An offer is a proposal by one party to another to enter into a legally binding agreement with him. An offer is a starting point of an agreement. An offer is also called ‘proposal’.
The person making the proposal or offer is called the ‘promisor’ or ‘offeror’, the person to whom the offer is made is called the ‘offeree’ and the person accepting the offer is called the ‘promisee’ or ‘acceptor’.
“When one person signifies to another, his willingness to do or abstain from doing anything, with a view to obtaining the assent of that other to such act or abstinence, he is said to make a proposal.”
Example: Where ‘A’ tells ‘B’ that he desires to marry by the end of 2004, it does not constitute an offer of marriage by ‘A’ to ‘B’.
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Types of Offer:
1. General Offer: It is an offer made to the public in general and hence anyone can accept and do the desired act.
2. Special Offer: When offer is made to a definite person it is known as specific offer and such offer can be accepted only by that specified person.
3. Cross Offer: Two offers meeting single purpose, made by two parties to each other, in ignorance of each other’s offer.
4. Counter Offer: It means making a fresh offer instead of accepting the original offer. Acceptance of an offer with a variation is not acceptance.
5. Invitation to offer: An offer should be distinguished from an invitation to offer. An offer is definite and capable of converting an intention into a contract. Where as an invitation to an offer is only a circulation of an offer and it is an attempt to induce offers and precedes a definite offer.