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Legal questions

Chapter # 11 : Legalities in International Business

Q: Do I need to sign a contract with my foreign distributor?

A: It is recommended that you specify in writing what you have agreed upon.

  • Perhaps you thought you had an agreement, but there was a misunderstanding due to language. Formally confirm what you have negotiated will avoid misunderstandings.
  • The people who originally signed the agreement may have left the company. How do you prove what they agreed to if you have nothing in writing? 
  • In some countries, it is very dangerous not to have a contract. If you want to cancel your agreement it can be very costly if you don’t hold a document specifying the terms

Q:   Should I use my lawyer or a foreign lawyer to create the contract?

A: You can always use your domestic lawyer to set out the main content in a contract. However, legislation differs from country to country and they likely would not be aware of local requirements. Have a lawyer in the foreign country provide advice and adapt the contract to the local rules and business culture.

Q: How do I treat a trademark in a foreign country?

A: Register your trademark also in the foreign country. If your foreign partner will be allowed to use your trademark, register a license allowing them to use it. Make sure that it allows you to cancel the agreement when you no longer do business with that foreign partner.

Leif Holmvall, President
Export Pro Inc.

In our book “Export & Import – Winning in the Global Marketplace”
ISBN 978-0-9681148-1-0 those topics are covered in depth. You can also buy our book for less than $10 as an e-book visit e.g., where you can read part of the book.

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