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Tips for doing business abroad

Moving into the international market is the dream of many businesses — particularly those that know they have something highly unique to offer a foreign market.

Before you start down that road (or across those waters), take to heart the following pieces of advice. They can help you avoid expensive and difficult business litigation down the line:

1. Remember that you have the responsibility to remain compliant with all financial and legal obligations under the laws of the United States. You need to make certain that your company doesn’t fall prey to the idea that it’s okay to follow the old maxim, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act isn’t something you can understand in a quick tutorial. If you need help, by all means, hire an experienced attorney.

2. Your rights in a contract may vary considerably from country to country or even region to region. Make sure that you understand your company’s contractual obligations in the foreign country with which you are doing business. You may be able to contract around local laws that don’t favor your company by specifying that United States law is controlling in all disputes.

3. Know your currencies before you start operations, ordering or creating inventory. Understand not only the exchange rate between the dollar and the unit of currency in a given country but get clear information about what constitutes a fair wage for any associates you intend to hire on foreign soil.

4. Don’t assume that you understand the social and political factors that affect a foreign country’s legal system. Some countries have a much more malleable legal system than what you are familiar with in the United States.

Stepping out into the world outside of this country’s borders is both thrilling and intimidating — but many fortunes have been made that way. The right preparations will have you following in the footsteps of those who have paved the way successfully before.

Source: www.business.com, “International Business Law 101: 5 International Business and Trade Law “Gotchas”,” John Morabito, accessed Jan. 05, 2018