Drafting International Contracts

When it comes to a task such as drafting international contracts, this is something that can often become rather difficult in terms of domestic activities, so when the time comes to do the same thing in terms of international business, all kinds of complex issues can arise. Despite the fact that there are many different international norms and business standards, the fact of the matter is that there really aren’t any binding laws or governing bodies to enforce the rules.

Here are three of the most useful tips to make note of when it comes to drafting international contracts.

*First and foremost, perhaps one of the most useful tips for drafting international contracts is to always use clear language. Oftentimes, English is the most common language that is used when these kinds of contracts are drafted regardless of whether or not the companies currently operate out of a country that speaks this same language. No matter what, for all contracts, it’s extremely important that the language that is used be as clear as possible so that there are absolutely no contractual misunderstandings related to any misconstrued or misused words.

*Another of the most useful tips for drafting international contracts is to take the time to clarify any and all jurisdictional issues. One of the biggest drawbacks in terms of entering into an international contract is the fact that it’s never always clear exactly which laws apply. For instance, if an American firm is involved in the contract, this firm will often stipulate that the specific United States state laws will be what governs the contract. On the other hand, a foreign country can also request that their specific laws apply due to the fact that they may have terms that are much more favorable. Even though this may not be acceptable in some instances, the company that isn’t from that country will always need to do their due diligence in order to ensure that they are able to fully understand the laws that they will need to follow.

*One other of the most useful tips for drafting international contracts is to consult local counsel when necessary. Perhaps the most effective way to ensure that any international contract is legally binding is to take the opportunity to retain the appropriate counsel, meaning you should hire attorneys both domestically and internationally in order to make sure that an individual who is completely familiar with the law on both sides of the border has completely reviewed the contract itself. There will be some instances in which counsel from the United States could already have a relationship with an attorney from the other country that they will be able to collaborate with. If this is not the case, this can make it more difficult to locate someone that the company will be able to trust; however, all efforts will need to be made in order to locate someone who will be able to provide essential legal advice in order to prevent any and all serious legal issues.