Civil contracts

portada contratos civiles

In Colombia, a civil contract is an agreement of wills between two or more persons that establishes rights and obligations for the parties involved in relation to matters of a patrimonial or personal nature. Civil contracts are regulated by the Civil Code and may cover a wide variety of legal situations and transactions.

The elements of existence of any contract are:

  1. Concurrent manifestation of will.
  2. Object, i.e., legal effects produced by the contract.
  3. Cause or reason for real and lawful celebration.
  4. Solemnities or formalities necessary for the perfection of the contract.

On the other hand, the elements of validity are:

  1. The concurrent manifestation of will must be free of defects.
  2. Licit object.
  3. Causa licita.
  4. Capacity.
  5. Enabling formalities.

Some of the most common civil contracts in Colombia are:

  1. Contract of sale: Establishes the transfer of ownership of a good in exchange for a determined price.
  2. Lease contract: Regulates the assignment of the use and enjoyment of a real estate property in exchange for the payment of a lease fee.
  3. Mutual contract: Regulates the loan of money or fungible goods, where one of the parties delivers a certain amount of money or goods to the other party, who undertakes to return the same amount plus the agreed interest.
  4. Loan contract: Establishes the temporary delivery of a non-fungible good (other than money) by the lender to the borrower, who undertakes to return it under the same conditions.
  5. Mandate contract: Empowers a person (mandatary) to act in the name and on behalf of another person (principal) in the performance of certain legal acts.
  6. Promissory purchase agreement: Agreement in which one of the parties undertakes to sell a good in the future to the other party, under specific agreed conditions.
  7. Partnership contract: Establishes the collaboration between two or more persons to carry out an economic activity in order to obtain benefits.
  8. Donation contract: Regulates the free transfer of property or rights from one person to another.

The form of conclusion of civil contracts may vary depending on the nature of the contract and the applicable legal provisions. In general, civil contracts may be entered into verbally or in writing, although it is always recommended to formalize them in writing to avoid misunderstandings and to facilitate their proof in case of dispute. Some contracts, such as the contract of sale of real estate, must be executed in a public deed before a notary public in order to be valid and enforceable against third parties.