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Managing Global Expansion in the Face of COVID-19

Blair Lucas
CEO

As we enter the fourth month of dealing with COVID-19, we are becoming increasingly aware of the challenges and restrictions that this virus is imposing upon business, especially in this age of globalisation. Travel restrictions, fear of attending conferences, even the reluctance to shake hands – all of these normal behaviours are becoming radically impacted by this new coronavirus. And in turn, these obstacles are having a significant impact on how we do business internationally, and on the world economy as a whole.

However, we are also discovering that the presence of COVID-19 does not necessarily mean that everything has to shut down. Luckily, the concepts of remote working and virtual companies have arisen in recent years, as these have provided us with an opportunity to continue with ‘business as usual’. Indeed, being able to provide services remotely can allow companies to avoid the hardships of a slowdown or a complete stall in their business activities.

This set of circumstances has put many entrepreneurs and progressive business owners in a unique position to continue to implement their business plans. It is allowing them to push forward with global expansion; to adjust their business plans accordingly to ensure that they can meet their objectives while maintaining a rational and responsible approach to dealing with COVID-19. This is particularly relevant when considering expansion to Australia or the USA – both countries that have comparatively low barriers to entry and whose local workers have embraced remote working practices.

That is, it is very simple and straightforward to incorporate wholly virtual subsidiary companies in both Australia and the USA, and to contract a service provider such as CoSec to manage the compliance for these companies after incorporation. This approach allows for a streamlined entry into market and access to the entire range of benefits that a local entity provides. Such benefits include the ability to apply for grants, employ local sales personnel, contract with local manufacturers and service providers, open local bank accounts and issue invoices domestically. Almost everything that can be done by way of the more traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ approach to entering a market.

At the same time, entering the US or Australian markets remotely or virtually ensures that staff are not unduly exposed to international travel – and therefore the risk of COVID-19 itself, but also potential restrictive quarantine measures, unpredictable medical support, increased insurance costs, and so on.

This approach is particularly relevant for companies that cannot afford to pause or postpone their business plans – that have, for example, a heavy cash burn every month and cannot afford to wait 12 months to “see what happens”. It is also particularly relevant for:

  1. Companies that do business over the internet – for example, an Australian online marketing company that has clients in the US and primarily communicates with those clients via email or teleconferences;
  2. Life science companies that are conducting clinical trials, and are unsuccessful at recruiting patients in their home countries because of paranoia about undergoing confinement in a hospital environment; or
  3. Entrepreneurs who are looking for an opportunity to get ahead of their traditional competition – who can either afford to “wait and see”, or do not have the risk profile to push forward with their strategic business plans.

In other words, you do not need to stand still during these times; CoSec is one of many service providers who can manage your corporate and financial compliance requirements in-country professionally. Facing challenges such as this and building robustness within your organisation can only have a beneficial outcome on your organisation as a whole. Arguably, adopting a remote or virtual approach to your global expansion provides for a lower risk approach to entering a foreign market even without the challenges currently posed by COVID-19.

We would be happy to talk to you about how we can help you stay ahead of the pack, and still reach your objectives for 2020 through global expansion. See our services for more information on how CoSec can support your international expansion.

About CoSec 

Established in 2011, CoSec provides a full suite of incorporation and compliance and accounting services to support the successful expansion of offshore businesses into the Australian market. 

Our capabilities include company incorporation, corporate compliance, accounting and tax support and outsourced CFO services. CoSec has offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide, with representatives based in San Francisco and London.