The Global Payroll Management Institute’s (GPMI) Mary Holland, CPP, contributed her expertise to a recent Global Chamber “Globinar” on the topic of “Setting Up Your Business Abroad.”
Global Chamber is a collaborative community of CEOs, executives, and professionals in 525 metro areas around the world.
Holland, GPMI’s Director of Global Payroll Training and Development, took her audience on a “speed journey” of items to consider for payroll when opening operations outside the United States.
“Make a road map with detailed deliverables for who is responsible for what,” Holland said. “That’s going to be key to make you a success in the organization.”
Among the areas she discussed were:
- Cultural considerations—To get off on the right foot, keep in mind aspects of language, communication and learning styles, time zones, working hours, building trust, gender, and the location’s global mindset.
- Entity and payroll registration requirements—Consider whether a legal entity is required, employment requirements, payroll registrations, collective bargaining agreements, language, legal and finance teams, and lead time.
- Tax and compliance—Determine income tax, social insurance taxes, pension programs, taxation of benefits, monthly/annual reporting, employee data, and pay slip requirements. “It doesn’t matter if you are on the corporate side or the payroll side, tax and compliance are important for organizations to get right,” she said.
- Banking and money movement—Research the language, country requirements, set-up time frame, special country requirements, and processing time.
- Finding a payroll provider—Choose a service delivery model and define needed services based on the number of employees and countries, future growth, and time frame. Consider security and data privacy as well as the need for an accounting firm or consultant.
After hearing a few horror stories from other speakers about the perils of global business, Doug Bruhnke, CEO/founder of Global Chamber, asked the group for positives about moving into other countries.
“When I look at positives, I think there is a good talent pool around the world for organizations,” Holland replied. “When we determine our strategy and long-term direction, you’ll find some talent resources you don’t have in some locations. It also provides younger people out of college the opportunity to get skills that will help position them for future growth in the organization.”
She also noted the personal satisfaction she gained in helping to relocate an employee from Russia to France.
Steve Shefveland of Emerging Global led off the discussion from Hermosillo, Mexico, and discussed his experiences setting up call centers there and in Ghana.
Other topics discussed at the event were:
- “International Tax Update” by Jordan Friedman of JF Global CPA
- “Tax Risks of Deploying Employees Overseas” by Christopher Hall of Global Tax Network
- “Setting Up Your Business Abroad” by Doris Nagel of Globalocity
- “Legal Issues Going Global” by Michael Patterson of Polsinelli
- “International Employee Benefits” by Ken Slaton of Global Benefits Group
Watch the entire Global Chamber event to hear from other global experts about setting up a business abroad.
Kerry Cole is the Senior Editor for the American Payroll Association and for the Global Payroll Management Institute. He has 15 years of experience in journalism and public relations.