If your business is planning to start selling products in one or more foreign countries, the last thing you want to do is give all the responsibilities to a distributor and trust they know what they are doing. A distributor is trying to sell your product and may be oblivious to issues that concern you. For this reason, you need to consult with an international trade attorney about your product and the country you want to sell in. The following are just a few things they can advise you about.
Trademark and copyright issues can become a problem, depending upon the exact nature of the product you are selling. You need to know the status of trademark protection in the country you are planning to sell in. If there is little protection, you may want to rethink your plans to expand into that market. If there is protection, you need to know how strong it is. There should be a process for filing a complaint, as well as a governmental body responsible for stopping people from illegally using your product or making counterfeits. Without protection, you are simply giving away profits.
The tax implications for your product
You need to understand all the taxes you will be responsible for in the target country. Taxes can vary from one country to the next, but any time there are cross border transactions, there are likely taxes. And when you are trading in several countries, the issues can become confusing. Without realizing it, you may be overpaying your taxes.
Restrictions on your product
There can be many restrictions on your product that you may not be aware of. There may be certain applications for your product that are prohibited in the target country. You may want to sell to a country that has a boycott of another country that want to sell to. In this case, you may have to choose which country to do business in, but you won't be able to sell to both. Sometimes there may be special tariffs placed on your type of product for any number of reasons. It may be a temporary tariff based upon geopolitical events, or it may be a permanent one that will determine whether you believe it is worth exporting your product to that country.
Without preparation before selling in another country, you could easily lose money. You need to understand how suitable your products are in a foreign country, and how best to sell there. By consulting with an international trade attorney, you will reduce the chance of any surprises from a lack of understanding about your target country.