Expanding a business abroad is an exciting prospect for many companies.
It’s an excellent opportunity to increase and diversify clientele, meet new challenges, and answer demand for an already successful product.
Businesses will understandably face many concerns when taking this huge step – logistical, financial, and the cultural transition – but legal issues are easily among the most important to consider before taking that next big step overseas or across land.
Some businesses may choose to go down the direct exporting route rather than relocate. While this can be advantageous, it also means that the business retains less control of its product and does not engage in a direct relationship with clientele.
It is wise to implement comprehensive customer feedback systems in order to guarantee a consistent standard of quality and satisfaction is met.
This is also true of cooperative relationships as well as sales representatives and distributors: a business must be prepared to relinquish some of its control in order to reap the benefits of having a strong connection with an established brand on other shores.
Companies may face copyright issues regarding branding and trademark, health and safety standards, as well as compliance programmes. Businesses can benefit by preparing for these issues and using experts to oversee that all relevant standards are met.
Shahram Shirkhani of International Law Firm Shirkhani & Alavi believes that the key to achieving commercial success abroad is not only effective marketing, but also ensuring that the business complies with laws and regulations, and gears its production and distribution with this in mind before making the final step overseas.
With extensive experience on the international business scene, Shirkhani has worked closely with leading companies around the world and helped them to develop their outreach extensively by having a comprehensive understanding of how international law works.
Taxes are complicated at the best of times, and each country handles them a little differently. How a business complies with the tax regulations of the countries to which it directly sells is just as vital as how it deals with taxes in the country in which it is based.
It is essential for businesses to accurately record expenses as well as profit, and gain a thorough understanding of how the local tax system operates. Here is where hiring a lawyer who specialises in international business can be useful.
Politics and ethics
Language barriers and local customs are in themselves issues that could land a naïve business in trouble, but it’s also the bigger scope of a social background that matters; like taxes, laws can change drastically from country to country.
Local politics may be tenuous, and it’s important to question if there is a possible risk to the business. Businesses should ask whether their presence in specific regions of the globe are directly or indirectly supporting oppressive regimes, taking advantage of cheap labour, causing an economic imbalance in the local community, or leaving a negative environmental impact – a legacy that no business wants attached to its ethos or reputation.
Companies should prepare for every scenario before expanding internationally, and businesses stand to benefit by having someone who can oversee the more complicated legal aspects of working abroad.
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