Planning to Expand Overseas?


Expanding your business overseas takes you out of your familiar geographical area. In this article, we will look at options that you can consider.

Making Assessments before Making the Jump

  • Is your business operations at home stable?
  • Can afford to move people from their current responsibilities, and do they have or could they quickly develop the necessary skills for overseas sales and marketing, or at least export sales?
  • Will I find the talent you need in another country? Would you be competing with established companies that know where to find talent and how to recruit local candidates?
  • How will you need to adapt to the local culture, in terms of marketing message, products and services?
  • Do you understand the impact of the local culture on the sales process – people do not tell you directly that they are not interested?
  • Have you sized up the local competition: Are similar products and services are already available in a new market and what they would need to offer to compete successfully?
  • Can you a partner overseas to facilitate sales and keep your costs down? Can the partner be trusted?
  • Are you financially able to sustain an overseas expansion?
  • How differently are the finances, taxes, and banking procedures being handled? What are the licenses and insurance policies that you will need?
  • Is the the business structures available in your country of choice the same as in your home country? Are you limited in your choice for example, can you only start a representative office, a joint venture, an acquisition or a wholly foreign-owned entity (branch or subsidy)? Any restrictions on foreign ownership?
  • Will there be a need for complicated regulatory compliance?
  • How would you manage the overseas operation from your head office, especially if there is a substantial time difference involved?
  • Should you simply expand my online presence?

How Do You Start Business Overseas Without Losing Your Shirt?

Can you start with a small, with a minimum team, with a little office in a shared business center, with a clear budget to invest and giving us a couple of years in mind to prove the return on investment?

You would need two very important partners: a law firm to help you establish the company, create contracts, manage all legal requirements for taxes, and transfer pricing, and so on. You would also need a financial advisory firm to help you in the day-by-day work related to accountancy, labor, payroll, etc.

What Must You Consider to Start an Office Overseas?

Different market demands that you approach them in different ways.

  • Dispatch one of your top management staff to open an office.
  • Find a local partner.
  • Find an individual with local expertise but already understand how home country. office runs the business.
  • Find an individual with local expertise and train him at the HQ in how the home country office runs the business.
  • Hire a local top management staff.

Factors to Consider

  • How well do you understand the local market?
  • Is there a language and business culture barrier?
  • Are the labor costs and office rent too high?
  • Is the local partner really interested to operate your business?

Types of Non-Employee Workers

  • Temporary agency workers
  • Independent contractors
  • Freelancers
  • Project workers
  • Fixed term employers
  • Outsourced workers.