Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Doing business in another country

In belonging to a number of groups on LinkedIN one of the best things is you get to see the opinions and comments from people all over the world. What may be common or workable from a contracts perspective in one country may simply not work in another. The laws or “rules” may be different so if you are going to conduct business in a foreign country that you have never done business in before, one of the thing you need to do is take them time to find out what the “rules of the game” are in that specific country.

In one my positions my role was to establish new procurement centers and new plants in emerging countries. To discover “the rules of the game” I would use a number of resources. There are books about doing business in certain countries and I would read them. Most countries seeking trade will have trade missions where you can solicit significant information about doing business in the country. Groups like the American Chamber of Commerce frequently have representative or affiliate offices called AMChams located in countries. If your company is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, you can go and meet with those representatives to learn about doing business in those locations.Through your tax or accounting functions you can get contacts in Tax and Accounting firm’s affiliates that you can learn from.Your legal function should be able to provide you with a firm where you can find out any differences in the law you need to be aware of. Many times your company may have a sales subsidiary or local distributor that they have done business.They can further provide guidance. The more research you do,the fewer surprises you’ll have.

Periodically I will post a reply or post and have someone tell me that what I’m saying isn’t true in their country. I know this will happen as I have done enough business internationally to know that the rules of the game are different in many locations. For every post there may be exceptions. If a reader knows that there are exceptions to a post that apply to a specific country, I invite them to share that knowledge and leave a comment..

If you learned from this post, think about how much more you could learn from the book.
The book is only US$24.95 plus shipping. The hot-link to is above the date.

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