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International Service Agreements

Services Performed Inside the United States by Foreign Nationals

U.S. Tax and other laws and international treaties can complicate payments to foreign nationals. Review guidance on the Foreign Nationals page.

Services Performed Outside the United States

When abroad, University representatives may encounter various levels of contracting sophistication depending on the contractor, the type of services/goods, and the location where the services/goods are being provided. The following information covers approved methods of contracting and paying for services while University representatives are conducting activities outside of the United States.

Refer to this chart on the Global Operations Support website for a summary of contracting and payment options. If you have questions about contracts for services performed outside the U.S., please contact the procurement specialist assigned to your area. Thank you.


For certain activities of low economic value performed outside of the US, University faculty, researchers and staff are not required to insist on a formal contract. As illustrated in this chart on the Global Operations Support website, these levels of services can be documented with an invoice or receipt provided by the contractor. If the contractor does not have a form of invoice or receipt, blank forms are available.

Contracts for use while abroad are provided in two forms: Short Form International Services Agreement and Standard International Services Agreement. These contract templates are drafted in a fair and balanced manner and attempt to avoid any undue advantages to either party.

In most cases, the Short Form International Services Agreement is appropriate to address basic contract needs:

  • identify the parties
  • describe the services to be performed
  • identify when and where those services are to be performed
  • establish the compensation to be paid for the services. A minimum of “boilerplate” terms are included.

The Standard International Services Agreement version is more appropriate if your specific needs involve any of the following:

  • The disclosure of confidential information
  • The use of intellectual property or the need to clarify ownership of work product
  • The hiring of professional services (e.g., attorneys, medical professionals, engineers, architects, accountants, finance and tax advisors, management consultants)
  • Projects involving complex deliverables and heightened levels of risk and liability

Contact the Office of General Counsel if these contract solutions do not address your needs.

Tax Reporting and Withholding

Payments to foreign national independent contractors for work performed outside of the US are generally not subject to US tax reporting and withholding. However, they may be subject to local labor and tax laws, particularly if payments are recurring and/or last more than 90 days. Contact Global Operations Support Manager to discuss and plan your global activities. 

US Independent Contractors Working Outside of the US

When a US national or US permanent resident is working outside of the US, they are still paid and required taxes are withheld by US customers (i.e. the University) as if they were working in the US. A standard services agreement can generally be used, however, you should contact the Purchasing Services Procurement Specialist assigned to your responsibility center to determine if there are any special insurance or other requirements. Payment Processing does not require any different information from a US individual to receive payment for services performed outside of the US.