Forms of International Business

January 20, 2002

Excerpt
I. INTRODUCTION

A. Preliminary Considerations
When a U.S. client seeks help in "doing business abroad," the first task of counsel is to ask the right questions.  It is important to learn enough about the extent of the client's experience and goals for doing business abroad so that the best course of action can be determined. "Doing business abroad" may mean simply entering into an agreement to regularly sell exported goods in a foreign country, or it may mean a major commitment of capital and management to enter into a direct investment by setting up a subsidiary. Or, it may mean any number of other alternative methods of doing business abroad. In fact, the client may have no idea of what is meant by "doing international business" or "setting up a business abroad."  The first task should be to clarify what it is the client wants to accomplish, in order to find the best form of business to accomplish the client’s goals, and then to define the legal task ahead.

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