September 5, 2019 Last updated September 4th, 2019 1,340 Reads share

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Moving a Business Overseas

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Moving a business overseas can be a huge undertaking. There are many things to consider and questions to ask yourself when making such a big move. For example, will the product you are selling sit well with the targeted culture? Is the market familiar with your product? 

Do you feel comfortable in the country you are planning on moving your business to? Finally, what is the infrastructure like in the new country? 

In this article, we are going to cover all of these questions so you can be sure you are making the right decision on the next big run for your company. 

Research the Market

Finding the right market in any given country can be the most important aspect when deciding on making a big move. Doing research based on the demographics and whether the country’s economy is growing or shrinking can make a huge difference in your decision. 

You can run a test campaign across 30 countries and get a better understanding of what would be successful. Also, you can do a gap analysis to get multiple points of view from different countries, so you know where people are interested in your product and also, where it is needed. 

Possibly hiring a marketing research company could help you get a better understanding of the norms in a country given region and trends on a much deeper level. They usually have a lot of experience and cover various different industries so they are worth taking advantage of. 

Understanding The Language and Other Cultural Nuances

Understanding the market before moving your business to a new country is essential; however, coming to grips with the cultural norms and languages is critical. It’s good to have hired some multicultural and multilingual workers in your company as this can help you get the upper hand when deciding on expanding your business or moving it to another country. 

You could make your decision on where to move your business based on the workers in your company. These people may have a better understanding of a specific dialect and traditions that a country has better than a market research company can, in most cases. 

You should even take into consideration the color of your company logo or what exactly it means to people when they see it. Symbolism and how your companies name translates overseas may have an impact on your business so you really need to do the research upfront. 

Understanding a Country’s Import Export Policies

Trading your product involves much more than shipping items overseas. Since the internet has such a significant impact on how international business is conducted, you need a good professional network to find international trade partners. 

There are individual companies that can help you with this. They can match online trade services with links and large databases and message boards, among other tools for growing your business internationally. Once you have found a potential buyer or seller, you can discuss prices and terms of payment.

As with finding any new trade partner, make sure you do some research and get a referral company that has dealt with this partner before. This is a measure some companies use to protect their investments. 

Shipping regulations and paperwork become very important when moving your product long distances. Some high-value items can be shipped by air while most are transported on cargo ships.

Given this information, this often means that transportation can take months, and there are risks such as pirates and storms. This is why you should make sure your partner understands your requirements for shipping and delivery and that a well-rounded shipping procedure has been implemented. 

Making Sure You Have Permission

The laws in the country that you are choosing to move to can differ from the country that you are currently located in. It’s usually a good idea to figure out if you are even allowed to move your business to a new place.

You will also need to find out if any restrictions could be preventing or making it difficult for you to make a move such as visas, tariffs, or export fees. Doing research on this topic and asking experts is your best bet to help you on your path to understanding a different country’s business practices. 

Cross Border Tax Planning

When moving your business across the border, your finance department needs to create a cross border tax plan for the company. A cross border tax plan is one where all persons and businesses are taxed based on a worldwide income. The gross income is taxed regardless of the country that they earn their revenue in. If you are initially from the US, you must pay taxes wherever you are. 

Even if your company doesn’t meet the threshold for certain tax returns and other various reporting and disclosure requirements, there are individual companies that can help you with cross border tax planning. 

Also, contacting a lawyer that is experienced in international trade will help you figure out which requirements you have to meet. Not only should this lawyer be knowledgeable in cross border tax, but also in handling cases related to your business. 

Moving Isn’t Easy

Taking a business overseas isn’t as easy as it may sound. Sure, sometimes it can be, given that you have the right connections and resources. However, there are always a lot of factors to think about and the people that will be involved.

In some instances, you may have to hire a whole new set of employees, lease out new buildings, permits and so on. Relocating your business can lead to more opportunities and more interest in your brand. It’s a huge undertaking, but it’s an investment that can take your business to places you would have probably never imagined.



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