Corporate Financial and Legal Advice

One important area of advice concerns the application of the many forms of tax which can be applicable to a business, especially one operating internationally.

In light of increased regulation and bureaucracy it is important to understand the regulatory framework of the countries in which a business will operate to determine whether or not activities it proposes to undertake will require a licence. This is especially true if the business will operate in more than one country or if it will be operated from a different country to the one in which it is registered

Competition / Antitrust
Competition (or antitrust) is one of the largest and most complicated areas of law. This body of law deals with unfair trade practices, abuse of market and dominance and other anti-competitive behaviour such as price fixing and product or geographic exclusivity agreements. Advice in this area is especially important for a business seeking to operate in the United States or the European Union.

Public Procurement
Clients wishing to tender for government contracts may require assistance with the drafting of their proposal or advice on their eligibility to tender. Access to certain tender markets may, for example, require the registration of a local company or some degree of presence in the country where the work is to be undertaken.

Hiring and firing of staff has become a complex area especially for companies employing staff across several countries or in an unfamiliar legal system. Advice in this area can be limited to providing guidance on following local laws and regulation or can extend to the effective outsourcing of payroll and Human Resource Management (HRM) functionality. Advice may also be required for companies seeking to relocate staff overseas especially in cases requiring applications for work permits.

Debt Recovery
Clients may seek advice on the enforceability of debts and the courses available to them to call in credit or take other legal action.

Litigation, out of court settlements, and litigation advice in their area is handled by lawyers.

Tax Investigation
Companies or individuals under tax investigation may seek expert advice from advisors skilled and experienced in interfacing with regulatory and tax authorities.

Project Financing
Lawyers and accountants can provide advice about various types of project financing such as the issue of stock, debentures, loan financing or market listing.

Market listing (or flotation) can be a complicated and lengthy process depending on the market in question, advice can ensure that the best country and market is selected and the process to flotation is straightforward and unproblematic.

Transfer of Corporate Domicile/Registration of an Overseas Branch
Transfer of a company’s domicile or the establishment of an overseas branch joint venture with a local partner in a foreign country may involve operating in an unfamiliar legal and regulatory environment making expert advice from a local source indispensable.

Transfer Pricing
Transfer pricing is a body of accounting and legal theory which deals with the correct apportioning of profit between bodies in common ownership. For example a company in a high tax country with a subsidiary or group company in a low or no tax country is likely to seek to attribute as much of its profits as is legally possible to the low tax area. The method by which the apportionment is made is complex, varies from country to country, but is usually based around factors such as heads of staff, seniority of employees, amount of office space and market presence.

Know Your Client (KYC)
Know Your Client regulations exist in all countries to some extent and in more sophisticated legal frameworks can be complex and fairly onerous especially in the case of licensed companies. It may be desirable to seek advice when originating client take on policies to ensure that all local requirements are met. Additionally, many legal systems allow for the outsourcing of some or all KYC procedures (generally subject to a number of requirements).

Real Estate
Advice may be sought on the acquisition of real estate especially in countries which impose restrictions on the ownership of real property by foreigners. Aside from legal advice connected with property acquisition or sale advice may be relevant to inheritance of land or real property, rental income (and its taxation). Apart from the legal aspect strategic advice may be beneficial from advisors familiar with the local market conditions.

Controlled Foreign Corporation (CFC) Rules
Advice may be necessary in both the country where the company is incorporated and the country where the client is resident in order to ensure that the company is not caught by anti-avoidance rules which seek to tax foreign companies based on their operation, their lack of substances or their ownership. For more information about adding substance to companies and other vehicles see our main article on business incubation.