If your organization is considering testing the waters of international expansion, you need to fully understand your corporate responsibilities under local law. Conducting this due diligence can be time-consuming and will likely require expert guidance. But neglect in this area can pose serious risks for your company’s finances and reputation. Penalties for not filing the required documents, for reporting information incorrectly or for failing to pay taxes may lead to civil or even criminal legal proceedings against your company’s directors.
The risks are real. Company directors can be summoned to court for failure to pay taxes, and company executives can be asked to visit the local police station to explain noncompliance. And even if such dramatic events don’t unfold, your company may be denied a certificate of good standing in the country where you operate. If you consider this denial a small risk to assume, consider that many companies in that situation must reconsider their global strategies when they later find that they can’t regain good standing in those jurisdictions.
A poor record of corporate tax compliance can also affect your credit rating and lower your company’s valuation. Acquisitions and IPOs can be delayed because corporate records weren’t kept current. Your insurance rates could rise, and you may lose the chance of getting a loan or obtaining government or NGO contracts.
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