Difference Wiki

Void Agreement vs. Illegal Agreement: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on April 28, 2024
Void Agreement is a contract without legal effect from the start. Illegal Agreement is a contract involving illegal activities, thus unenforceable.

Key Differences

Void Agreement is inherently invalid from its inception and lacks legal enforceability. Illegal Agreement, on the other hand, involves elements that are against the law, making it not only unenforceable but also punishable under legal statutes.
Void Agreements arise from a fundamental flaw in the contract formation, such as lack of capacity or mutual consent. Illegal Agreements are those that require the performance of an act that is illegal or immoral.
In a Void Agreement, no party can sue for non-performance because the contract is null from the beginning. With an Illegal Agreement, participating parties may face legal consequences beyond the mere unenforceability of the contract.
Void Agreements may be caused by impossibility of performance or illegality that arises after the contract is made. Illegal Agreements are illegal from the outset and involve activities prohibited by law.
Void Agreements can sometimes be rectified if the void element is removed. Illegal Agreements cannot be made valid, as their core involves unlawful activities.

Comparison Chart

Legal Status

Not enforceable from the start
Not enforceable and involves legal penalty


Inherent defects in formation
Involvement in illegal activities

Consequences for Parties

No legal obligations or rights
Potential legal repercussions

Rectification Possibility

Possible if the void element is removed
Not possible, as core is unlawful

Impact on Ancillary Deals

Does not affect related contracts
May render related contracts unenforceable

Void Agreement and Illegal Agreement Definitions

Void Agreement

An agreement lacking essential elements of a contract.
A contract without mutual consent is void.

Illegal Agreement

A contract that entails legal penalties.
An agreement for money laundering is illegal.

Void Agreement

A contract based on an impossible act.
An agreement to time travel is void.

Illegal Agreement

An agreement prohibited by law.
A contract for drug trafficking is illegal.

Void Agreement

A contract that cannot be enforced by law.
A contract with a minor is void.

Illegal Agreement

A contract against public policy.
An agreement to trade in endangered species is illegal.

Void Agreement

An agreement made without free consent.
A contract signed under duress is void.

Illegal Agreement

An agreement that involves moral turpitude.
A contract for corruption is illegal.

Void Agreement

An agreement with no legal validity.
An agreement to sell a non-existent property is void.

Illegal Agreement

A contract involving illegal activities.
An agreement to commit a crime is illegal.


What makes an agreement void?

An inherent flaw in its formation, like lack of capacity or consent.

Do illegal agreements have any legal standing?

No, they are unenforceable and illegal.

Can a void agreement become valid?

Sometimes, if the void element is rectified.

Can void agreements be enforced in court?

No, they are not legally binding.

Are void agreements always illegal?

No, they're invalid but not necessarily illegal.

Can a party sue for damages in a void agreement?

No, as the agreement has no legal standing.

What are examples of void agreements?

Contracts with minors or based on impossible acts.

Are all illegal agreements void?

Yes, but they also carry potential legal penalties.

What happens if you enter an illegal agreement?

You may face legal consequences.

What's the main difference between void and illegal agreements?

Void agreements lack legal validity; illegal ones involve unlawful acts.

Are agreements involving immoral acts illegal?

Yes, they're considered against public policy.

Are all void agreements unenforceable?

Yes, they cannot be enforced in a court of law.

What legal actions follow an illegal agreement?

Parties may face criminal charges or penalties.

Do void agreements have any legal consequences?

Generally, no, except for matters related to restitution.

Is it illegal to enter into a void agreement?

Not necessarily, as they may not involve illegal acts.

What could make a contract void?

Factors like lack of capacity, consent, or legality.

Can an illegal agreement be made legal?

No, as the core of the agreement is unlawful.

Is ignorance of the law a defense for entering an illegal agreement?

No, ignorance of the law is not a valid legal defense.

What types of contracts are typically illegal?

Contracts involving criminal activities or public policy violations.

Can a void agreement be rectified?

In some cases, if the void element is removed.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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