Contract law and negotiation tactics in the United States

If you want to do international business in the United States, it is important to know about the legal constraints and the negotiation culture.

What do you need to know about US business culture?

The Americans have a strong emphasis on individuality. They value individual performance and personal competence. The work environment is open and informal; they welcome ideas and different opinions. However, the casualness of the work environment may appear to be rude and foreign to people from other cultures. Time is very important in the US. It is considered as a tangible asset which needs to be spent carefully. Wasting time will create a negative impression and Americans do not like any negativity in any form.

What are negotiation tactics in the United States?

  • You should always be punctual. Being late is considered as impolite and disrespectful.
  • The Americans strive to achieve the best results as soon as possible.
  • Deadlines should be strictly adhered to.
  • You should shake hands firmly and should not avoid eye contact.
  • Business cards are exchanged when you want to keep in touch with the person.
  • Negotiations are very deal-focused. You should try for mutually beneficial results.

How much is the contract worth in the United States?

During the negotiations, legal matters will be discussed. The contract is used as a basis to resolve conflicts when they arise.

It is imperative that you discuss your contract with a lawyer before signing it. As a rule, all contracts in the US are required to be scrutinised and reviewed by attorneys.

What are pricing policy, pressure and restraints in the United States?

In the US, buying procedures are largely formalised rather than being buyer and seller relationship-based. Larger corporations tend to write tenders for what they wish to purchase and allow various vendors to bid, mostly on price. Since the US is a big market, there is much competition and this contributes to keep prices low.

What is American legal system?

The US law system has three levels:

  • Federal law: applied throughout the country
  • State law: each state in the US acts as a sovereign with its own law.
  • Local law: referring to the governing system in cities, towns and counties in the US

What is the arbitration and litigation in the United States?


  • It is a popular way to resolve disputes.
  • It is more efficient and cheaper than litigation.
  • There are commercial, labour, securities, and judicial types of arbitration.


  • Large commercial disputes are usually resolved through litigation.
  • Limitation periods vary depending on the states.
  • Court systems are also different as each state has its own system.
  • Foreign lawyers will not be admitted.

Expanding to the US can be challenging if you do not understand the culture and legal system. It is advisable to research thoroughly and find a local partner to help you enter the market.

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