Trading partner agreements

Trading partner agreements (legal contracts for trading partners) are a new area of debate in the EDI field. Companies are slow to adopt legal contracts between trading partners, but some legal experts advise that developing these agreements is important.

There is no consensus on what a trading partner agreement should contain, but legal experts recommend that trading partners come to a consensus on these issues:

  • Security procedures

  • Common standards and formats for EDI data transfer

  • Standards implementation

  • Hardware and software selection

  • Hardware and software configuration

  • Cost and risk allocation

  • Functional acknowledgment usage

  • Record maintenance

If your company is interested in pursuing contractual trading partner agreements, the American Bar Association has developed a Model Electronic Data Interchange Trading Partner Agreement and Commentary, which can be used as a generic contract for electronic trading partnerships.

Lawson does not recommend a course of action for trading partner agreements. Any decision to implement contractual trading partner agreements must be made by your company.