Whether you’ve noticed an untapped market for your product, or simply fancy relocating, starting a business in a foreign country can be a brilliant idea. The world’s a big place, and it makes sense to make the most of it, right?
That’s certainly true if you know what you’re doing. Businesspeople who identify as more of a ‘hit and hope’ type can find themselves getting into all kinds of trouble by not doing their due diligence. There are a whole host of differing legalities and customs across the world, and if you’re planning to work in a foreign country, you’ll need to know them inside out before you even think of opening up your shutters.
Respect the Law
Make sure that you have a grasp of any laws that might relate to your business before heading out there. There are thousands of laws that you probably didn’t even realise existed in other countries. For example, anybody interested in selling pharmaceuticals, or even a convenience store may be surprised that in Japan, cold and flu medicines are illegal, as well as some common painkillers that contain codeine.
Thinking of opening a bakery in Dubai? You’d better leave the poppy seeds at home. These are illegal there under drug laws, and can see those trying to import or export them in serious legal trouble.
Overcome the Language Barrier
Operating any business is difficult enough, but when you have to convey what you want to contractors, workers, and outsiders who speak a different language, it quickly becomes nigh-on impossible. Taking the time to learn the language can make things far easier, so it’s worth dusting off the old phrase books and maybe even taking a night class before you head out.
If you still struggle, then it’s worth utilising the services of local businesses that can help you out. Firms such as CBD Corporate Services in the UAE can take care of almost anything you might need. Plus, as a local firm, they’ll be up to date with legalities and the usual way of going about matters.
Pay Attention to Fluctuations in Exchange Rates
Currency exchange rates are constantly moving around. If you don’t have an accurate gauge of how they’re likely to move in the short-to-long term, then you could find yourself in financial trouble.
There’s the potential that by the time your income from one country is transferred to your home country, you could have lost enough value so that the foreign branch stops being viable. Ensure that you speak to experts who can give you an idea of what to expect with currency over the next few years. Nobody has a crystal ball that can tell you for sure, but those who study the currency market can give you a good approximation based on former results.
There’s plenty to get your head around when thinking of setting up business abroad, but try not to let that put you off. Done right, it can be an incredible experience, both professionally and on a personal level too.