A sofa should clarify the conditions under which the foreign army can operate. As a general rule, purely military issues, such as base location and access to facilities, are covered by separate agreements. A SOFA focuses more on legal issues related to military individuals and property. This may include issues such as entry and exit, tax obligations, postal services or the employment conditions of nationals of the host country, but the most controversial issues are the civil and criminal competences of bases and staff. In civil matters, SOFS provides for how civilian damage caused by the armed forces is determined and paid for. Criminal issues vary, but the typical provision of the United States is that U.S. courts have jurisdiction over crimes committed either by a serving member against another serving member or by a serving member as part of his or her military duty, but the host country retains jurisdiction for other crimes.  SOFAs perform a number of functions. First, they define the legal status of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) personnel and support governments for their activities and assets in another nation. Second, they define rights and responsibilities between the United States and the host country government.
For staff, SOFAs can dictate all aspects of staff life while in the host country. Agreements on sofas may cover, for example, the status, entry and exit of the host country, military training on the territory of the host country, justice, law enforcement, taxes, import and export laws, driving privileges, employment, school education, housing, etc. In general, the protection of sofas applies to civilian staff of defence companies and other organisations providing services in the host country and their relatives, beyond uniformed service members in the host country. The terms of these agreements differ from country to country to meet the specific needs of staff working in a given country. An agreement on visiting forces resembles an agreement on the status of the armed forces, with the exception of the first, which only temporarily covers intervention forces in a country that does not reside there. An Agreement on the Status of the Armed Forces (SOFA) is an agreement between a host country and a foreign nation that deploys military forces in that country. CANPAÉs are often included with other types of military agreements as part of a comprehensive security agreement. A CANAPÉ is not a safety device; it establishes the rights and privileges of foreign staff in a host country in order to support the greater security regime.  Under international law, a force status agreement differs from military occupation.
The U.S. government has military bases and outposts around the world and, as in the United States, uses contractors to support its mission abroad. Given that the military and personnel of state contractors are necessarily abroad, questions arise as to how and what laws of the host country apply. This uncertainty is often resolved by bilateral (or multilateral) agreements between the host country and the United States, known as the Status of the Armed Forces Agreements (SOFA). The political issue of SOFA is complicated by the fact that many host countries have mixed feelings about foreign bases on their soil and that SOFA renegotiation requests are often linked to calls for a total withdrawal of foreign troops. Issues of different national practices may arise – while the United States and host countries in general agree on what constitutes a crime, many American observers believe that the host country`s judicial systems offer much lower protection than the United States and that the host country`s courts may be under pressure from the public to be found guilty; In addition, U.S. service members who are invited to send shipments abroad should not be forced to waive the rights