How Long Does it Take to Expand A Company Internationally?

How long does it take to expand into a new market? The internet’s interconnectivity has made it easier than ever to expand even the smallest business worldwide.

Are you thinking of going global and wondering how companies expand internationally? How long does it take to enter new markets? Consider these steps in your expansion timeline.

Education and Strategy — 1 to 2 Years

“How long does it take to expand globally” is a big question on your mind. But globalization isn’t something you should approach unprepared. The internet may make things easier, but there is still a lot of research and information that goes into taking your company global.

Start by learning the process of global expansion and defining your desired market and objectives. From there, you’ll have a framework to conduct research, develop a budget, and learn everything you can about the local culture and customs. It also allows you to identify the local competition and figure out what you’ll need to do to thrive in this new global market.

This initial research state should take one to two years, depending on how comprehensive it is.

Business Registration and Setup — 6 Months

Once you complete your research, it’s time to start the next step — business registration and setup. You need to develop a local entity within the new market. This means establishing a branch office and subsidiaries, as well as input and export procedures.

Based on most international business growth statistics, you can usually complete this step in around six months.

Legal Processes — 3 to 4 Months

In addition to your market presence, you also need to establish a legal framework for operating in each country. Laws and tax regulations vary considerably, so you must adjust your processes for each new market. You will also need to ensure you’re complying with the labor laws of each country.

Setting up your legal processes should take you three to four months.

Fees and Certifications — 1 to 2 Months

When setting up any business, there are fees and certifications you need to contend with. That includes funding your local operation by raising capital or obtaining loans, and building banking relationships. This is also when you’ll want to set up your billing and payment systems, as well as gather any certifications and compliances you’ll need to operate in each country.

This stage will usually take one to two months to complete.

Recruiting and Hiring — Various

Now it’s time to start recruiting and hiring your international team. Hire a translator, and find an employer of record or staffing agency to help you find ideal candidates. This stage will generally take several months, but that may vary depending on the talent pool in your new market, as well as the labor laws and hiring practices you’ll need to learn.

Know Your Global Expansion Time Frame

Now you’ve got an answer to the question, “How long does it take to go global?” Moving from your planning stage to a fully functional international company can take two to three years and cost upward of $30,000. Globalization Partners can drastically reduce the time and resources you pour into global expansion. Contact us today to get started.

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