Does a contract have to have start and end date to be valid?

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Does a contract have to have start and end date to be valid?

I recently entered into a very bad contract with a snowboard company. However when I looked at my contract to see how I might be able to evade this situation, I noticed that the contract is literally written for one day. There is no end date on there at all. Does that mean I am free and clear?

Asked on July 21, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Utah

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There is no way to tell without having an attorney review with you not just the contract, but also the circumstances and other communications between you and the company. When a contract is ambiguous, such as in relation to its duration, a court (if ligitation ensues) would look to  "extrinsic" aids to understand what the parties meant. These aids can include earlier drafts of the contract, emails and other corresondence, discussions, etc. So say that you and the company had exchanged messages in which it can be seen that you both intended this to be a one-year contract; in that case, a court would likely conclude the contract was for one year.


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