This article first appeared on the EACCNY website. It is part of a series of articles written by Marc S. Friedman, Director of Professional Relations at Global Commerce Education, Inc. as a collaboration with the European American Chamber of Commerce in New York.
In the last installment in this series, I explained how many non-US companies may refrain from doing business in the US because of Myth #9 – There are no effective ways to control the risks to our business if we come to the US. Today I address the last Legal Myth in this series – Myth #10 It is almost impossible to locate trusted advisers including reliable and cost-effective lawyers and accountants. This Myth, too, is easily debunked.
First, let’s define who a “trusted advisor” may be. It is a person who has the experience, training and knowledge, and the subject matter expertise, to advise your company and provide the support it requires. If you are a European company entering the US market place, your team of trusted advisors would necessarily include a lawyer experienced in establishing foreign companies in the US, and an accountant who is not just experienced in US accounting but who also understands international taxation, including transfer pricing.
Your company would also need a banker, and preferably one with a large bank with international offices or alliances. Examples would be Citi, Chase and Deutsche Bank. Your banker should have the ability to recognize and satisfy your company’s domestic banking requirements, and also the facility to efficiently handle international financial transactions.
There are additional trusted advisors your company may need. These could include a real estate consultant, broker or agent to help you locate and rent/buy suitable facilities; an employment agency if necessary for you to find employees for your US operation; an FDA advisor if you are importing or selling drugs or foodstuffs; a customs expert if you will be importing goods; and possibly more.
If your company’s goal is to avoid stepping on land mines, then you need a team to help guide you around or past them. As noted, the team could be as small as three (a lawyer, banker and accountant) or more depending upon the goods or services you want to market, sell and distribute in the US.
There are many ways in which you can locate suitable trusted advisors for your company. Here are some that have been shown to be successful:
Personal referrals from others who have the same needs as your company
Online searches where you would try to idenfity suitable trusted advisors based on their location, experience, articles and speeches, awards and reviews, etc.
The State or local Chamber Of Commerce often can recommend the right person.
Social networks, and especially Linkedin, can help you find the right trusted advisor
These are just some of the ways you can locate suitable trusted advisors. However, in many instances the best way is to contact Global Commerce Education (www.g2experience.org). This group is very experienced in helping European companies to locate the right trusted advisors, having done so for 25 years. They are able to assess your requirements and match you up with the right professionals and consultants to meet your needs. GCE can also help evaluate the potential advisor’s proposed fee structure and even monitor the services you are receiving, and the fees and costs to ensure you are “getting the biggest bang for the buck.” You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Locating and engaging the right trusted advisors will be important to your business success in the US. However, by following the above steps you will find the trusted advisors your business needs.
This is the next to last installment in this series. In two weeks we will publish the final installment. We hope that by debunking the 10 Legal Myths, you have been encouraged to do business in the US.
Compliments of Global Commerce Education, a member of the EACCNY