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How to Find and Vet an International Business Partner

BusinessHub Consultants

International Business Development

You’ve decided to expand your business abroad. You know you need a trustworthy partner, whether it be a manufacturer, distributor or franchisee, but how do you approach this search in a foreign country with a different business culture and language?

BusinessHub Consultants has put together a comprehensive guide from our 30+ years of experience helping businesses expand their global operations. Save time finding and vetting your international business partner with these tips:

How to find an international business partner

1. Research

In your initial research, focus first on understanding the business landscape of your industry. Start your search with questions like “What is the size of the market?” and “Who are the key players in my industry?” The International Trade Administration’s country commercial guides are a good place to start.

If you’re looking to expand to Latin America, BusinessHub’s country fact sheets can help you identify which countries have the best opportunities in your industry.

Intensive research on your industry will help you establish initial contacts and gain the background knowledge you need to feel confident in vetting potential partners—more on that below.

2. Trade Missions

There is no better way to understand your new target market than to visit the region yourself.

Trade Missions are business trips to your target country or region, often organized by a local government in your home country partnering with a local advisory firm like BusinessHub.

Trade Missions can include B2B meetings with potential partners, presentations from industry experts, site visits, networking and more.

We have facilitated over 100 trade missions over the years with strong success. Todd Burns of Cypher Environmental shared,

Thank you for the incredible support you provided at the Cleantech Mission.

Right from the beginning of the event planning process, your company displayed a remarkable level of professionalism and commitment. You took the time to understand our goals and vision, ensuring that every detail of the event was well aligned.

Your team's support truly made a difference and we look forward to collaborating with you on future projects.”

3. Trade Shows

Trade shows are a hub for influential companies and latest technology in each industry.

Attend international trade shows to network with important companies and institutions in your industry to gain an understanding of industry trends.

Keep an eye on the events section at the bottom of BusinessHub’s home page for upcoming opportunities.

4. Working with a Local Consulting Firm

A local advisory firm like BusinessHub Consultants is an invaluable partner to your business expansion strategy.

Choosing a consulting firm based in your target market allows you to leverage their local network and first-hand market expertise, as well as any language barrier.

How to Vet an International Business Partner

1. Social Media

Professional networks like LinkedIn are a good starting point to confirm key contacts and understand the structure of your future business partner's company. Be wary and diversify your sources—it is easy to appear larger or more credible online than in reality.

2. Due Diligence

Due diligence involves researching your market and potential partners with the goal of mitigating risk. Analyzing the legal, financial, and commercial situation of a business is an extensive process.

If you do not have the bandwidth to accomplish this internally, partner with a company in your target market to ensure you have the most comprehensive information.

BusinessHub Consultants is an ideal choice for those expanding to Latin America and beyond. We are located in Santiago, Chile and Lima, Peru and our team has over 30 years of experience working across the world.

3. Background checks

An extension of due diligence, background checks assure you are working with a real and reputable company. Local experts like BusinessHub are also a great asset here to execute the process quickly and confidently.

Next Steps

Following these recommendations gives you a solid foundation for choosing your distributor, manufacturer or franchisee abroad with confidence.

Save time and start your research with our team. BusinessHub offers complimentary 15 minute consultations for new clients to evaluate your goals and determine if there's a match within our services. We look forward to hearing from you!

Contact Gonzalo Suez at

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