Planning a launch into the USA
It is important to do your market research and plan carefully before launching your product or service into the USA. It may require some upfront changes to your processes to ensure that your product will meet US standards applicable to that sector. Gaining an understanding of the US market will help you to define a suitable marketing strategy and ensure that your product or service is priced competitively.
In terms of localization, there may be specific differences that need to be taken into consideration, for example, at the simplest level, besides representing prices in dollars a UK website may require some ‘Americanization’ in terms of language and imagery. Your systems will need to be able to cope with dollar payments and sales tax considerations. In addition, the timezone difference can be a significant factor for customer support, staff or supplier management and response times. E-commerce and back office systems are likely to require changes to support this launch.
A good plan will ensure that you can concentrate on selling the product or service and help to make your US launch a success.
Key areas for a new US business
A new US business will need to navigate a wide range of legal and tax matters so it is important to establish a relationship with a competent a Certified Public Accountant and corporate attorney.
There are several key areas which you will need to cover depending of the nature of your business. These include:
- Analysis of your business activities to determine the level of connection to the US – Selection of the most appropriate legal form and location of your business entity – Registration with Federal and applicable State jurisdictions.
- Review of codes and commercial law with respect your products to ensure they can be legally imported into the US, customs, import laws are met and all required licenses are obtained.
- Appraisal of any trademarks you are considering using, intellectual property you may wish to protect and copyrighted items you own which may need to be registered.
- Preparation of contracts with respect to terms and conditions of sales, distribution, employment and potential joint venture partner – Assessment and management of product liability risk.
- Review of appropriate insurance coverage needs –
- Analysis and development of a viable sales tax policy
- Establishment of US banking and merchant service relationships
- Preparation and filing of Federal and State income, sales and payroll tax returns and all state legal compliance obligations
- Liaison with third parties associated with audit, lending, leasing and other service providers
We will work with a US attorneys and tax professionals to cover areas associated with the set up your new US entity. This will enable you to build a lasting relationship with these professionals as your company becomes established
In 2014, one of our clients successfully launched their product in the USA, later that year the company was floated on the London Stock Exchange. Step Ahead Technology played a key role in the US launch, from project management, staffing to E-commerce, US taxes and establishing a US business presence.
Since the successful launch, product sales have continued to grow across all states and Step Ahead Technology continues to provide a reliable service to our client.