What is the difference between an express and implied contract?

by Timothy P. Heather, Lawyer Referral Service Panelist

The terms of most enforceable contracts are usually very specific and unambiguous.  This is known as an express contract.  However, sometimes neither party specifies what certain terms are, but their actions are such that the terms and conditions of their contract can be inferred.  In this case, there may be an implied contract.  A classic example of an implied contract is your legal obligation to pay the bill after you have gone to a restaurant and had a meal.  There is no express contract, but the circumstances and conduct create a contractual obligation for you to pay for the food which you ordered.

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