Running a business can be a rewarding experience for many entrepreneurs. While running a domestic business can be a significant challenge, operating a business internationally comes with a variety of issues. Fortunately, many of the challenges associated with running a business internationally can be resolved through preparation and attention to detail. The following guide provides simple tips and tricks on how to successfully operate a business internationally.
When operating a business internationally, it’s important to make sure that your company complies with all rules and regulations for all countries where it has a physical presence. If you’re mailing a product from a warehouse in the United States to a consumer in South America, it’s usually not necessary to comply with any specific laws outside the United States, excluding tariff regulations.
In most cases, you’ll only have to pay taxes in the area where a business has its headquarters. If you’re located in the United States and selling a product in the United Kingdom, you won’t have to pay the Value Added Tax (VAT) found in the commonwealth. However, this can vary based on a variety of rules.
When cash is returned from overseas, it may have to be taxed. While the current White House administration is relatively lenient when it comes to the repatriation of overseas business capital, there can be situations where returning cash to the United States can be very expensive.
In some cases, it can be difficult to secure financing for an international business. An auto title loan in Orlando can be a way to capitalize an early stage business.
Most important of all, it’s important to make sure that you know your target market as well as possible. Many products and services that sell well in the United States may face unique problems overseas.
As an example, a Kinder Surprise is a type of chocolate candy that contains a small plastic toy inside. The candy itself is in the shape of a hollow chocolate egg. The Kinder Surprise in very common in France, the United Kingdom, and Canada. However, the United States Food and Drug Administration has placed strict regulations on food items that contain non-edible elements. Since the plastic toy in the Kinder Surprise isn’t edible, the FDA views it as a potential choking hazard. Because of this, the Kinder Surprise can’t be imported from Canada to the United States.
If you’re operating in a foreign country, it’s also important to understand how currency exchange rates could have a significant impact on business. In some cases, business will hold onto overseas cash until the currency rates are better. For example, BREXIT in the United Kingdom caused a significant decrease in currency values. Because of this, many companies in the United Kingdom are keeping larger cash reserves in the country until exchange rates improve in the future. This can also occur in reverse. If exchange rates are very good, it may be a good idea to take a loan out in a company’s name in one country, then repatriate the cash back to the originating country where a company has its headquarters.