International Consulting Contract

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Paul J. Rasmussen 2 years, 11 months ago.

  • Author
  • #23637

    John Cooper

    Has anyone negotiated a contract to do engineering work overseas ? I am looking for advice on this, or your experiences. For example, the contract is subject to the laws of that region, and I suppose I should hire a lawyer from that region to review the contract ? Ugh… The area I’m considering is the UAE (United Arab Emirates), although I would like to hear about experiences from any international area.

  • #23638

    Walt Maclay


    I’ve completed projects with several companies outside the US. Unless the project is very large, you have no recourse if they choose not to pay. You must evaluate the people you are working with. Make sure your are comfortable with them owing you money. I always structure the contract to have an initial payment and minimize the amount owed. I do this even with most US companies. If the company cannot pay a deposit to get started, then they are not to be trusted. If they don’t trust you with their money, don’t trust them with yours.

    Hiring a lawyer to craft a contract will not improve your chances of getting paid. If you are worried about other areas of the law, such as not violating some religious laws, you are probably better off asking the client. I have never used a lawyer in my international contracts. I spend a lot of time getting to know the people.

  • #23643

    Paul J. Rasmussen

    Hi John,

    I’ve been contracting for a company in India for the last couple of years without problems. My advice is similar to Walt Maclay’s. The main risk in such a contract is that you may have little recourse if you don’t get paid. So its good to to not have large outstanding payments if you can avoid it. I did discuss my contract with a lawyer here initially but did not hire an overseas lawyer. I believe that law in foreign countries is unlikely to be enforceable here either so that’s unlikely to be a concern. So the main thing is to have clear expectations between you and the client spelled out in the contract.

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