contracts for certain health or athletic clubs, martial arts training, dance lessons, and dating services
  1. Contracts for “discount buying clubs”
  1. Certain contracts for credit repair services
  1. Certain “membership camping contracts”