Boilerplate Law & Legal Definition

Boilerplate refers to the standardized, formal language in a contract or legal document that is often located in fine print at the bottom of a page. A person is bound by the terms in the boilerplate language upon signing the document, even if the person didn't read it. This has led to the voiding of contracts in some instances based upon mistake of fact.

Boilerplate language in consumer contracts has been subject to criticism and some courts will void such contracts based on unconscionability when the terms are too one-sided in favor of the seller. Boilerplate clauses can usually be avoided by being crossed out or the addition of invalidating language.