·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary


Managing Legal Challenges in Cross-Border Operations

— January 10, 2024

One of the key legal challenges for businesses operating across borders is navigating the complexities of different legal jurisdictions. ~ Niclas Tim, Managing Consultant and CEO, spectup

From navigating global legal requirements to managing international shipping taxes, ten seasoned professionals, including CEOs and presidents, share their insights on the labyrinth of legal challenges faced by businesses in the international arena.

  • Navigating Global Legal Requirements
  • Resolving International Contract Disputes
  • Finding Expertise in International Regulatory Compliance
  • Utilizing Legal Strategy for Offshore Employment
  • Staying Current with Trade Policies
  • Drafting Protective International Contracts
  • Adapting to Local Employment Laws
  • Aligning Contracts with International Laws
  • Resolving Cross-Border Regulatory Issues
  • Managing International Shipping Taxes

Navigating Global Legal Requirements

For businesses going global, a major challenge is meeting different countries’ legal requirements, including obtaining the right licenses. Companies entering markets like the UAE face this issue. UAE Free Zones offer a solution with affordable, flexible licenses that cover multiple business activities. This is great for new entrepreneurs or those trying different ventures. We help clients use these licenses to enter the market easily, follow the law, and cut costs.

Acme Tech, a Canadian AI educational software company, faced tough international tax rules during their global growth. With guidance from, they chose UAE Free Zones for their expansion. This choice gave them tax benefits while conducting most of their business in Europe and Asia. 

By registering in a UAE Free Zone, Acme Tech could manage many business activities with one cost-effective license. This key move increased their profits, allowed for more investment, and supported their growth, all from their UAE base.

Seb Bagay, Content and Creative Manager, BizRamp

Resolving International Contract Disputes

One of the recurring legal challenges we face in international business is navigating the intricacies of varying business laws and regulations across different countries. 

For instance, in one situation, we handled a case where our client, a Canadian company, was embroiled in a dispute with a partner in the European Union. The core of the disagreement was a contract dispute, complicated by the differing interpretations of contract laws across the two jurisdictions. We resolved this by engaging legal counsel in the partner’s home country to help us understand the local laws, and together, we negotiated an amicable resolution that satisfied the legal requirements of both nations. 

This experience underscored the necessity of understanding and respecting the diversity of international business laws. I am a legal assistant at a criminal law firm, proficient in legal research and supporting daily lawyer tasks. I am passionate about justice and committed to meticulous case handling, striving for precision in every detail.

Rick C., Licensed Paralegal and Legal Assistant, Kahlon Law

Finding Expertise in International Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory compliance is a key challenge for businesses operating across borders. As an owner of a consultancy firm operating across borders, I found it always challenging to set the right policies and guidelines that comply with international requirements and regulations. 

As a global firm, ensuring your business complies with diverse regulations in every country can be a huge challenge. The process of regulatory compliance is not a single process; it involves checking various industry regulations, tax laws, employment laws, and data protection requirements. Every country has its unique guidelines—for example, employment terms in the US are not the same as in the United Kingdom.

To deal with this legal challenge, consulting a legal expert helped us set up an internationally legally compliant business. The legal expert also keeps us informed of the changing international laws and regulations to ensure our firm can operate in different jurisdictions.

Brett Downes, Founder, Haro Helpers

Utilizing Legal Strategy for Offshore Employment

I’m an attorney, and I have offshore workers on my team. One of the complex legal situations that I have faced is how to add offshore workers to my team and navigate the employment implications. 

Ultimately, I determined that it would be best if my offshore workers were contracted with my law firm. This relationship actually made a lot of sense because they set their own schedules, work from home, and provide their own equipment.

Hunter Garnett, Personal Injury Lawyer, Huntsville Car Accident Lawyers

Staying Current with Trade Policies

My perspective is that staying up-to-date with evolving international trade agreements and tariffs is vital for businesses engaged in global commerce. Changes in trade policies can significantly impact your operations.

Michael Nemeroff, CEO and Co-Founder, Rush Order Tees

Drafting Protective International Contracts

Get as specific as you can in the details of your contract with clients. Specify where your output or product should be used, and stipulate limitations outside of those bounds. This will protect you should the client deviate from the terms of usage that both parties have agreed upon in the contract. 

Also, take the precaution of limiting outside access to your source file, so you don’t risk anyone making a copy of it and using it as they wish.

Meg Hellerstedt, President, Sylvane

Adapting to Local Employment Laws

Magnifying glass and pen on open book sitting next to globes of the Earth; image by João Silas, via
Magnifying glass and pen on open book sitting next to globes of the Earth; image by João Silas, via

Businesses operating across boundaries often have to navigate the complexities of differing employment laws in each country. For instance, a company expanding from a country with flexible labor laws into one with strict regulations on working hours, minimum wage, and employee rights must adapt its operations accordingly. This could involve restructuring contracts and adjusting pay scales. 

The best way to deal with this is to hire local legal experts and recruitment professionals who can provide valuable insights into the local labor market and legal environment, guiding the company to effectively align its practices with local regulations.

Alex Freeburg, Owner, Freeburg Law

Aligning Contracts with International Laws

One of the key legal challenges for businesses operating across borders is navigating the complexities of different legal jurisdictions. Each country has its own set of laws and regulations, which can vary significantly. This can impact various aspects of business, including contracts, intellectual property rights, employment law, and tax obligations.

For example, at Spectup, we faced a challenge when expanding our services to a new country. Our standard service agreement, compliant with our home country’s laws, was not fully aligned with the legal requirements of the new jurisdiction. This discrepancy posed risks in areas like data protection and consumer rights. 

To resolve this, we consulted with local legal experts to understand the specific legal nuances. We then adapted our contracts and operational procedures to ensure compliance with both local and international laws. This not only mitigated legal risks but also built trust with our new international clients.

Such experiences underscore the importance of seeking local legal expertise and being adaptable in your legal and operational strategies when expanding internationally.

Niclas Tim, Managing Consultant and CEO, spectup

Resolving Cross-Border Regulatory Issues

One key issue we often encounter is jurisdictional complexities. For instance, once we faced a legal quandary involving a shipment of desiccant bags to a client in Europe. Due to differing regulations between the originating and destination countries, there was a dispute over product safety standards. 

Navigating this required careful analysis of both legal frameworks. We resolved it by collaborating with local legal experts and modifying our product specifications to align with the destination country’s regulations. This experience underscored the importance of being adaptable and well-informed about international legal requirements in our business.

Sandra Malouf, President, Eurolog Packing Group

Managing International Shipping Taxes

A legal challenge we experienced when shipping our jewelry from Australia to New Zealand was the additional taxation on imported goods. To address this, we partnered with FedEx, which manages the communication and collection of GST, customs duties, and fees before delivery, ensuring a smooth process and compliance with New Zealand’s customs regulations. 

We also notify our clients during checkout that international shipping may incur additional taxes and fees, so they’re aware of the potential costs involved. This arrangement helps us meet legal obligations and ensures a hassle-free shipping experience for our customers.

Nikhil Jogia, Managing Director, Jogia Diamonds

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