International trade: With regulation in mind

COMPANIES must navigate a minefield of taxes, regulations and restrictions to successfully trade internationally.

Whether simply selling overseas, establishing a representative office, joint venture or a wholly-owned enterprise, there are a bewildering number of factors to take into account, from taxes and tariffs to labour rules and restrictions on foreign investment.

For businesses that have previously traded solely in the UK, or even in the European Union, the amount of red tape sometimes associated with doing business in new markets can appear daunting.

But a low-growth UK market and the rewards for success in high growth economies are encouraging more companies to take the plunge.

The new supplement on international trade from, in partnership with DLA Piper and RSM Tenon, takes an in depth look at the major regulatory issues in traditional as well as major growth markets across the areas of staff, tax, compliance, and culture. Click here to download.

Clive Drinkwater, regional director for UK Trade & Investment, says that companies can divide their costs of trading overseas into four areas.

“If you want to broadly categorise, your main costs would be labour, materials, energy and overheads such as business taxes,” he says.

He advises companies take time to research how easy it is to do business in a potential market as well as risks in terms of corruption and lack of transparency.

“And it’s essential to get quality professional advice. It’s a minefield if you don’t,” he added.