According to the International Accounting Standards, the contractual arrangement may be evidenced in a number of ways, for example by a contract between the venturers or minutes of discussions between the venturers. In some cases, the arrangement is incorporated in the articles or other by-laws of the joint venture. Whatever its form, the contractual arrangement is usually in writing and deals with such matters as:
(a) the activity, duration and reporting obligations of the joint venture;
(b) the appointment of the board of directors or equivalent governing body of the joint venture and the voting rights of the venturers;
(c) capital contributions by the venturers; and
(d) the sharing by the venturers of the output, income, expenses or results of the joint venture.
The contractual arrangement establishes joint control over the joint venture. Such a requirement ensures that no single venturer is in a position to control the activity unilaterally.
The contractual arrangement may identify one venturer as the operator or manager of the joint venture. The operator does not control the joint venture but acts within the financial and operating policies that have been agreed by the venturers in accordance with the contractual arrangement and delegated to the operator. If the operator has the power to govern the financial and operating policies of the economic activity, it controls the venture and the venture is a subsidiary of the operator and not a joint venture.