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Can a person write a contract with themselves? Say that a person works in a second-hand car store. Let's assume that the same person intends to sell their car. Can that person sign a one person contract, representing seller of a car and also representing an employee of a specific second-hand car store?

Thank you.

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  • Two companies owned by the same holding company can enter into contracts with each other. They might actually be required to do so when it comes to tax-relevant transfers of assets.
    – o.m.
    Commented Jan 29, 2023 at 18:34

2 Answers 2

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Contracts are a relationship between two or more people

Just as it is meaningless to speak of marrying yourself, it is equally meaningless to speak of a contract with yourself. Even if you were to draft such a thing, you would not have standing to sue because you can’t sue yourself.

Your example probably isn’t a “one person contract”

It’s a contract between the car owner (person 1) and the car yard (person 2) - probably a corporation. The fact that person 1 is representing both parties to the contract doesn’t make it a “one person contract”. There are potential conflicts of interest with this but they are not necessarily ones that can’t be overcome.

However, if the car owner runs a business as a car dealer as a sole trader, then, no, they cannot make this kind of contract.

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Can a person write a contract with themselves?

Forming a contract with oneself would be pointless.

Contracts entails a premise known as meeting of the minds, which is a non-sequitur in settings that involve one person only and therefore notions such as counterparty, controversy, and so forth are false.

Can that person sign a one person contract, representing seller of a car and also representing an employee of a specific second-hand car store?

Merging one's capacity as party with that as counterparty's agent (without counterparty's authorization) constitutes a conflict of interest and is different from your idea of one-person contract. In that scenario, the contract appears to be between the owner of the car and the car store (it is otherwise irrelevant that the person is employee of the car store). If the employee [per-]formed the contract without employer's authorization, the contract null and void.

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  • Is there case law related to dissociative identity disorder to supports your conclusion?
    – user6726
    Commented Jan 29, 2023 at 17:03
  • @user6726 "Is there case law related to dissociative identity disorder to supports your conclusion?" I found none, but that disorder precludes "full legal capacity to incur contract duties". Restatement (Second) of Contracts at §12(2)(c). The opposite would imply the absurdity that someone with that disorder could conspire with himself. The person's "liable personality" would easily defeat a claim of breach of contract by virtue of Id. at §12(1) ("No one can be bound by contract who has not legal capacity") or by arguing that pursuant to §15(1) his contractual duties are voidable. Commented Jan 29, 2023 at 20:47
  • Would downvoters mind articulating their reason(s) for downvoting? This answer develops the points that the other answer paraphrased several hours later (non-sequitur/meaningless; conflict of interest; the OP's example not really being a "one-person" contract), yet the reactions (i.e., votes) to each answer are inconsistent. Commented Feb 4, 2023 at 0:11

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