Any “person” or “persons” can be a party to a contract. However, there are three special classes of “person” that require special treatment under the contractual law.
Under the Common Law, infants’ contracts could be voided at the infant’s option. In other words, any person under the age of 18 can elect to treat a contract as a nullity. This nullity exists to protect minors from the negative consequences of their actions. To this end, entering into a contract with a minor, is penalised under certain circumstances. The law provides for specific exceptions to the where contracts concluded with minors are valid, namely contracts for necessities and contracts for the minor’s benefit. Necessities are deemed as goods required as per the minors’ life conditions at the time of sale and delivery. Necessities typically include: food, clothing, lodging, educational books, medical attention and legal advice. Contracts for the minor’s benefit include contracts of employment, of apprenticeship, of service and for education. However, even in cases of such contracts, when their terms are unduly one rouson the minor, such terms would not been forced.
Under the Common Law, corporations had a capacity to enter into contracts only if they were able to authenticate themselves by use of a corporate seal. Modern Contract Law allows agents of corporations to enter into contracts on behalf of the corporations, and in relation to any matter that is within the corporate powers. In these circumstances, contracts are entered into in the ways similar to those that may exist between individuals.
Persons of Unsound Mind
A party to a contract who is deemed mentally disordered may be subject to the control of the Court. In these cases, a guardian or receiver may enter into a contract on behalf of a Person(s) of Unsound Mind.