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I am 16 years old and interested in selling a website. After creating a thread in stack web development I wanted to ask a law question and that's why I got redirected here.

I live in Albania, Europe and I would like to know; Am I able to sign a contract such as a buy-sell agreement by the age of 16 in Europe or in my country in specific?

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  • Mandatory snarky answer: You can sign as soon as you learn to write your name. Whether it is legally binding is another story.
    – ohwilleke
    Jun 26 '18 at 19:06
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You can sign a contract without any problems. But assuming that you are not a legal adult, you or your guardian can void the contract. Details depend on the country, usually until you are eighteen or shortly after.

So let's say I want to buy your website for $50,000, and we write a contract that is absolutely fair, nobody trying to take advantage of your youth and inexperience. When I sign, that's binding for me. I can't refuse to pay the $50,000 saying you were to young.

You or your guardian however (most likely your parents) can change your mind and make that contract void. Which is a big risk for me, because If I work really hard to make that website a success, and when you are close to 18 years old it is worth $200,000 then you can void the contract, and get the website back that is now worth four times as much. You can see that I'm not quite willing to buy your website under those circumstances. (And I can't put anything into the contract to avoid this, because you can void the contract with all the clauses that I added to protect myself).

So if you find someone willing to pay, you can sign a valid contract even at 16 (or even younger), but because of your young age it may be harder to find a buyer.

On the other hand, if the contract was that you do some work for me and I pay you, I'm bound by the contract (I have to pay you once the work is done), but once you've done the job, it doesn't matter anymore if you void the contract because the work is done.

And you or your guardian don't have the right to change the contract. You can fulfil the contract, or you can void it (which means the contract just stops existing). You can't change it.

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  • While probably true in it's most basic form, I can't see a court upholding that the purchaser not being entitled to whatever was paid for it + the work that went into increasing its value if the contract were voided in that manner. It isn't like the OP could get the money then cancel it the next day and keep both the money and the result, I'm sure that a court would uphold that (unless like you said they were taking advantage of the OP) that they would be entitled to fair compensation for the work if it increased the value.
    – Ron Beyer
    Jun 26 '18 at 17:27
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    @RonBeyer The contract is voided. Effectively there never was a contract. A court wouldn't get involved because there was no contract.
    – gnasher729
    Jun 27 '18 at 23:47
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Under Albanian law, the situation is somewhat open to interpretation. Law No. 7850 of July 29, 1994 (English translation) Part 1 Title 1 spells out the law of capacity. Article 6 sets 18 as the age of full majority:

The person who reaches eighteen years old wins the full rights so that by his acts he gains rights and holds civil obligations.

Articles 7-9 place limits on capacity for those who are younger. Those under 14 can act with approval of their legal representative, but unconditionally

can be member of social organization, posses everything he gains by his work, to deposit his savings and to posses these deposits himself.

Article 8 says say that he "who has not reached fourteen years old, has no capacity to act", and Article addresses 14-16 in the special case

of fourteen to eighteen years who is unable to carry out his own affairs because of psychic diseases or mental illness is deprived of the capacity to perform legal transactions a court decision. These transactions can be performed through his legal representative.

There is no law covering mentally-fit people between 14 and 18. The capacity to contract is neither affirmed (as for 18+) nor denied (as for 14-). Albanian Supreme Court decisions could be accessed and searched here to see if there have been any court rulings on disaffirmation of contract when one is between 16 and 18 years old.

(Better translations here, Albanian original here).

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    WOW, I really can't belive how talented you guys are...I searched for an all day about something on this laws and I found s***. I want to thank you so much for even trying to give me an answer, and know I sort of have a general idea of what I'm going to try to do.
    – KnownAsDon
    Jun 26 '18 at 20:36

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