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8 Legal Considerations for Hiring Internationally

What is one legal consideration to remember when hiring internationally for your business?

To help you hire Internationally, we asked CEOs and legal professionals this question for their best insights. From providing proper documentation to understanding local laws and regulations, there are several considerations to remember when hiring internationally for your business.

Here are eight legal considerations for hiring internationally:

  • Provide Proper Documentation

  • Analyze Job Contracts

  • Avoid Double Taxation

  • Communicate Effectively

  • Employee Privacy Laws

  • Understand How to End the Contract

  • Ensure Data Protection

  • Understand Local Laws and Regulations


Provide Proper Documentation

Arizona companies naturally do business with organizations in Mexico. As part of that exchange, Mexican workers will relocate, temporarily or permanently, to the United States. For any Arizona company hiring a Mexican or other foreign worker make sure that you run that employee through I-9 verification. The process requires the employee to provide the employer with proper documentation showing she is lawfully able to work in the United States. If there is ever an issue with the employee's legal status to work, the I-9 verification is the employer's protection from liability to the IRS and from possible, but unlikely, criminal prosecution.

Robert Reder, Blythe Grace PLLC

Analyze Job Contracts

One of the challenges of hiring internationally relates to job contracts. It’s important for companies to check the legal requirements of the country their new employee is going to work from. My advice is to devote time to understanding your international employees' legal situation, especially in terms of local tax and labor laws.

Also, avoid making assumptions based on the law in your home country. Just because something is a standard in your country, doesn’t have to be the same for your international employees. Doing research about the legal situation in a foreign country or even partnering with a local law firm will not only help you avoid potential legal problems, but also create a safe working environment for your remote employees.

Dorota Lysienia, LiveCareer

Avoid Double Taxation

A common issue for international employees is double taxation, where their wages are taxed both by your government and their local ones. Not all employees know the nuances of their own tax situation, and every government is different, so it’s important to do some research before you set up a regular payment schedule for your international workers. Fortunately, each government’s tax website often contains valuable information in various languages in order to help foreign employers.

Rob Bartlett, WTFast

Communicate Effectively

Different countries have different cultures and different ways of doing business. When hiring an international candidate, make sure they have a firm understanding of your client and your sales tactics, including your verbiage and brand voice. Oftentimes things can get lost in translation across cultures, and you don't want your customers getting offended by something an international employee said. Erase any liability by ensuring you and your international candidate are on the same page.

Bradley Hall, Sonu Sleep

Employee Privacy Laws

One major legal consideration when hiring internationally is employee privacy. Most U.S. employee privacy laws are quiet compared to those of Europe and other foreign countries. Some are very strict on what information an employer can collect from an employee. Finding out how their privacy laws work in relation to your company’s policies should be a task not taken lightly.

Understand How to End the Contract

Getting started with any form of project can be easy. Often the messy stuff happens when plans change and you need to end employment contracts or change some conditions. The employers who get themselves into trouble internationally, are those who do not look at the regulations around ending employment contracts before jumping into employing people. You never start a project with the intent of it not working out. The world of business is sufficiently fluid and volatile that you always need to know how to unwind your plans or projects before you start. If you are hiring internationally make sure you know what it takes to end the new employment contracts you are forming.

Ian Cook, Visier

Ensure Data Protection

The one legal consideration before hiring an international employee is to ensure data protection. It is important to plan strict data protection laws that include businesses that receive personal data to follow strict rules. The company and HR should prepare a specific consent or disclosure for the owners and employees of the data before expanding internationally. Failing data protection may lead to serious obligations and consequences. The data should be confidential and may not be transferred outside the country or used for personal benefits. So, it is important to understand data protection and its use. The private and personal information of the company regarding receipt and retention should be confidential. You should clarify the data protection law to the employee.

Shivanshi Srivastava, Payday Loans UK

Understand Local Laws and Regulations

With the increase in work-from-home arrangements, global hiring is also on the rise. Companies hire employees or independent contractors overseas for various reasons. The preparation of the proper employment agreement, taking the local laws into consideration, as they apply to the employer and the employee or contractor, is absolutely essential. Even the smallest mistake could have serious legal consequences. Certain countries require complex employment regulations to be included within the employment agreement. There are generally several ways to engage foreign labor, with each having its pros and cons depending on the employer's needs and resources. Employers that wish to expand globally should get support from experienced professionals with knowledge of local business laws and regulations.

Mey-ling Cortinas, Flatfee Corp.


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