This Agreement shall come into force on [DATE] and shall continue in full force and effect until [DATE], unless terminated earlier in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement.
Here is a plain English explanation of the suggested Term clause:
This clause sets out the duration that the contract will be in effect for.
- The contract commencement date - this is when it comes into force and takes effect.
- The contract end date - this specifies when the contract term expires.
- Unless terminated early, the contract provisions apply for the full period between the commencement and end dates.
- There are separate termination clauses that allow early termination in certain situations.
In summary, this Term clause defines the binding duration of the contract. The parties must comply with its provisions from the start date until the end date or early termination.
It provides certainty on the active period of the contract obligations. Having defined contract terms also allows the parties to properly plan and match the length of their commitments.
Contract term clauses originated in ancient Roman law which recognized agreements for defined durations. In early English common law, contractual obligations were seen as permanently binding unless fulfilled.
But over time, English courts began permitting expressly limited contract terms.
By the 18th century, English judges allowed duration clauses that terminated agreements after a specified period, even if obligations were not completely fulfilled. This respected party intent for bounded commitments. Still, perpetual contracts constraining parties indefinitely remained common.
The 19th century saw term clauses proliferate as new standardized contract formats emerged. Shorter duration terms aligned with the industrial era's faster paced business. Parties preferred defined terms over open-ended perpetual deals.
Standardized term clauses brought greater consistency to contract duration across industries. They allowed parties to clearly communicate the intended timeframe for their commitments. By the early 20th century, defined contract terms had become the norm for commercial agreements.
Today fixed term clauses are seen as essential in most contracts to provide certainty. They balance parties' interests in longer term commitments against flexibility of shorter terms.
Modern term clause drafting focuses on clarity of durations and processes for renewal or early termination. Clear contract duration terms remain vital to effective agreements.