Tips on doing business internationally


As increased connectivity expands global reach, businesses now have the world at their fingertips — even right here in West Michigan. With the proper guidance, even a small company can make the transition into an international market.

Staying current with global tax and business development trends is an important avenue for West Michigan businesses to find opportunities for inclusion and growth.

Mergers and acquisitions are one strategy for West Michigan businesses seeking entry in the international space. Entering an international market through M&A or joint venture allows businesses to capitalize on an existing market value and can create more global appeal through a brick-and-mortar footprint. It also demonstrates a willingness to assimilate in unfamiliar territory and problem solve, which is appealing for future acquisition or sales opportunities.

While much will come clearer very soon about future U.S. tax plans, it does appear they are becoming more closely aligned and competitive with those of other countries. This presents another positive factor for local businesses looking to partner with international companies. As U.S. tax rates change, it’s likely that more international companies will want to establish a presence in the U.S. With that said, we may see more inflow of interest into West Michigan than outflow in the year to come.

Whenever a local company wants to break into a global market or use global trends in its daily business, it is critical they work closely with an adviser who has relationships with partners in foreign countries. This will aid in the navigation of global regulations and local customs to avoid pitfalls. Similar to all business partnerships, starting off on the right foot is essential. If the first impression does not go well, future partnerships can be tarnished.

When working internationally or incorporating global changes in day-to-day business, companies also must evaluate potential risks. Operating overseas can make businesses more susceptible to product liability, shipping complications and international finance transactions. An insurance expert should be consulted to make sure the company is protected against these and other potential risks.

The impact of impact of global changes can be seen in all markets, including here in West Michigan. There are major benefits to being ahead of your competitors when adjusting to global business changes. Having existing international business relationships offers a leg up and will allow companies to be ahead of the game as global trends or partnership opportunities shift.

When it comes to global changes and trends, West Michigan companies cannot veer away from new opportunities due to fear of the unknown. With a strong plan in place, even the smallest of businesses can capitalize on the expanding global economic advantages.

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