Just as in dancing, it always takes two to make an enforceable contract. In a recent contract law case involving a national restaurant chain, the court held that because a management representative of the restaurant chain had not signed the agreement, which contained an arbitration provision, there was no “mutuality of assent.” Without that mutuality of assent, there was no binding agreement, and thus the restaurant chain could not compel arbitration.

We have seen this before in contract law, once in a collective bargaining agreement wherein the union had never countersigned the collective bargaining agreement. In that case, we sent a certified letter withdrawing the offer to contract and thereby defeated their attempts to collect unpaid pension and welfare benefits.

If it is important enough to have a contract, make it important enough for you and the other contracting party to sign. While there may be other theories for determining if a contract does exist, why take the risk? Sign the agreement, and know that there is a contract in place.