A management contract is an arrangement under which operational control of an enterprise is vested by contract in a separate enterprise that performs the necessary managerial functions in return for a fee. Management contracts involve not just selling a method of doing things (as with franchising or licensing) but involve actually doing them. A management contract can involve a wide range of functions, such as technical operation of a production facility, management of personnel, accounting, marketing services and training.
In Asia, many hotels operate under management contract arrangements, as they can more easily obtain economies of scale, a global reservation systems, brand recognition etc. It is not unusual for contracts to be signed for 30 years, and having a fee as high as 3.5% of total revenues and 6-10% of gross operating profit. Management contracts have been used to a wide extent in the airline industry, and when foreign government action restricts other entry methods. Management contracts are often formed where there is a lack of local skills to run a project. It is an alternative to foreign direct investment as it does not involve as high risk and can yield higher returns for the company.