Starting an Overseas Business? Here Are 10 Things to Consider Before Investing Abroad
Starting a business overseas can be really easy or really difficult, depending on the steps you take when planning your start-up. Running a company in the United States may be completely different from running a business in another country. This article will introduce you to 10 considerations to take into account when starting an international business.
1. Talk With the United States Department of Commerce
The first step you should take when starting a business overseas is talking to the United States Department of Commerce. The department will provide information covering topics such as tax ramifications and overseas agents.
2. Property Rights
Certain countries around the world have been known to confiscate property or businesses that are owned by foreigners (which in this case would be you). It would be best to stay away from these regions.
Finding a jurisdiction with minimal political risk is imperative. Take a look at an index of international property rights to get an idea of which countries give foreigners full access to property rights.
3. Economic Situation
Countries with a low or declining unemployment rate, low debt-to-GDP and strong consumer spending make for good areas to set up a business. Positive signs for starting a profitable venture include a growing middle class, rising incomes and a low inflation rate.
4. Personal Knowledge
You don’t necessarily have to be an expert in the industry you’re going into, but knowing a little bit about how the business works will help when funding your project. Partnering up with a local who is trustworthy and knowledgeable can increase the likelihood of success. Capital is good, but inside knowledge can help the business compete.
5. Market Research
Spend a great deal of time analyzing local spending habits and how much time, energy and capital will be dedicated to marketing your services or products. Try conducting a trial run or conducting several surveys before investing too much. Don’t overlook fees such as employee costs and local work habits.
6. Language Barriers
Being able to effectively communicate with the local population will make launching your business easier. Even if you’re not fluent in the language of the country your business will be in, try to avoid paying for translation services.
Hiring a translator will increase your expenditures significantly. Instead, try finding a bi-lingual individual who you can hire to work on a weekly or monthly basis—this person will be able to help with general tasks and with language issues.
7. Incorporating Your Business
The International Finance Corporation and the World Bank give advice on the amount of time, costs and number of procedures involved with forming a new business in 183 countries around the world. The organization provides data that pertains to businesses with 10 to 50 employees but can be helpful for larger or smaller businesses, as well.
8. Assess Your Brand
Think about the cultural differences and barriers—being in a different country means a different culture will be exposed to your logo or brand. One region might perceive the same symbol or word differently than another, so do not assume that just because your logo means one thing in the United States that it means the same in let’s say, China. Think about how to sell your brand in that country and what your story will mean to its population.
9. Travel is Inevitable
If you’re planning on doing business overseas, then travel costs are unavoidable. Using a travel rewards program will allow some flexibility to reinvest your miles to lower the costs of future business trips. Keep an eye out for discount travel sites, such as Expedia Business Travel and Kayak, to learn about great deals.
10. Know Your Resources and use Them
The United States Small Business Administration provides a list of resources to use when thinking about doing business abroad. This list includes links to:
- International travel resources, tips and advisories
- International business facts and questions
- Department of State Office of Authentications, which will help with all legal documents and certificates you may need
- Guidelines for foreign business travel
- Passport information
As you can see, starting a business overseas is no easy task. It’s a full-time requirement—and the time cost is more than business owners can afford. That’s why certain third party Registered Agent advisory firms exist. If you want to find a fast, cost-effective strategy to start a business in the US contact IncFile for low cost filing services.
We offer a variety of free resources for new businesses as well as a consultation service. To learn more about the legalities of your new venture, you can view the resources section of this website.
Healy Consultants Group PLC can help you with company incorporation. For additional information on company registration services, visit Healy Consultants Group PLC website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call Healy Consultants Group PLC in Singapore at (+65) 6735 0120.