Going Global - What should a Life Sciences Business consider when expanding internationally or into the UK?

As 2022 draws to a close many Life Sciences Businesses may take the opportunity to consider how their businesses can be developed next year during a recession and beyond. One such step could be to consider expanding the business internationally to help de-risk your business growth by not being dependent on one country.

Expanding internationally is very challenging for any business and requires careful planning. Each business is different, which means that each business will have its own challenges when expanding overseas. However, there are a few issues from a legal point, which will be common to the businesses regardless of their industry:

  • The Life Sciences sector is highly regulated in countries throughout the world. Being able to sell your products or offer your services usually requires a public authorisation, and that means you must consider what authorisations you need. Therefore, in the planning process, you must consider what authorisations, you need to apply for, how long it will take for you to obtain these, what the exact process is and for how long the authorisations are valid for. Often this part of the process will effectively determine, when you can start trading, so significant attention to this part of the process should be given.-
  • A second issue which should be considered is what corporate structure should be applied to the new set up. Would you want to set up a subsidiary in the  new country or would you for example want to appoint an agent or a distributor or perhaps enter into a joint venture with a local company in the territory you wish to expand to. In many cases a separate limited company is incorporated. It has several benefits. For example, it will provide the local regulator with one company it will have to deal with in the territory.-
  • Thirdly, you should consider how the labour marked works. You should research what the typical terms and conditions people are subject to in the territory. This does not only relate to pay, but also working hours, holiday entitlement, how confidentiality conditions and restrictive covenants can be enforced, mandatory pension commitments, requirements in relation to continued professional development for staff and how the immigration system works.-
  • Fourthly, your terms and conditions must be considered and if necessary amended. You need to consider, if your contracts are appropriate for the new territory. You need to examine if your contracts can be enforced in the new territory or if they need to be adapted to comply with the regulatory regime of the new territory.-

The above focusses on some of the issues, you may wish to consider from a legal point of view. However, there many other issues you may wish to consider. These include issues relating to tax, accounting and finance.-Attend our webinar on this topic If you want to get a better understanding of the issues you could face when expanding your business into other countries then our webinar on 19 January 2023 will cover them in more detail, so you will be better equipped to de-risk your business growth.See our event page and register your place here .

If you have any queries on this article, get in touch with Claus Andersen.


The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.

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