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Contracts, International Freelance

BetelgeuseBetelgeuse Registered User regular
edited May 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey guys. I am involved in a project that will require contracting individuals for freelance work, and I have a couple questions about contract law. I am in the US.

1. How complicated is it to draft a freelance contract for someone from another country? Say, for example, with someone in Canada? Obviously, laws vary in different countries, so how much of a can of worms can it potentially be? This won't be a situation where we hire someone as an employee, just freelance jobs.

2. I know a minor cannot enter a legally binding contract. But say I was interested in contracting work from someone under 18; is there a way to do that and still cover both our asses legally, like having their legal guardian sign something? Basically in this case the contract would amount to "If such-and-such work is delivered to us, Bob gets paid XX previously-agreed-upon amount of money, and you can't sue us if you decide at a later time that he was entitled to more."

I know most of you aren't lawyers, and I won't be taking this as actual legal advice. I also know this is something I should speak to an attorney about, but before I do that I want to get a feel for what is involved, and what kinds of questions I should be asking.


Betelgeuse on


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    RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Well, I can't really speak from any particular expertise, but most US contract law is based on British common law and I'm assuming that Canada is the same. So it might not be as complex as you think. I'm sure that there are differences but they probably share a lot of commonalities. Biggest issue is that if you have a contract with someone in Canada and they breach, you probably have the go through Canadian courts to enforce it.

    As far as your second question, at least in the US you can enter into a legally binding contract with a minor. The problem is that for the minor, the contract is voidable (there are some important exceptions to this). What that means is that the minor could back out at any time and not pay any penalties (again, with some exceptions). You basically have no way to enforce a breach by the minor, but the minor can still hold you to the contract unless they have voided the agreement first.

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