Consideration, Contractual Illegality

A valid contract requires consideration. Consideration “may consist of some right, interest, profit or benefit accruing to one party, or some forbearance, loss of responsibility given, suffered or undertaken by the other.” Charles F. Curry and Company v. Hedrick, 378 S.W.2d 522, 522 (Mo. 1964).

Any contract premised upon a violation of law or illegality is unenforceable. Clouse . Myers, 753 S.W.2d 316, 319 (Mo. Ct. App. 1988). Such contracts are invalid. Therefore, for instance, an alleged agreement between a licensed contractor and unlicensed contractor where the licensed contractor would obtain a work permit for the unlicensed contract in exchange for $10,000 was void because it violated a city ordinance. Rice v. James, 844 S.W.2d 64, 69 (Mo. Ct. App. 1992). As a result, there could be no breach of contract because there was no contract.

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