Sometimes the enabling contracts that create an international organization are not resolved on certain procedural or voting issues. Instead of modifying the formal document, which is usually a difficult task, an informal work agreement is developed to solve a particular problem. As long as there is a consensus to respect the informal agreement, it is not necessary to embody it in a legal document. 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.
Such an agreement is generally informal, oral and not legally binding. In the worst case scenario, a gentlemen`s agreement can be entered into to practice anti-competitive practices such as pricing or trade quotas. Since a gentlemen`s agreement is tacit – which is not subject to the document as a binding legal treaty – it can be used to create and enforce illegal rules. Gentlemen`s agreements between industry and the U.S. government were common in the 1800s and early 1900s. The Bureau of Corporations, a predecessor of the Federal Trade Commission, was established in 1903 to investigate monopolistic practices. Gentlemen`s agreements have often been concluded in international trade and international relations, as well as in most industries.