In an era of increasing globalization, more and more UK businesses are looking for lucrative expansion opportunities. The USA offers attractive prospects for any business, but the expansion process can be fraught with difficulties. Here, Galvin International explores the potential pitfalls of expansion into the USA, and how to avoid them.
Ignoring the visa question
The question of formal immigration requirements is often overlooked during business expansion. Many of the initial parts of the process, such as surveying sites and signing contracts, are covered by the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP). But as your business takes root, you may find your time increasingly split between the UK and the US – at which point your visa status may become an issue. Make sure you fully understand the immigration requirements of doing business in the USA before beginning expansion, to reduce the risk of unnecessary difficulties further down the line.
Forgetting to research the US tax system
One of the most important factors to consider in any international expansion is your destination’s tax system. Not putting in the requisite level of research can lead to a maze of red tape, unnecessary payments and accidental non-compliance. If you are expanding your business into the US, understanding and managing US tax and accounting systems is particularly vital – unexpected tax liabilities have the potential to wipe out any profit you have made in the US.
Galvin International have already put together a handy guide to navigating the US tax system.
Assuming you can set up anywhere
It’s easy to assume you know all about the USA, but do you understand the specific implications of the location you’ve chosen? The likelihood is that you’ve heard of Silicon Valley, but you may not be aware that it was recently overtaken by New York as America’s small business hub.
It’s important to remember that the US is a federal entity comprised of semi-autonomous states – each with their own system of laws and regulations. It is vital to carefully research the state laws and regulations of your prospective expansion destination, as well as the federal ones.
Underestimating the differences
It’s important to research the specifics of the market you’re moving into. If you think your business is offering a totally original and unique prospect for theUS, it is likely that someone has tried it before. Don’t assume that your current approach can be transferred without any changes. Your business’s entire market approach will need to be reformatted to fit into your new environment. This may seem like an excessive task initially, but it has the potential to benefit you significantly in the long term.
When considering an international expansion, the correct research and planning are paramount. At Galvin International, we work with you through the entire expansion process. Our experts provide on-ground support, as well as detailed advice and guidance.
Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you expand your business.