Exporting to Europe

Export businesses are more productive and resilient to change. Creating demand for your goods or services outside your domestic market is a recipe for growth. However, there are hurdles to overcome.

The first of these is language. Doing business with our Anglo-Saxon cousins on the other side of the planet seems natural to us because we share the same language and culture. But the European markets on our doorstep often feel outside our comfort zone.

This is far from the truth. The business world speaks English, so any European company involved in cross-border trade will also be able to communicate sufficiently in our native language. This will cover the basics. However, for any sensitive communication involving legalese, technical descriptions, introductions, etc. it is essential to use the services of professional translators and interpreters to avoid confusion and potential damage.

Languages around the world

Post-Brexit

You might think trading with our European neighbours post-Brexit will be an unattractive proposition. Yes and no. Yes, we can expect increased paperwork, processing time and costs. Will you be affected by this? No, not necessarily. You can now benefit from specialised services that allow you to legally ‘remain’ in the EU while physically staying in the UK with hardly any disruption to your everyday business.

In essence, the concept is to replicate the strategy of multinational corporations, by establishing foreign subsidiaries. Due to their limited resources SMEs have been excluded from this option – until now. The modern digital environment enables even micro businesses to have an EU representation established and ‘hosted’ by service providers.

Benefits

What are the benefits and how does it work in detail? Let’s say you already run a successful business that sells goods to customers around the world. To stay competitive you may well be wondering how you can replace the membership of a trade bloc with 28 countries and around 80 trading partner nations by 2021. Needless to say this is impossible!

HOWEVER, there is a way to circumvent the new trade barriers. This can be done by establishing a legal EU representation, i.e. setting up your own company in Europe. And by outsourcing most of your European operation to service providers you can stick to what you do best; selling your goods.

Monitoring and managing

How do you monitor and manage your EU business? For goods distribution, the service offer should include a cloud-based management system that shows all stock and currency movements in real-time and also allows you to manage them. You should also use direct communication channels via phone or Skype. However, most processes, particularly in e-commerce sales, can be automated today, so after an initial implementation period the system should run self-sufficiently for the most part. The same applies for selling services, albeit most systems need to be specifically designed due to the complexity of the service industry.

What about taxes? The UK has bilateral double-taxation agreements with EU countries that are not affected by Brexit, so by paying your foreign taxes you can transfer your funds to the UK tax-free.

For more information on circumventing trade barriers please check www.tradewitheurope.com or www.fulfilmentinternational.com.

This is a guest blog by Marcus Broix

Speak to a member of the Surrey Translation Bureau team to discuss how we can cater to your translation needs when looking at business opportunities overseas. Call us at +44 (0)1252 730 014 or email hello@surreytranslation.co.uk