What Entrepreneurs Should Know When Starting and Financing Businesses Overseas


The thought of starting a business in another country is exciting but also concerning,since you must considerpotential logistical challenges. Fortunately, with a well-laid-out plan, you can achieve great success as an entrepreneur in a foreign country. Notonly do you need to create a roadmap so that everything runs seamlessly, you also must secure a loan to finance your business endeavor.

To help you succeed in starting and financing a business overseas, you need to act on several things, including the following.

Good Business Practices

Laws and business practices, including legal issues, taxes, and real estate, vary depending on the country. Therefore, if your goal is to conduct business in more than one overseas destination, it is imperative that you learn the rules and regulations for each as they relate to your specific business. That means knowing how to get your business set up and associated costs. After all, you can set up a company in one country in a matter of days, whereas, for a different foreign destination, it could take weeks or perhaps longer.

Acquiring property is another consideration. Before hopping aboard a plane, be sure to do as much research as possible, and get in touch with a reputable real estate agentwithin the country of interest. With a little effort on your part, you will have confidence that your decisions comply with the country’s laws.

Gain Insight into the Culture

Every country’s culture is unique. Especially when traveling from North America to the Middle East or Asia, you will find tremendous cultural differences. Without understanding these differences, your business could suffer. Therefore, the goal is to verify that your destination point has a market for your product or service.

Depending on where you decide to start your business, you could also face language barriers that would make fitting into the business community difficult at best. In addition to studying the language ahead of time, whether using a program or working with a tutor, it is to your advantage to visit the country a few times before taking root.

Political Views

You should also be aware of the political viewsin countries of interest. To better understand why this is so important, consider that in some countries, the government has access to business bank accounts, even taking a percentage and calling it a “tax.” In 2013, the Cyprus government taxed business owners without any warning, causing devastation for some. Especially in countries with changing political views, you need to know if and how governmental laws could impact your business.

Seeking Legal Counsel

Although you will make several important decisions when starting and financing a business overseas, seekingadvice from a qualified attorney is one of the most critical. Most importantly, make sure that you hire an attorney who understands and has experience dealing with the respective country’s laws. Whether the attorney is in your home country or lives abroad, this individual must have expertise in international business law. Seeking legal advice before starting an overseas business is a smart decision.

Community Involvement

For you to succeed with a new business in another country, you have to market what you offer. An excellent way to accomplish this is by getting involved in the community. You can introduce yourself to other business owners, contact business organizations, and so on. Regardless of whom you meet, take advantage of any local guidance offered. By developing trusted relationships before opening your business, the community will feel more comfortable embracing it.

Take Your Time

Rushing the process is a common mistake that entrepreneurs make when starting a business overseas. Although you should feel enthusiastic about the venture, take a breath and work through the process so that nothing gets overlooked. It is better to go slow and avoid making mistakes than to error and try to fix an issue.

Doing research first, seeking out respected locals, and learning the culture and political views will help you navigate through the process of starting your business. Also, make sure that you apply for all necessary documents well in advance. Even that process is not something that you can rush.

Know Your Competition

Smart entrepreneurs understand that to succeed,they have to know who their competitors are as well as their behaviors. As an entrepreneur who wants to start a business in another country, you must know your competition. By identifying your business rivals, you have the opportunity to improve on what they do and how they do it. Whether your business is small or large, and regardless of the industry, you will vie for the same targeted audience, even when in another country.

Strong Networking

Before traveling overseas, start networking. From your home country, you can begin by sending out emails to businesses where you plan to go. Also, join various business organizations and contact different associations related to your product or service. When you identify prospects, email them and offer an introductory price, special promotion, or some other enticement.

Get Answers to Important Question

While in the planning phase of starting a business overseas, you need to get answers to some crucial questions. As a result, you will find it easier to stay focused and on task. Some examples of things that you should ask yourself include:

  • Does my business idea or existing business have a solid foundation on which to build?
  • Should I get a partner for my business in another country?
  • How can I find the talent needed overseas to promote and help run my business?
  • Do I know enough about the local competition?
  • Can I get financing or refinance my current business loans in the countries of interest?
  • Do I understand the country’s culture to the point of achieving success with my business?
  • Do I need to enhance my online visibility?
  • What potential issues could I face when starting a business overseas?

Adequate Financing

No matter which overseas country you have your sights set on, you must have adequate financing to get your business launched. For instance, if you decide to head to Japan as an expat, you want confirmation that you can obtain the necessary funding to cover your move and expenditures for getting your business started.

If you plan to maintain a residence in more than one country as part of operating a business overseas, make sure that you have access to financing. While you might need money after launching your business, securing a loan is usually most critical at the start. Ultimately, this helps get your business going and provides you with a little cushion if needed.

Instead of contacting multiple lending institutions around the world, hoping to get approved, a more efficient solution issubmitting just one application online, which then gets presented to several viable lenders. Not only will you save a tremendous amount of valuable time, lenders compete for your business.

Getting into the position of lenders fighting to lend you money ensures the best terms and interest rate. Even if you need to refinance old business debts, having lenders compete for you is what you want. By going through this process, you have the assurance that when you get ready to travel to another country and start your business, you will have no problem securing the best loan possible from a reputable lender.