It's always a good idea to get a business agreement down on paper, but sometimes, for one reason or another, it doesn't happen. Most businesspeople in Colorado are familiar with the so-called handshake deal, and other types of contracts that are not necessarily in writing. Many of these agreements meet the basic requirements of a contract (offer, acceptance, consideration, competency, intent) and so will be legally enforceable. However, a law known as the Statute of Frauds requires that certain types of contracts must be in writing, or else they are not legally enforceable.
Every state has some version of the Statute of Frauds on its books. In fact, the basic premise of the law dates back to English law from before the American Revolution. Contracts that must be in writing include those that are to last for more than one year, contracts involving the executor of an estate, contracts for goods that cost more than $500 and contracts for the sale of land, and financing agreements.