When Can a Contract Be Set Aside

When Can a Contract be Set Aside?

Contracts are essential parts of any business or personal transaction. They help protect the interests of parties involved and ensure that all agreed-upon terms are carried out. However, there are times when a contract can be set aside. In this article, we`ll discuss when a contract can be set aside and the legal implications of doing so.

1. Misrepresentation or Fraud

If one party has made a false statement or misrepresented facts to the other party, the contract can be set aside. Misrepresentation can be intentional or unintentional. However, the false statement must be a material fact that was relied upon by the other party. For example, if a car dealer falsely claims that a car`s mileage is low to make a sale, and the buyer later discovers that the car`s mileage is much higher, the contract can be set aside.

2. Duress or Coercion

If one party has forced or coerced the other party to sign the contract, the contract can be set aside. The party who was coerced into signing the contract may argue that they were under duress when they signed the contract. For instance, if an employer forces an employee to sign an agreement that is against their will, the employee can challenge the contract.

3. Mistake

If both parties made an innocent mistake about a material term of the contract, the contract can be set aside. However, both parties must have made the same mistake. For instance, if a buyer and a seller agree to a price for a product, but they both inadvertently believed they were discussing different products, the contract can be set aside.

4. Illegality

If a contract is illegal, it can be set aside. A contract can be illegal if it goes against the law or public policy. For example, a contract that involves illegal activities like drug trafficking, gambling, or fraud cannot be enforced by the courts.

5. Incapacity

If one party was unable to understand the contractual obligations when signing the contract, the contract can be set aside. For instance, if a person signs a contract while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and did not comprehend the terms, the contract can be challenged.


Contracts are an essential aspect of any business transaction. Parties rely on the terms of the contract to ensure that they are protected and that their interests are met. However, under certain conditions, contracts can be set aside. Misrepresentation, duress, mistake, illegality, and incapacity are some of the factors that can lead to the invalidation of a contract. As a result, it is crucial to ensure that all parties are aware of the terms of the contract and that all terms are lawful and ethical before signing a contract.

Scroll to Top