How to Set Up an Office in Another Country

If you want your company to expand beyond its current borders and do business in another country, there are two choices. Either you sell goods and services while remaining operational in a single country, or you set up an office elsewhere.

While the latter is far more complicated and time-consuming to complete, the result will be that you have a local team capable of executing while adapting to cultural differences. They’ll also be on-hand to handle problems as they arise. This avoids the issues associated with trying to solve them from hundreds, or more likely thousands, of miles away.

Here is a brief introduction on how to set up an office in another country.


Business Licenses, Permits, etc.

It’s necessary to discuss a second office and starting an operation with both a local lawyer and an accountant. Why both of these professionals?

The first will be well-versed in local and national business law relevant to your type of business. They can confirm and arrange all the necessary licenses, permits, and permissions to operate legally.

The second will help determine if you’ll need a local company, be able to draw up financial documents  for the company that are acceptable, and file them in that jurisdiction too.

These two steps are essential to get right, otherwise you’ll be facing ongoing problems that could be expensive to solve.


Establish Your Team

The team that will be responsible for setting up an office in the new country is likely to include both some current executives and new hires from the country in question. The former brings along with them a plan to execute, the company culture, and how the brand should be presented to customers. The latter provides the local flavor and a perspective on what current procedures will and won’t work, how products might need to be renamed to appeal to the local market, and what pricing is relevant there.

It’s a given that the head office team will need to spend considerable time abroad helping to set everything up. Cover should be planned for their usual responsibilities so that they can be away from the head office periodically and won’t drop the ball on anything else that’s important in the meantime.


Relocate Business Equipment and Goods

While you may eventually get newly manufactured goods shipped directly to the warehouse adjacent to the new office, in the immediate future, it will probably be necessary to relocate goods from your current country to the new operation.

Additionally, relevant business equipment that’s either not available elsewhere or needs to be specially configured may create a need to relocate existing equipment rather than start from scratch in the new premises. In this case, you’ll need to use a service like the HLOGCAM Logistics Provider that specializes in freight forwarding, logistics, and transport troubleshooting for companies. Known as HLOG for short, they’re also transport and customs agents, so are well-versed in getting goods into port and onwards to their final destination.

Don’t be put off by the number of steps required to set up an international office and warehouse operation. It’s always possible to hire experts who have done it before and know the ropes. Doing so will make life infinitely easier too.


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