I work as a software engineer (independent contractor) in Ukraine. Outsourcing companies here often provide two contracts to sign: one is a legal local contract with Ukrainian company and another one is USA contract (which is written in English and therefore has no legal force in Ukraine).

So the question is, is there at least any purpose of such contracts? Can I break the rules stated in these contracts with impunity given that currently I'm not a US citizen, or will it affect me in some way in the future?

Update: Page sample page from contract

  • What do you mean by "USA contract?" Do you mean a contract written in English? A contract with a U.S. counterparty? And on what basis do you assert that a "USA contract" has no legal force in Ukraine? Does Ukrainian law disregard contracts with foreign entities?
    – feetwet
    Feb 15, 2017 at 13:55
  • @feetwet Ukrainian laws don't allow to be legal contracts that are written in any foreign language. I'll add a page from a contract so it might become more clear what types of contracts I'm talking about. And yes, it's a contract between me and a company based in the US (although I don't live in the US and I'm not a US citizen). Feb 15, 2017 at 14:04
  • @feetwet However, I'm not completely sure about that because I'm not a lawyer. I just asked a friend and he told me that even a contract written in English can be lefal depending on some circumstances. So I'm curious how does it work. Feb 15, 2017 at 15:01
  • 1
    Under common law a contract does not even have to be written to be enforceable. I don't know if Ukraine law is peculiar in this regard. It is, however, strange that you were given an employment agreement by the U.S. Company when you believe you are an independent contractor.
    – feetwet
    Feb 15, 2017 at 15:07

1 Answer 1


It looks quite strange. Does the contract specify which law is applicable? I am certain that English language contracts have legal force in Ukraine, particularly, if the contract is based on law of a foreign jurisdiction. Otherwise, Ukraine would have to shut down as its companies would not be able to interact with the outside world which does still work primarily in English language.

For some reason, the Ukrainian company and the USA company have decided to share the costs of your employment. I find it quite strange that the USA company chose to hire you as an employee as that can lead to fairly serious tax problems for that USA company (the so called creation of a permanent establishment "postoyannoe uchrezhdeniye") in Ukraine. To protect yourself, make sure that you declare 100% of your income to the tax authorities in Ukraine. Otherwise, this can quickly become your problem.

  • You are making a statement of certainty based on reasoning that is non sequitur. Ukrainian contracts can be written and signed in Ukrainian by non-Ukrainan speakers, with an English translation provided for their convenience, in order to meet a requirement of language.
    – user4657
    Apr 26, 2017 at 6:59
  • I declare my incomes in Ukraine. The contract doesn't explicitly specify which law is applicable so that's why I don't understand how much legal force does it have in Ukraine. What if I intentionally or unintentionally break some of the rules stated in this contract? Apr 26, 2017 at 14:00

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