International Business and Issues
These days, almost any business can be international…even if it doesn’t originally set out to be. The world is an open market for firms that want to expand.
However, the very rapid expansion of the ability to do business internationally has, with only very limited exceptions, not been accompanied by the development of common procedures and practices of law.
Accordingly, while the globalisation of business presents a great opportunity, there are also many potential pitfalls.
Selachii always adopts a pragmatic and businesslike approach, putting the best interests of our clients at the heart of everything we do and providing bespoke, not ‘off the shelf’, solutions to business problems.
Our experience in helping firms move into overseas markets and in assisting firms from outside the UK establish a profitable trading presence here will enable us to work out the best and most cost-effective way of ensuring you achieve your aims.
We have highly regarded contacts in many areas of the world and can help you build the advisory team you need.
If you are a start-up business, see our Help for Entrepreneurs Coming into the UK market.
What should I do first?
The need for careful planning before you move into any international market is paramount. We can help you turn your business idea into a legally solid business plan no matter where your business and its target markets are based.
What do I need to think about?
Whether you are an experienced businessperson or just starting out in business, as well as the obvious language issues, here are some of the things any business seeking to trade globally should consider:
Applicable law of contract
If you are dealing with any foreign entity, it makes sense to specify the legal system under whose jurisdiction contracts are produced and disputes will be settled. Many international contracts use English law because it is very highly developed, well understood internationally and generally considered to balance the interests of the parties in dispute fairly.
When a different jurisdiction is specified, it is important to understand the legal implications of the contract and to ensure that any translation fully expresses its terms.
Taxes and headquartering
While it is rarely good business to allow the ‘tax tail to wag the dog’, taxes differ massively across the globe, as governments have increasingly attempted to become more ‘tax friendly’ in order to attract inward investment. This means that the cash flow drag that taxes represent on the growing business can often be significantly altered through the use of appropriate ‘headquartering’ and business structure, and by making use of grants and incentives available.
Employment legislation is similar throughout the EU and the employees of companies based in Europe are normally governed by EU law. However, elsewhere, the procedures and policies are very different. Any expansion into new markets should be accompanied by a careful consideration of employment law and costs in that market.
When a company wished to set up in the UK in order to launch its services in Europe, we were able to incorporate a UK company and provide the full range of legal planning and company secretarial services, IP protection and tax compliance. Using our extensive connections, we made it possible for them to be up and running with offices and all essential business advice and services provided quickly and professionally.
Intellectual property (IP) law
Considering in what markets you will need to protect your IP and what IP you should protect, and how, in each market is important.
This is a crucial area for many firms, especially those in ‘knowledge industries’. For further information, see our Intellectual Property pages.
Business practice varies widely across the globe. In the UK and Europe there are very strict anti-corruption and anti-money laundering laws, which can sometimes make it hard to set up business arrangements quickly, unless you are well versed in how to comply with them, and which may mean that what is common business practice in one country can lead to stiff penalties for the unwary if practised elsewhere.
Dispute resolution and enforceability
International dispute resolution can be difficult if the jurisdictional issues are not agreed from the outset. Experience in managing disputes and knowledge of how to enforce collection of sums due is essential and part of the advice we can give you. For more information, see our pages on dispute resolution and debt collection.
Governmental policy, help and support
Governments have a variety of incentives and business support programmes, to support both inward investment and exporters. These should also be researched thoroughly.
Setting up a business in the UK (UK Government)
Growing your UK business by exporting (UK Government)
How Selachii Can Help
Selachii is a dynamic litigation law firm based in Kensington, London. We put the best interests of our clients at the heart of everything we do. We work with both businesses and private individuals, giving them legal advice and support which is unique to them and their situation.
We don't believe in simply handing out one-size-fits-all solutions to problems. We will focus on your specific circumstances before working out the best and most cost-effective way of helping you achieve your aims.