Offer & acceptance analysis is a traditional approach in contract law. The offer & acceptance formula, developed in the 19th century, identifies the formation when the parties are in agreement. This classical approach to contract/s formation of the modified developments in the law of estoppel, misrepresentation, misleading conduct, misrepresentation and unjust enrichment.

An offer as "an expression of willingness to contract on certain terms, made with the intention that it shall become binding as soon as it is accepted by the person to whom it is addressed," An offer is a statement of the terms on which the offeror is willing to be bound. It is the present contractual intent to be bound by a contract with definite and certain terms communicated to the offeree.

The essential requirement is that the parties had each from a subjective perspective engaged in conduct manifesting their assent. Under this meeting of the theory of the mind of contract, a party could resist a claim of breach by proving that he had not to be intended to be bound by the agreement, only if it appeared subjectively that he had so intended. This is unsatisfactory, as one party has no way to know another's undisclosed intentions. One party can only act upon what the other party reveals objectively (Lucy V Zehmer, 196 Va 493 84 S.E. 2d 516) to be his intent.

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