What role do contract enforcement institutions provided by the state play for economic development? This question has often been addressed. However, empirical research in this field looks predominantly at transactions that are conducted domestically. Less research exists regarding the enforceability of contracts in cross-border transactions. In other words, despite the fact that more and more transactions transcend the borders of nation states, research that addresses the institutional foundations of international exchange processes is still in its infancy. The following case study investigates the contract enforcement institutions that enable German customers to purchase software in Asian and East European Countries. This paper’s main argument is that nation states are not capable of providing a workable legal infrastructure for cross-border transactions. The same holds true for the so called “New Lex Mercatoria”. Instead, economic actors create their own informal mechanisms in order to enforce their contracts. Particularly important are relational contracts and reputational networks. Furthermore, the empirical evidence shows that German enterprises comprehensively use the opportunities offered by new developments in information and communication technology, when it comes to the initiation and control of their foreign business relations. Due to such technical innovation, it seems possible to conduct complex and risky transactions even when formal legal systems do not provide for a workable legal infrastructure. In the age of Internet both reputational networks and relational contracts gain more and more efficacy compared to state private law.