If you are in business, you should be making offers ALL. THE. TIME. So, let’s talk killer offers that are legally legit!

I don’t care who you are, what kind of business, what you do, how you sell, what you charge…your offer MUST be golden.

In many cases, you will be making offers on Facebook or Instagram for people to sign up for your freebie and “opt in” to your email list. Or, maybe you are making offers for free mini sessions, consults, or to give a written proposal. Whatever the case…make sure you and your offer are enticing, interesting and legally legit.

Ok, what makes an offer irresistible? I coach on this but, honestly, a great offer stems from whether or not you believe in it and yourself to help! But that’s all thought work, and this is a legal post. So a great offer is generally… an interesting story coupled with a keen understanding of how to speak to your target audience. Generally, you talk about how you can 1. Provide something pleasurable, or 2. Help them avoid something painful or unpleasant, and 3. Make “it” EASY… Your offer is the solution you are selling. And, to be really good, it typically has to be unique, specific to your potential client, solve their problem, and (if you want to be really successful) your offer will solve their problem in a new, surprising and awesome way.

So, when you put your offer out there as an ad on Facebook, what does that mean for you…legally? IS there an actual contract formed?!?!

Is your Facebook ad an offer?

Very, very likely not, but like all things legal…it depends. In most cases, advertisements do not count as offers to enter a contract. However, making an offer is the first step to entering into a contract, but ads typically are not offers to enter into a contract.

When can an ad be an offer?

1. The advertisement includes definite terms
2. The advertisement targets a specific person or a limited group
3. The circumstances of publishing make it clear it is intended to be an offer.

An ad could be viewed as an offer when if you specify what the offeree needs to do to “accept” for instance… if you say “opt in” by giving me your email and then I will give you this freebie or free mini session…. you are likely making a valid offer, which if accepted, creates an enforceable contract.

What makes a contract?

A contract is a voluntary, legally binding, agreement that is written or oral (depending on the circumstances) between two or more competent parties that imposes an obligation to do or not do something in exchange for some value.

For there to be a valid contract, everyone must have a common understanding, and be “on the same page” with one another about the major terms. There must be:
1. a clear offer, clear acceptance.
2. “consideration” which is a legal way of saying there was payment exchanged for a good or service.
3. Capacity…everyone involved is an adult and of sound mind.
4. Mutual assent, which means everyone involved intends to be bound by the contract.

So, what does this mean for you? When you advertise, you need to make sure that you can back it up. You can’t mislead, you can’t omit, you can’t deceive. You and you need to do what you say you are going to do in the ad. So, coaches, consultants, listen up. Your packaging and advertising of your services need to match up with your ability to perform what you are claiming. And, if you are promising to deliver certain results, you need to make sure you have appropriate disclaimers if those results are dependent on the client’s implementation or if there are other risks.

Contact Wick Law today for help understanding best practices when advertising!

Wick Law, LLC is a small business legal practice, representing owners, investors, and entrepreneurs in all aspects of commercial, corporate, and business law, estate planning, contracts and negotiations, business litigation, and real estate. For more information: Contact 614-572-6366, visit www.mwicklaw.com, or email us at mwick@mwicklaw.com. Wick Law, LLC is located in Columbus, Ohio.

(Materials in this article have been prepared by Wick Law, LLC for general informational purposes only. This list is for educational purposes and is not to be considered exhaustive. More items could be added to this checklist based upon the type of transaction or industry standards. These materials do not, and are not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information provided is not privileged and does not create an attorney-client relationship with Wick Law, LLC or any of the firm’s lawyers. This checklist is not an offer to represent you. You should not act, or refrain from acting, based upon any information in this checklist. Wick Law, LLC maintains offices in Columbus, Ohio, and has lawyers licensed to practice in Ohio and in the United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio. The firm does not intend to practice law in any jurisdiction where the firm is not licensed.)

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