Incorporating global compliance maintenance into your international expansion strategy is a smart practice to keep you free from errors, risks, and legal headaches. Your local business may have programmed everything related to processes including LEAN principles, a robust ERP system, and flawless use of an HRIS, but are you programming your compliance? No matter your answer, you always need to make sure that you create a maintenance program to keep your company safe and operating efficiently. Below are four tips for global compliance maintenance that will keep your business on track for success.
1. Revisit Labor Laws
Chances are, the labor laws in your target country changed after you started your global strategy or entered the market. There are a few ways to stay compliant with these incredibly important legal requirements, which include working with an international consultant, assigning a full-time compliance officer with legal expertise, and becoming ingrained in the local culture.
Your company should revisit the labor laws often because these tend to change regularly, and it’s a large part of staying compliant overseas.
2. Perform a Competition Audit
Keep track of your competitors and become familiar with your country’s competition and antitrust laws. Countries like the US and Canada are working towards harmonization, but it’s still not perfect. If you’re not careful, your company can face fines from disobeying the strict competition laws across the global network.
3. Complicated Tax Compliance
Companies that operate in multiple countries know that tax compliance is the biggest headache of them all. It’s incredibly complicated, just think about the IRS, and is always changing so it’s imperative that you have a dedicated individual or work with a firm that can manage tax requirements in each market where you operate.
4. Double Check your Intellectual Property (IP) Protection
IP protection in global markets is not as friendly as it is here in the US. Unfortunately, you cannot assume that your IP is protected in other countries, especially when working with foreign independent contractors. Each country varies, but this type of protection is not automatically addressed in contractor agreements overseas, and if an issue arises, you cannot receive assistance from the US government. The best way to avoid compromised data and IP is by revisiting employment contracts on a regular basis and make sure that you work with your attorney to develop a robust clause regarding protection of your information.
If you’re in the process of expanding into the global market, and this all seems a bit overwhelming, you’re not alone. We work with many companies who are in the same position, and we help them enter new markets with ease throughout Foreign Subsidiary as a Service (FSaaS) or International PEO. These services protect you from potential audits or disputes and help you with global compliance maintenance by creating a taxable presence in your new country. The best part, you do not need to set up a costly and timely subsidiary.