A gentlemen`s agreement, or gentleman`s agreement, is an informal and legally non-binding agreement between two or more parties. It is usually oral, but it can be written or simply understood as part of a tacit agreement by convention or by mutually beneficial label. The essence of a gentlemen`s agreement is that it depends on the honour of the parties for its achievement, rather than being enforceable in one way or another. It differs from a legal agreement or a contract. Gentlemen`s agreements were a widespread discriminatory tactic, which would have been more common than restrictive alliances to maintain the homogeneity of upper-class neighborhoods and suburbs in the United States.  The nature of these agreements made it extremely difficult to prove or follow them, and they were long after the U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Shelley/. Kraemer and Barrows v. Jackson.  A source indicates that the gentlemen`s agreements are „probably still in place“ but that their use has declined sharply.  Alcune aziende sono restie a sottoscrivere dei contratti completi e dettagliati e si limitano a scambiare documenti che vengono di volta in volta definiti come lettere d`intenti (LOI memorandum), of Understanding (MOU), gentlemen agreements, ecc.
Ma in caso di divergenze,qual e il valore vincolante di questi documenti nel commercio internazionale? In English contract law, for it to be binding, an agreement must have the intention of establishing legal relations; but in commercial transactions (i.e. agreements that do not exist between family members or friends), there is a legal presumption of „intent to establish legal relations“. In the 1925 case of Rose and Frank Co. v. JR Crompton – Bros Ltd., however, the House of Lords found that the phrase “ „This regulation is not … a formal or legal agreement … is only a record of the parties` intention „was sufficient to rebut this presumption.  In a report by the U.S.
House of Representatives detailing its investigation into the United States Steel Corporation, it was stated that in the 1890s there were two general types of bulk associations or consolidations between steel and ferrous interests in which the various groups held ownership, as well as a high degree of independence: the „pool“ and the „gentleman`s agreement.“  The latter type lacked a formal organisation to regulate production or prices or forfeiture rules in the event of infringement.  The effectiveness of the agreement relied on members to meet informal commitments.  A gentlemen`s agreement (dall`inglese, con il significato letterale di „accordo gentiluomini“) Si basa essenzialmente sul presupposto che entrambe la parti rispetteranno la parola data sulo onore in quanto, a differenza di un contratto formale, esso non pue essere difesudio gizial.