Main-Purpose Rule Law and Legal Definition

Main purpose rule is a principle of law of contracts which exempts from the statute of frauds those oral promises made for the "main purpose" or "leading object" of receiving a consideration beneficial to the promisor. This is also known as the leading object rule.

The following is an example of a state statute (California) on main purpose rule:

In California, the main purpose rule is codified at Cal Civ Code § 2794 (4). It say: “A promise to answer for the obligation of another, is deemed an original obligation of the promisor, and need not be in writing where the promise is upon a consideration beneficial to the promisor, whether moving from either party to the antecedent obligation, or from another person.”