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Why you need expert local support in Germany to start your business

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Why you need expert local support in Germany to start your business

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Governments are generally pretty good at providing support. And we know too that that kind of help only goes so far: government departments are not of course in business with you - sure they want you to succeed. But they can usually only provide a finite amount of expertise, then stand back and wish you well.

Find someone on the ground who knows the business landscape inside out

You’ll probably need help in setting up a local office address, setting up a bank account, helping you do in-depth market research, and if you’re not on the ground yourself all the time, it’s often no bad thing to have an authorized representative who can act as signatory for all the papers that need to be signed and on-the-spot decisions that need to be made.

As known, it’s not only culture that changes from country to country - business culture can be just as radically different as soon as you cross borders. We’ve all heard the stories of happy westerners landing in Asia, for example, and not understanding the many tiny points of business etiquette that make such a difference.

Little to no corruption

Anti-bribery compliance: Just as the US has the Foreign and Corrupt Practices Act, Europe also has strict rules on anti-bribery compliance. In fact, in Transparency International’s annual Corruptions Perceptions Index, countries in the EU managed an average score of 66 (0 being utterly corrupt, 100 being absolutely not corrupt) - while the global average is only 43.

Some kinds of EU regulation apply on a “country of origin” basis. This means if a company is established in one member state, the company can take advantage of its preferable regulations, even when selling products in other European states.

A strong institutional framework and long-term stability

Being in the EU means that a country has in place a set of institutions and policy arrangements which give an amount of certainty to investors. This implies that companies investing or working in an EU member state get a strong institutional framework and long-term stability.

Here are some points you should be thinking about

How’s the country’s business infrastructure? Think about transportation, utilities, internet speed and so on.

Will your idea work locally? Learn how the country ticks. Get a feel for the local culture with a local person – or organisation – who can help you to understand the country, its culture and its economy.

Study the competition - find out which companies have tried to succeed in your industry in the local economy and failed

Think about your network - contacts are almost everything. No matter what kind of a networking genius you are, it still takes a while to build up your network. Having a local partner with good contacts means that you’re immediately introduced to a bunch of like-minded people, and you come with a handshake and a recommendation.

You’ve got a great product, you’ve got a great team, and you’re ready to expand globally - so get someone who knows all the local business ins and outs and let them go to work.

BASCH Consult 12/2016

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