One of the biggest mistakes a company can make when planning for international expansion is applying a cookie-cutter approach to budgeting and not adequately accounting for the tax laws, employer obligations, cultural nuances and other quirks of their target countries. All of these factors and more vary widely by country and can significantly affect your bottom line. Even if you’ve already established a presence abroad, you can’t assume that your experiences there will prepare you for setting up shop in another market. Each new target country presents a unique set of challenges and related costs and timelines.

Expanding into a new country and grappling with the nuances of local labor laws, payroll obligations and cultural expectations can be daunting, even for an experienced HR professional. All your hard-earned knowledge about employing workers in your home country must be reevaluated when setting up shop in a new market.

Every international expansion is unique. Each organization has its own goals and risk tolerances, and each country has its own tax, employment, immigration and other laws. Despite differences, however, there are certain basic concepts that any organization considering international expansion should understand.