If you sell to customers, work with suppliers, outsource services or contract manufacturing outside of your domestic territory you’re already conducting business overseas. And it is important to remember some of the nuances that exist pertaining to international business.
Here are ten tips to keep in mind before you finalize your next international transaction.
1. Be diligent and put it on paper.
When you work with any new partner (in any capacity) it’s important to do your due diligence. Create a standardized file that includes company information, years in business, and professional references.
2. Know their laws.
Contract law varies in interpretation. Therefore, a contract doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing in other countries as it does in the U.S. Find local legal counsel in the country you’d like to do business and consult with them prior to making any substantial deals.
3. Be aware of U.S. laws.
The U.S. may have imposed economic sanctions and boycotts against certain countries. In general, these sanctions prohibit or severely limit imports, exports and transactions with these countries. Make sure to investigate our laws state-side prior to developing business overseas.
4. Prepare for international travel.
Be informed about the conditions abroad that may affect your safety and security. Get country specific information, travel alerts, and warnings here.
5. Build relationships using technology.
It’s important to build relationships when doing business overseas. Sending a purchase order (PO) and hoping for the best may not work out as well as you think. If you can’t immediately travel, schedule a kick-off meeting via a webinar or a simple Skype call.