The global economy is evolving quickly, and tech and other startups are looking beyond traditional expansion targets like the UK and China. Popular targets now include relatively low cost, talent-rich countries like Israel, Ireland, the Czech Republic and Poland, which recently joined the ranks of FTSE Russell advanced economies, the first country to do so in nearly ten years
Keeping track of your employees’ international business trips is a critical, often overlooked component of operating a multinational organization. The size of your business doesn’t matter: to minimize risk, you need to understand and record where your employees are traveling and for how long. Business trips — also known as short-term expat assignments — pose a particular problem. They are often wrongly dismissed as low- or no-risk, which can prove costly. Many companies, for example, unknowingly trigger a taxable presence in another country by sending an employee on multiple business trips there, which can lead to fines and reputational damage.
The globalized economy presents new opportunities for growth, frequently requiring companies to send employees overseas on assignments. Sending key talent overseas can solve problems, but employers typically must navigate a common set of challenges, such as immigration status, in-country employment compliance, host and home country taxation, compensation planning and quality of life topics.
No matter how thoroughly you prepare yourself for an international assignment — through guidebooks, websites, seminars and other means — you’ll almost certainly be surprised, and occasionally baffled, by everyday life in a new country.
This three-part blog series is intended to help others plan for their own expat assignments. In this post, I’ll address some important factors to consider and steps to take prior to going on an assignment.
Instead of employer concerns such as corporate permanent establishment triggers and local employment laws, this blog series will focus on how to prepare for an expat assignment, along with some cultural (as opposed to legal or regulatory) factors you’ll want to consider beforehand.