International Company Credit Reports

Successful businesses know that in order to stay successful they need to constantly look out for opportunities and adapt to changing market conditions. In some cases, this may mean expanding overseas, be it to access new customers and grow sales through horizontal integration, keep up with competitors, cut labour or material costs, or control the production chain through vertical integration.

First Report overseas company reports provide the vital background information required when trading overseas. While international trade agreements and economic areas such as the European Union have been facilitating free circulation of goods and people, growing a company internationally is a much more involved and risky process than developing exports and obviously requires careful consideration, not only from a branding, marketing and cultural point of view but also from a legal and tax angle, as these frameworks will vary considerably from one country to another.

Expanding can be done in a number of ways: through the acquisition of a foreign business, by creating a new business or by setting up a joint venture. While each of these options presents pros and cons, the determining factor will often be the long-term strategy of the company.

Acquiring an existing business can provide instant access to a market, resources and staff but can be more expensive if it is well established and profitable. If it is not as healthy as you would like it to be, you will have to decide how to restructure it to fit in your plans, what to cut back or sell off, with the risk that it won't be enough to turn it around. 

While it may be easier from an administrative and legal point of view to choose this option, your acquisition could come under the scrutiny of competition laws in the EU, or their counterparts worldwide - antitrust laws in the US and anti-monopoly laws in China and Russia for example - and not be authorised. 

Setting up a new company allows you the freedom to shape it to suit your business needs perfectly, but can be fraught with red tape. You will also have to build a customer base from the ground up and it will take months, if not years, before your new operation is really fully functional and profitable. If you need to get to market quickly, it won't be suitable, not to mention that it will require a massive investment of time and capital.

Going down the path of a joint venture can be a wise business decision, especially if the partner company or investor is local to the new market, as you will share the financial risk while having access to commercial knowledge - but you will have to also share ownership, profits and decision making.

Whichever solution is deemed most appropriate, it is undeniable that expanding overseas is not like increasing your market share at home and that it is fraught with obstacles. Regulations related to health and safety, employment laws, skills and qualifications, taxation, accounting, residency rights for expats, language and cultural differences, all contribute to making it an interesting but challenging process, and having an expert with specialised knowledge guiding you through it will be crucial, especially in emerging markets.

If you have decided to set up a new company in a foreign country, hiring the services of agencies like StartUpOverseas for example, can make all the difference. With experienced advisers specialising in specific disciplines and countries who can also often speak the local language, your company will have access to in-depth, accurate information which will allow you to proceed confidently and navigate your way through whichever maze your target country has in store for you! 

If you are considering an acquisition or a joint venture, then you will obviously want to know all there is to know about the financial health of the business you want to buy or partner with - even if you are looking for a company in difficulty on purpose. This is when it is essential to go to an international credit agency like First Report. 

Like a UK credit agency, they will collect relevant data about the company you are interested in so that you can form as full a picture as possible, but you should remember that not all countries are as transparent as the UK, and that the format of the information may also be quite different.

Generally speaking, a report will include verified key trading figures such as turnover, profit, sales, balance sheets, and company registry records. Credit agencies will try to obtain details of credit commitments and any adverse data but it may not be available in all countries. Other information such as how long the business has been trading will be a useful indication of how successful it is.

Expanding overseas can provide your company with incredible opportunities but, like with any business decision, don't leave anything to chance, do your homework.

See more credit tips and information.

In using this service you agree to the Terms and Conditions

© 2024 First Report Ltd