Getting it right on exporting
03rd March 2016
Elaine Chan, Commercial Litigation Partner at Ward Hadaway in Manchester, looks at opportunities for international trade.
Exporting represents literally a world of opportunities for ambitious companies to expand their businesses – as we can see from this year’s Ward Hadaway Greater Manchester Fastest 50.
Increasing links between the region and China and the arrival of direct flights to Beijing from Manchester Airport make this potentially huge market even more attractive.
However, it is not just China which companies would do well to look at – Hong Kong is also a huge export market in its own right. In fact, it is the UK’s 11th largest export market with £8.4bn worth of goods and services exported in 2014, making it the second largest UK export market in the Asia Pacific region after China.
From a legal and practical perspective, there are a number of things which businesses need to look at when planning an export drive, whether that is in the Far East or elsewhere.
Preparation is key. Doing things like researching the different markets you are eyeing up, setting a budget to deliver a range of international activities and deciding realistic export sales targets are all useful.
Companies should also research and understand the culture on business etiquette abroad. Getting to understand local politics and trade policies, quotas, tariffs, pricing and logistics of the contemplated market is all time well spent. It is also vital to find out whether there are any laws or regulations that could hinder your trading.
Depending on which route to market you take, it can be useful to secure the services of a local representative. This should be somebody who speaks the local language, has an understanding of the culture and can advise you of the local laws and regulations as well as the intricacies of local customs. Importantly, they should also be someone who understands your business and who you can trust.
Access to local professional services expertise can also pay dividends. Ward Hadaway is a member of GGI International, a global network of lawyers, accountants and tax advisors and can put you in touch with local specialists in almost every country of the world.
Protecting your intellectual property and branding is another key factor in successful exporting. Getting professional legal advice from advisers used to dealing with trading overseas is crucial to help protect the goods and services which you have developed.
In a similar vein, experienced legal advisers will help when drawing up the contracts which will underpin your exporting push. In some cases, it is possible to negotiate English jurisdiction and law clauses in contracts, or agree an Arbitration Clause, which can help to avoid lengthy and expensive disputes.
Exporting can be a real game-changer for businesses – just make sure you are prepared before taking the plunge. Our expertise in IP, Trademarks, Contracts, Litigation, Insurance and Alternative Dispute Resolution can support you in your export ambitions.
* Find out more about the Fastest 50 Awards.
Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.
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