This article is by Centuro Global and looks at how scale-ups can expand globally
2020 has been a year that has offered both opportunities and challenges with international expansion. Everyone is aware of how the global marketplace has become more connected and accessible over the past few decades. However, this does not mean the process of doing business overseas should be taken lightly. Any scaling business, whether it is a start-up, SME or multinational, will experience the same challenges when entering a new country.
For multinationals the biggest challenge is delivery of a project and assignment of key personnel into a region where they do not have an entity. The urgency to deliver on a contract or government project poses all kinds of legal challenges such as payroll, employment, entity structures, tax liability as well as risk and compliance. Understanding the local regulations of your target market is key to the success of any business and the importance of getting this right cannot be underestimated.
In 2014, Airbnb faced an issue when they advertised rental properties in Spain that did not meet local housing and tourism regulations, forcing the company to pay €30,000 in fines for breach of the law. Furthermore, having the right tax structure in place can save companies considerable costs in the long term and the risk of failure in any given jurisdiction.
Foreign laws and policies differ in every country and businesses invest in knowledgeable corporate professionals who can help navigate the intricacies of the expansion process. At Centuro, this is the problem we are solving. We want to help democratise the access to complex information about the entire global expansion process. We have put together a revolutionary tech platform which has blueprints covering all the top challenges any company faces with their expansion journey. Our product includes a roadmap of how to set up, the requirements, the documents and processes and timeframes.
The information has been checked by professionals from around the world specialising in their own jurisdiction and allows companies to fully comprehend the data and avoid expensive mistakes. For example, a client who wanted to set up in Ghana established an entity that did not allow them to transfer expatriate employees to the country as the structure only allowed for hiring local candidates. Having spent tens of thousands on the structure, the client had to restart the process and register the correct structure. This caused considerable delays, lost time to start the project resulting in losing the contract they were initially assigned to deliver.
These costly mistakes can be avoided if project teams simply review the entire legal and tax process of a particular country and then, equipped with that knowledge, they can contact the local expert in their target country. This simple yet powerful and comprehensive tool will change the way companies consume international expansion advice. The blueprints within the platform offer valuable links to government regulations, local banks, government fees, entity structures, comparable tax rate countries and much more. The information is supported by on the ground local support from lawyers, accountants and other professionals, saving businesses precious time and money.
There does not appear to be any other platform like this on the market, which allows companies to have access to this kind of information before they make key decisions and then provides trusted local experts to advise and deliver on the projects.