Effectively Using a Lightning Rod

It’s been a while…my apologies! Waiting at an airport on a winter weather delay has me thinking of all the times I’ve been delayed because of summer weather like…lightning storms. It also gave me a chance to talk to a non-US company client about doing business here, and their structuring options; which also relates to my earlier post about when a company is deemed to be doing business here, for jurisdictional purposes.

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Effective Terms and Conditions of Sale

In yesterday’s post, I wrote about how an effective set of terms and conditions (U.S.-style), consistently used, was one of the most (if not the most) important pieces to an Irish/Northern Irish company’s risk mitigation strategy. To complete that thought, please take a look at this checklist: Terms and Conditions Checklist that will provide some guidance on developing effective terms and conditions.

You’re Not Doing Business in the US…Unless You Are

I spoke recently with the owner of an Irish company that sells its products online to purchasers in the US and other countries. The US isn’t a true focus of this company’s expansion efforts, but the US market is a nice added benefit to the company’s revenue stream. They don’t have a US-specific website, but if you go to their order page you can enter a US address for delivery. In discussing their sales efforts, I asked what the company does in terms of US-focused terms/conditions of sale and related agreements. Nothing, I was told, because the company isn’t ‘doing business’ in the United States. In a limited way, that answer is correct. But, that answer also is wrong, and dangerously so. Continue reading

Practical Due Diligence on Distributors–it is possible!

If your company is thinking about expanding into the US market, chances are that you’ve considered a distribution arrangement (or something similar) with a US person or entity. You may even have been inundated with offers from ‘eager’ third parties to be your distributor, agent, etc. One frequent question is how can an Irish/NI company gather and analyze enough information about a third party to make a good decision about whether to engage with that person/company. Continue reading

Protect Your IP (Really)

Every now and then, a non-US company will contact me after they have started US operations…but have not protected their intellectual property here. In some cases, the company does not have a full picture of what they have or where they could/should protect it—they have not audited what they have. Continue reading