Tender is to unconditionally offer money or performance to meet an obligation. The term most commonly arises in the context of the contractual sale of goods. For example, California Code of Civil Procedure § 2074 provides that “an offer in writing to pay a particular sum of money or to deliver a written instrument or specific personal property, is, if not accepted, equivalent to the actual production and tender of the money, instrument, or property.” The California Appellate Court in State v. Agostini interpreted this statute to mean that a written tender of money can constitute the acceptance and exercise of an option contract. As another example, under the perfect tender rule, a buyer of goods may reject the seller’s tender of goods if the goods are in some way defective.
The term arises in other contexts where individuals offer others performance or money. Statutes prohibiting bribery may also reference tender. For example, Illinois’ anti-bribery statute defines bribery as when someone “promises or tenders” to a public official any property or personal advantage with intent to influence them.
[Last updated in October of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]