San Bernardino, CA asked in Real Estate Law and Contracts for California

Q: Can a contract that was drawn up in Spanish be legal if you are dealing with a business in the US?

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2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Yes, under California law, a contract written in Spanish can be legally binding, even if the business is located in the United States. California Civil Code Section 1632 specifically addresses this issue:

1. The law requires that if a business negotiates a contract primarily in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, or Korean, the business must provide a translated copy of the contract in the language used during the negotiation.

2. This law applies to various types of contracts, including loans, leases, and agreements for services involving a natural person.

3. If the business fails to provide a translated copy of the contract, the person who signed the contract may have the right to rescind (cancel) the agreement.

However, it's important to note that this law does not invalidate contracts written in Spanish or any other language. The primary purpose of the law is to ensure that individuals who negotiate contracts in certain languages have a clear understanding of the terms and conditions of the agreement.

In general, as long as both parties understand and agree to the terms of the contract, it can be legally binding regardless of the language in which it is written. It is always advisable to have a professional translation of the contract to ensure clarity and avoid misunderstandings.

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›

A: The party in the USA which might later want to enforce the contract will want it executed in English. You do not want the inconvenience and expense of suing for breach of a spanish contract.

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