Crossing borders is as easy as putting together a website. The challenge is taking advantage of international business opportunities by making the best decisions with the best data. Research analysts must look at identifying the best markets and opportunities by customer segmentation, competitive advantage, logistics, taxation, language, political environment, regulation and technology. Looking at these key areas, management can make an informed decision rather than a judgment call on international trends.
Review the regulatory environment and the tax structure. Seek out legal counsel specializing in international business. Hire an accountant with knowledge of international accounting standards. These two professionals will ensure you've been advised both legally and financially on the right way to make transactions, keep records and stay legal within your decision-making framework.
Common International Business Decisions
Determine if the business relationship is exclusive. Specify the geographic regions, and outline payment schedules for products and commissions. You will also need to decide on what currency to make payments in. A savvy accountant or international accounting software application will help you to understand the taxation requirements and navigate currency fluctuation issues.
Always strive for a signed agreement. Decide on the terms of termination (this may be prohibited without just cause or compensation in some countries). Stipulate a settlement clause and identify intellectual property as licensed or reserved. Finally, go to the Bureau of Industry (see Resources) to see if potential clients are on the "Denied Person" list before doing any business research. Check out the company by looking at an International Company Profile (ICP). This service helps to investigate the validity of a trading partner. The U.S. Department of Commerce also has valuable resources and information to help make informed decisions about doing business internationally.
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