Commercial Law Jargon Buster


This is the unconditional agreement to an offer which creates the contract. An offer can be withdrawn up until the point of acceptances.


This is a person that is appointed to act on behalf of another person. There are conditions in relation to the authority that the agent holds. Arbitration This is when a independent third party is introduced in an attempt to settle matters without going to Court.

Breach of Contract

This is when one of the parties fail to uphold their part of the deal. It can make the whole contract void and damages to be awarded against the party in breach.


These are major terms included in a contract. They are the basis of any contract. They are more serious than warranties and if a condition is broken, it can breach the contract.

Confidentiality Agreement 

This is an agreement created to protect confidential information if it has to be disclosed to another party. Consideration Within a contract, each party must give some consideration to the other. Usually it is the price paid by one side and good supplied by the other.


This is an individual who purchases goods or services but not part of their business.

Due Diligence

This is the process of investigation the background of a business to ensure that there are no hidden details that could affect the deal.

Employment Contract

This is a contract made between employer and employee. It differs in the fact that it is governed by its own legislation.

Exclusion Clause

These are clauses in a contract that intend to exclude one party from liability if a stated circumstance happens.

Express Terms

These are the terms that are actually agreed for the deal in the contract.


These are commercial agreements allowing one business to deal in a product or service controlled by another.

Implied Terms

These are terms and clauses that are implied in a contract by law or custom and practice without actually being included by any party. Joint and Several Liability This is when parties act together in a contract as partners. As well as being joint and severally liable, each individual is individually liable for the entire contract.


This is the formal breaking up of a company or partnership. The assets have to be sold to pay the debt. Misrepresentation This is when one party to a contract makes a false statement of fact to the other which that other person relies on. The party who relied on the false statement can get damages for their loss.


An offer to contract must be made with the intention to create a legal relationship. Partnership This is when two or more people join together to carry on a business.

Subject to Contract

These words are used on documents exchanged by parties during contract negotiations. They mean that the contract is not an offer and that negotiations are ongoing. Often the expression ‘without prejudice’ is used instead.


This is a registered name or logo that is protected by law.


These are promises made in a contract but less serious than a condition. If a warranty is breached, it results in damages being paid.

Financial Related Terms


This is formal recognition that a person cannot pay their debts as they are due.


This is money paid as the usual remedy as compensation for loss.


This is a secondary contract which one person promises to honour the debt of another if the original debtor fails to pay. The agreement must be in writing.

Latest Commercial Law Articles

Taking Out Insurance? Have You Disclosed Everything You Should?

Insurance companies have an expectation that their customers will tell them everything they need to know, so they can fully assess the insurance risk they are taking.

Informal Business Partnerships are a Recipe for Strife

It makes sense to have any business partnership formalised in writing professionally to keep everyone happy and to set the ground rules of the business. The following case shows what happens if you don’t.

Steel Manufacturer Pays £1.5 Million Price of Health and Safety Breaches

The Court of Appeal heard a case where a steel manufacturer had been fine £1,985,000 for breeches in Health and Safety. These fines are intended as a warning to others that the matter was taken seriously.

Keep Your Life’s Work Safe If You Are Not Here

As a company owner it is important to secure its future if you are not around. Without preparation, chaos could ensue for those left behind. As part of the business planning legal advice should be sought to secure your company’s future.

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