An MOU is an expression of agreement to continue or proceed. It symbolizes that the parties have reached an agreement and progressing ahead with their business relationship. Although it is not legally binding, it is an earnest declaration that a contract is imminent.
Benefits of MOU
Establishes a Common Intention
- With any business dealing, it is paramount that both parties understand each other’s goals and objectives.
- An MOU can be a great asset to your business relations.
- It is highly beneficial with clear terms and effective communication and dealings.
Reduces Risk of Uncertainty
- Business negotiations can be rocky and uncertain at times. They can be particularly hazy at the beginning of relations between the parties.
- There is nothing worse than disagreeing with the business partner over contract terms.
- Hence, MOU’s provide a great safeguard to reduce the risk of uncertainty in expectations and objectives.
Records Prior Agreements
- Often during negotiations, two or more parties agree on certain terms which would then appear in the future contract. If a party retracts or forgets these terms, MOU comes handy.
- Although the document is not legally binding, it is useful as it records what has been agreed upon during negotiations.
- Therefore, this provides a clear understanding of the parties as their common objectives.
The Ease of Ending Engagements
- An MOU can facilitate positive relations between parties as terms are set out. An MOU is a great starting point that establishes what both parties want to achieve out of the agreement.
- Therefore, if you want to exit the agreement after the contract is formed, a formal termination process must be ensured. This can be more complicated, stressful and sometimes expensive.
Provides a Framework for Future dealings
- An MOU can put our minds at ease. Having the proposed terms already set out in a prior document provides a framework for future dealings.
- The MOU can also be referred back to as a reminder of the parties’ objectives and intentions if any confusion arises.
Secures The Partnership
The master service agreement envelopes an entire relationship between the business owner and the client, covering all facets of the agreement that is likely to emerge. Such a contract is an advantage for anyone beginning a long-standing association with a dealer or a client.
A master service agreement promotes a structure to consider and work out terms and requirements. So, the same conditions need not be continuously bargained for deals that are identical or associated with one another.
Checklist Requirements of an MOU
At a minimum, an MOU must be executed between a recipient and sub-recipient and a third-party service provider which includes the following information.
- Agency Information:
- Recipient’s or sub-recipients identification information with points of contact.
- Service provider’s identifying information with points of contact.
- The unconditional commitment of third party providers to provide service.
- Description of services to be provided.
- Provision of the scope of services.
- Specific contract to be matched.
- Duration of the contract.
- Point-in-time number of clients receiving service.
- Total clients receiving service over the grant term.
- Qualification of persons providing service.
- The estimated value of services provided.
- Documentation of service match
- Documentation requirements, and responsibilities of the service provider and recipient.
- Standard timelines of the service provider and recipient for providing services to individuals.
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) process in India
A MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) is nothing but an agreement executed between 2 or more willing parties, in the format of a formal document. An MoU is not legally binding on the parties. However, it indicates the willingness or intention of the parties involved, to proceed with the contract.
An MoU often defines the purpose and scope of a negotiation and hence, it can be regarded as the beginning point of the said negotiation or talk. More often than not, MOUs are seen in negotiations related to global treaties. They are also seen in business dealings involving high stakes (for example, merger talks).
Concerning MOU in India, several laws govern its functioning. Section 10 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 lays down the fundamental necessities of a legally binding agreement or contract:
- There must be an offer delivered by one party and received by another.
- The consent of the parties must be free and not affected by fraud, coercion, or undue influence.
- The parties must be qualified to enter into a contract. This means that they must be more than 18 years old, must be of sane mind, and not considered as insolvent/bankrupt.
- There must be a lawful consideration.
- There must be a lawful object.
- There must be an intention to foster a legal relationship.
What is Included in an MOU?
- An MOU precisely outlines particular points of an agreement. It identifies the parties, explains the project on which they are agreeing, determines its scope, and details each party’s role and responsibilities.
- While not legally enforceable, the MOU is an important step because of the time and effort involved in negotiating and drafting an adequate document. To create an MOU, participating parties are required to reach a mutual understanding. In the process, each side receives what is more important to the other before proceeding forward.
- In general, each party involved draft its own MoU, with favourable or best-case scenarios. It considers the selected or ideal outcome for the said party. It also includes what the party has to offer to the other party/ parties and the non-negotiable points from its purview. These will be the starting points with which the party goes ahead with the negotiations.
Stamp Duty on Memorandum of Understanding
Normally, no stamp duty is levied on Memorandum of Understanding. However, if the MOU consolidates an agreement to purchase fixed property, the worth of stamp duty should be more than Rs 100/- . To produce it in court, it should be stamped.
This arranges evidentiary value and is recognized as evidence in the court of law. If the document is not stamped properly, it will not be admitted as evidence by the court.
FAQs on Memorandum of Understanding
Is MOU a Legal Document?
An MOU is not legally binding but it indicates the willingness of the parties to go ahead with a contract. The MOU can be seen as the origin point for negotiations as it describes the scope and purpose of the talks. Such records are most frequently observed in international treaty negotiations but also may be used in high-stakes business dealings such as merger talks. MOU does not constitute a legally enforceable obligation. It is generally applied for a non-binding contract. If an MOU has been drawn for consideration, like for replacement of money, etc., the document would enhance binding on the parties, else it is a non-binding contract.
Who Will Use the MOU Format?
The MOU format for sale of a property is prepared by any business or individual, holding clear title, finalizing the full and final settlement of a sale of a property prior to getting the rights of executing the transfer of title, which are subject to certain conditions of the allotment authority or time restrained. So, the major features of the discussion between parties are laid down in the form of a memorandum of understanding, which involves a simple document or an MOU Format that formalizes the first level of discussion between the parties. Additionally, it will include the common understanding between both parties and serves as a basis for making a formal contract later on.
What is the Process of Drafting an MOU?
- Log on to the LegalDocs website and access the MOU form.
- Fill in the details of the parties’ transaction that is executed under the memorandum of understanding, duration, arbitration, and several additional queries to secure the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) online.
- Lawyers will work on drafting the memorandum of understanding with all the necessary details, and it will be ready to download.