One word for one world
One word for one world

Doing business in the United States

The United Kingdom and the United States have been important trading partners for centuries and they share a rich history. British business people can generally get along very well with their business partners from America. That said, there are a number of differences which one should take into account if one wants to do business successfully in the US. Our team works daily with American companies and has compiled a number of useful tips.

Tip 1: It’s all about the deal, not the people!

Americans attach a lot of value to the lowest price for the highest quality. British people attach more value to the people they do business with. In the United States, they look at the company making a proposal and not at the people. Your background and expertise is less important than the reputation and expertise of the company you represent.

Tip 2: Put it in writing

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Practically speaking, an agreement is only legally binding in the US once it has been set down on paper (ie. a verbal contract is binding, but you have to prove it was made and precisely what was agreed). Don’t forget to read the small print either. Better still, employ a lawyer who is familiar with the legislation and regulations who can check everything, as these areas can sometimes differ from those of the UK.

Tip 3: Make sure you keep appointments

If you have an appointment with the director of an American company, make sure that you go. You will be unlikely to be able to postpone it so don’t even try. It will save you time and avoid irritating your potential business partner.

Tip 4: How are you?

Americans often ask, ‘How are you?’ in order to break the ice and begin a conversation. The only answer to this question is, ‘Fine, thank you’. You should then ask them but it is not compulsory. You can then get down to business.

Tip 5: Introductions

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Always use titles when you introduce someone to someone else and explain briefly what they do and how you know them. It is regarded as being very unfriendly if you don’t involve the people with you in any conversation, however coincidental or fleeting.

Tip 6: Spanish

Spanish is increasingly being used in the United States and it is sometimes necessary to draw up website text, employment contracts, delivery terms, or instructions in Spanish. We will be happy to help you with your Spanish translations.

American English translation agency

We can translate all your documents rapidly and professionally. We have a database full of translators so that we can translate any language into American Spanish or American English. We also adapt British documents so that they are suitable for your American business associates. Our translators are all specialists in areas such as, for example, medicine or law. For a no-obligation quotation, send us an email along with the file to be translated. For questions and/or more information, you can also get in touch with us by telephone.

Frederique Blom
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