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International expansion for young and fast-growing companies is a tricky proposition for a variety of reasons. Uncertainty surrounding revenue, profitability and market position can lead to conflicting priorities between management and board members. Furthermore, responsibility for managing rapid growth is rarely evenly distributed within an organization, and certain teams such as HR, finance and legal may be understaffed and overwhelmed by the administrative burdens associated with international expansion. Regardless of company size or profile, an organization generally decides to expand its international footprint for one or more of the four following reasons.

Countries around the world are grappling with change as work increasingly goes mobile. While workers in the US — particularly millennials — are clamoring for a more flexible workplace, the picture abroad is murkier, with some countries moving in the opposite direction. Companies that plan to send employees overseas need to be aware of the differences and prepare workers for organizations that view white-collar working hours in a very different light from their counterparts in the US.

Use of labor dispatch services in China has increased significantly in recent years. For that reason and others, there is a widespread perception that many companies operating in China have been using the practice to circumvent costly Chinese worker-protection laws. In response, China authorities recently amended the country’s 2008 Labor Contract Law governing labor dispatching.

By Bill Thomas, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

When American businesses venture abroad, they face serious challenges: ensuring compliance, managing tax implications, and aligning their goals with the local culture. According to CFOs and senior finance executives who participated in a recent survey conducted jointly by HSP and our partner CFO Magazine, those challenges only grow when a firm’s expansion takes it into emerging markets.

By Rich de la Rosa, Director, Advisory Services, Americas

Rich de la Rosa; Brazil expert; International Expansion Brazil

Our recent webinar Gateway to Asia: Getting Started in Hong Kong and Singapore encouraged a lot of discussion. There were several interesting questions from attendees for HSP's Asia experts; here are some of the highlights, and answers.