How legal translation experts can help you break into new markets.
If your company has found a great deal of success in the United States over the past few years, you may feel it is the right time to consider a European expansion.
Do you want your business to succeed overseas?
Whether you choose England, France, Germany or Spain as the first country where you will expand, your team must deal with several legal issues during the expansion process. Here is a look at five legal issues that you must navigate when expanding into Europe.
1. Subsidiary Status
Many companies assume when they are doing business in another country, they are not technically bound by regulations within that country. For instance, your company may want to do business in Europe, but you are not ready to set up an office or base of operations there yet. However, a lack of a physical setup in a European country does not mean your business is exempt from the laws of the EU or the local nation.
It is very important to look up any employee regulations or consumer laws that could cause you problems if you begin selling products or services in Europe.
2. Employee Status
There are laws in Europe that differentiate between contractors and employees, much like in the United States. If someone is being monitored and directed by your management, they are an employee. And every employee needs to abide by tax laws where they reside, while they are also protected by that nation’s employment laws.
Keep these two factors in mind when you are hiring full or part-time employees, or engaging with contractors, in Europe. A US offer letter is often not enough to establish proper legal status for your employees if they live in Europe – you need a local employment contract.
3. Stock Option Complications
When hiring employees or middle management in Europe, you may look to incentivize some of their contracts with stock options. When offering these stock options as part of a contract, your team needs to ensure the EU and local tax laws are being adhered to completely. You could be looking at massive tax bills for yourself and your employees if you do not keep mind of these laws from the beginning.
4. Intellectual or Physical Property
When you take your business to another country, it is vital to establish trademarks for your physical and intellectual property before you begin your dealings. You are not protected simply by having the requisite filings in the United States, as those filings only apply to America.
5. Acquisitions or Partnerships
One way to expand to a European nation is by acquiring a standing business that is looking to sell, or is on the verge of closing down. Other businesses may choose to engage in a partnership with an existing company in Europe to help with the transition process. In either case, it is important to formulate a plan for the acquisition or partnership.
And in the case of a partnership, it is vital to draw up the appropriate legal paperwork that clearly determines the terms of your agreement with the other company.
How We Can Help
Semiotic Transfer is a Swiss translation agency in the heart of Europe. We provide legal translation services to marketing firms worldwide. We know how to effectively translate and transform legal documents across countries and cultures. Contact us today to find out how we can help your marketing firm break into new markets. Visit our blog.
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