Insights/22 Dec 2014

Shooting for stars (and stripes)

There’s plenty for Finnish companies to win in the world’s biggest consumer market. Together with Amcham Finland, Borenius is there to pave the way.

Text Terhi Rauhala
Photos Kathi Littwin

BORENIUS FINLAND - Amcham Finland hosted a high-ranking guest in September in New York. The President of Finland, Mr. Sauli Niinistö, cut the ribbon in Amcham Finland’s new NYC office opening. The premises on 65 Broadway, a foothold for Finnish companies, are courtesy of Attorneys-At-Law Borenius LLP.

“We are glad to play a key role in bringing more Finnish businesses to the US market and doing that as a founding partner of Amcham Finland NYC, says Jarno J. Vanto, Managing Partner of Borenius' New York office”, and board member of Amcham Finland NYC.

“Amcham is in a unique position to act as a bridge between the US and Finnish business communities. It has a large pool of members and talented staff members on the ground in Helsinki and New York”, Vanto describes.

Preparing companies for takeoff

In New York, Amcham hosts a market entry program, Launchpad USA, to guide companies into entering the US market. Borenius takes part by providing these companies with legal advice.

“LaunchPad has already brought a number of top notch Finnish companies to the US market, clearly showing that a need for such a program exists”, says Vanto.

Borenius’ expertise in the US operational environment and corporate law comes in handy. Compared to Finland, there are significant differences for example in employment law and corporate law, not to mention the varying laws of the 50 states.

Vanto says Finnish companies tackle issues such as incorporating subsidiaries, entering into licensing agreements with customers, or sales partner and agency agreements with US sales representatives.

“Also registering trademarks, and advising on asset, acquisition, and venture finance deals with US counterparties are typical matters in which we give counselling”, he continues.

Amcham Launchpad USA opening

Be ready to grow

The US market is, perhaps unexpectedly, renowned for its vigorous consumer law enforcement. Vanto gives some practical advice:

“Make sure that what you state about your product or service to consumers is true - in particular in the online environment where information spreads fast.”

He says companies should not be discouraged by the news of “constant” billion dollar law suits against companies.

“While the US is often seen by Europeans as being very litigious, it is in fact consistently ranked as one of the best environments in the world to do business. If you are afraid of your company being sued, there are a number of effective ways to manage potential liability.“

And lastly, the US holds luring potential:

“The scale of the market is big. Be prepared to ramp up your production quickly once your US customer decides to buy.“

Partner Jarno Vanto is part of the Privacy & Data Protection team at Borenius.

Read more about the how Borenius participates in the community:
Crowded years - from paper to  practice
Balancing acts by the Dutch

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