The contract can be defined as any agreement which is legally enforceable. So, the fundamental elements of a contract are agreement and enforceability as per law, wherein the agreement is a result of offer and acceptance. Based on the formation, contracts are grouped as, express contract, implied contract and quasi-contract. Express contracts connote the type of contract whose terms are expressly declared.

On the other extreme, implied contracts are those contracts which are not expressly stated by the parties concerned, but by their act or behaviour, the contract is created. Lastly, quasi-contracts are the ones which are actually not a contract but are similar to a contract.

There are instances when express and implied contracts are misconstrued by the students. So, here we present you the difference between express contract and implied contract.

Definition of Express Contract

Express Contract, as the name suggests is the contract, wherein the parties to the agreement, either orally or in written form, states the terms and conditions of the contract. In short, when the offer and acceptance of the agreement are communicated verbally, then the contract is said to be express.

Irrespective of the mode of expression, the contract must exhibit the mutual intent of the parties concerned to be bound. Further, the expression must be spelled out and interpreted. It encompasses a certain proposal, unconditional acceptance and adequate consideration.

For example: John writes a letter to Harry, offering to sell his house to him for 28 lakhs. Harry, by a written letter, gives his acceptance of the proposal. Such a contract is known as an express contract.

Definition of Implied Contract

Implied Contract means a contract which is inferred by the activities and conduct of the parties concerned. In other words, a contract in which the elements, i.e. offer and acceptance is made, without the use of words, then this type of contract is known as implied contract. Such a contract come into being from the assumed intention of the parties. It can be of two types:

  • Implied by law: A contract implied by law is one in which the parties have no intention to enter into the contract. However, the law imposes an obligation to perform the contract, irrespective of the consent of the parties. For example: Roma, gives books to Alen by mistake, which belongs to Sera. Now, it is Alen’s obligation to return the books to Roma; even there is no intention to get into the contract.
  • Implied by fact: In a contract implied by the fact, the obligation is created between the parties, on the basis of the circumstances and actions. For example: Purchasing groceries from mall or retail store.

Key Differences Between Express and Implied Contract

The points given below are substantial so far as the difference between express and implied contract is concerned:

  1. An express contract is a contract, in which the terms of the contract are verbally communicated between the partied involved. On the contrary, an implied contract can be understood as a contract, which is presumed or believed to be existed between the parties or which is expressed by implication.
  2. In express contract, words are used to manifest contract, which can be oral or written. Conversely, in an implied contract is formed out of the deeds or conduct of the parties concerned.
  3. Trust agreement between the author and trustee is an example of an express contract. As against, receiving cash from automated teller machine is a great example of implied contract.


The main difference between the two types of contract, primarily differs on the basis of the mode of communicating assent and evidence required. In an express contract, the terms and conditions are explicitly manifested. It differs from an implied contract, in the sense that, a contract which is supposed to exist, based on the conduct of the parties involved.