Business: 10 important tips for starting a business abroad: A personal challenge, a professional opportunity, retraining or new ambitions – there are many reasons to start a business abroad. And even though an export project is a great development opportunity, nothing should be left to chance, because the risks are numerous.

In the search for meaning, responsibility and freedom, professional fulfillment has become as important as personal fulfillment. For this reason, entrepreneurship is on the rise. And because going abroad is an exciting additional challenge and a nice lucrative opportunity, French companies tend to expand all over the world. According to the General Directorate of Customs and Indirect Taxation, 39,800 companies from the Tricolore were operating internationally in 2022. But then, how to be a good entrepreneur abroad? Between the dream of a new life and its realization, a plethora of questions arise. Here are 10 practical tips on how to prepare well your entrepreneurial project in another country.


Carry out an export diagnosis.

Working for a French company abroad is not insignificant! Even before conducting a market study, you need to determine if your company is ready to go international. Production capacity, human capital, financial resources: conducting an export diagnostic will allow you to identify your strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement. Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CCI) offer export diagnostics so you can see your potential for development internationally.


Conduct thorough research on the target area.

Before expanding your business to other countries, it is important to research the target market and its cultural nuances in the country or countries you are targeting. It is advisable to choose a country based on the conditions for starting a business, political stability, economic health (inflation, increase in the exchange rate…) and local constraints. So, before setting out, you should study the size of the market, customer behavior, local regulations and competition. You should also investigate the cost of setting up and starting the business, as well as the financial assistance available.


Adapt to local customs.

To be competitive, you need to adapt your business practices and products to local customs and regulations. To do this, you need to conduct a market study. This has several objectives: You need to define your market, analyze the local demand, characterize the supply already present in the market, and analyze the environment from different aspects (political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal). Based on this analysis, you can then build your marketing strategy. This should allow you to adapt your offer to the specifics of the country in order to meet the needs of the local market, consumption habits, distribution methods, but also cultural and language barriers. For example, you may need to translate your website, change the packaging of your products or adapt your pricing strategy.

Business: 10 key tips for starting a business abroad.


Build strong partnerships.

Choosing a sales channel is a crucial step in your expansion abroad. Building relationships with local partners with a good knowledge of the market, business culture and language can be very useful to you. Setting up a liaison office or hiring a sales representative are also solutions to monitor the market and limit risks. To have better control over your business, you can also open a branch office, create a subsidiary or enter into a joint venture with a local partner.


Communicate effectively

Be accessible to customers and partners! Set up effective communication channels, hire bilingual staff or hire translation services to ensure clear communication. It would be a shame if you lost business due to misunderstandings or difficult communication.


Increase brand awareness.

Be visible everywhere! Marketing campaign, social networks, events… Make your brand known by all means. Engage with local communities and stakeholders to build a climate of trust and loyalty.


Control and adapt

Adaptability is the key word if you want to take action and succeed abroad. Always be in the loop. Monitor your company’s performance in the new market and adjust your strategies accordingly. The customer is king: consider customer reactions, sales data and market trends to move in the right direction.


Ensure compliance with applicable laws.

Comply with local laws, regulations and tax requirements. Establish a subsidiary, hire local lawyers and accountants to ensure compliance with local laws, or hire an EOR (Employer of Record). Several practical issues need to be explored before you export to another country. Managing transportation risks, customs requirements, protecting your industrial property, drafting your terms and conditions, etc. You need to clarify all these logistical, tax and legal aspects before you set out.


Invest In Technology

Invest in technology to streamline your operations and improve the customer experience. Use cloud-based software, e-commerce platforms and online payment systems to facilitate cross-border transactions.


Have some patience

Everything comes to he who can wait. If patience is a virtue, it’s even more so in the world of entrepreneurship. Building your business in other countries takes a lot of time. Be willing to invest the time and resources necessary to see your project flourish and grow. Be flexible in your approach. Celebrate small victories and learn from failures.

Business: 10 important tips for starting a business abroad.

Business: 10 important tips for starting a business abroad