How to Make Sure Your Business Works Abroad

This article is contributed by Matt M.

So you have your business model and it’s been running smoothly in your home country for some time now. In fact your business has thrived to the extent that you have begun thinking about ways you could expand your company and do more with it, and you’ve begun thinking about moving abroad into other countries.

selling to overseas market

Taking your company abroad and going international means hugely extending your potential clientele, it means massively strengthening your resiliency so that even financial crises in particular countries won’t be enough to take you out, and it means learning and benefiting from many of the things that can come from operating your business abroad.

But the question is when you take your company abroad, will it still be able to operate the same? Do the same laws that govern your business in your own country still apply and will the product or service that has been popular and successful in one region necessarily appeal in another? Here we will look at whether your company will work abroad, and we will look at some of the considerations to take into account.

Business Laws

One of the very most important things to consider of course when you are looking into your business and its operation abroad, is whether or not everything you are currently doing will be legal in another country. You may not intentionally mean to break any local laws, but the burden of responsibility is on you and it’s up to you to find out about things like employment law, copyright law and the laws regarding any products and advertisement. Speaking with some lawyers then when setting up your new business is very important.

Cultural Differences

Different cultures value different things highly and act as a lens through which everything else is perceived. The customs and traditions of a particular country can sometimes have a big bearing and large implications on how your business is received abroad and this is something you need very much to take into account. For instance did you know that the number 4, and the color white, can both represent death in some countries? That’s the sort of thing that you really need to take into account when planning your marketing and the sort of thing that many businesses might not think to research.


Likewise the harmless seeming company name ‘Osram’ (they make light bulbs) means something very different in Polish that you wouldn’t want associated with your product. Of course communication can also be an issue if you are outsourcing or working with foreign clients and this is something that can make doing business much more difficult. Make sure then that you either have a good grasp of the language, or that you have someone who can translate and check your communications, branding and marketing for you.

Different Ways of Doing Business

Many Western companies who take their businesses abroad to the East are often surprised at the different ways of doing business. These may be very subtle and  even hard to put into words.  For instance some people say that India has a very ‘procedural’ way of working and that this is something that sometimes clashes with a more collaborative way of working in Eastern Europe.

More to the point though making your business work in another country shouldn’t just be a matter of doing the minimum to avoid any serious goof-ups.  It should rather be a matter of doing the research and adapting your business models to make your company thrive. For instance if the color white has a bad connotation in one country, what has good connotations? Likewise if your product doesn’t appeal as much to this new audience, then what changes would ensure it does? How could you get your materials and supplies cheaper in this new country? How can you take advantage of your new location?

Author Bio: Matt M. works with Offshore Company Formation and deals with setting up an offshore company with minimum fuss while guiding clients through the complex procedures. Click on the link to know more about offshore company formation.

Photo credit: joiseyshowaa via photo pin cc

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