There is a lot to think about when shipping products abroad and if this is something you haven’t done before then you will probably have a lot of questions. Whether you are starting a new business or opening an extra office somewhere else in the world, you will need to make sure that you follow all foreign import and export compliance, so there is a lot to get your head around.

The majority of companies will already know what an importer of record (IOR) is but it isn’t uncommon for there to be some confusion around the term legal entity and what this actually is. To help anyone looking for some clarity before they start the process of shipping abroad, Blackthorne has put together a simple guide to legal entity representation.

What is a legal entity?

A legal entity refers to a legally standing partnership or group in a specific country. This entity could be a company, association, trust, proprietorship or corporation for example. Legal entities are legally able to be accountable for activities against the law, enter into contracts or agreements, incur and pay back debts, be sued and sue other entities and also assume obligations. While legal entities are able to do many things, there are limitations, they cannot marry, vote or hold public office.

Why do we need a legal entity?

To put it simply, you need a legal entity in order to operate in a country outside of your original location. So, if you start your business in one country and are now seeking expansion internationally, then you will traditionally need to create a foreign legal entity in the place you’d like to expand to. This legal entity allows you to legally manage operations of your business in this country. You will need a legal entity in any country that you wish to operate your business from.

What is legal entity representation?

Instead of registering for your own foreign legal entity in the country you are going to be running your new business from, you can use legal entity representation. This representation can act as the government-required responsible party in conducting your business abroad. Businesses will choose to use legal entity representation for many different reasons, yet the most attractive being that it is much less time-consuming and is a lot cheaper than registering for your own foreign legal entity.

How can Blackthorne help?

If you would prefer to use legal entity representation in the country that you’re looking to operate from, rather than registering to be a foreign legal entity, then this is something that Blackthorne can help with. With their established network of businesses worldwide they can provide your company with legal entity representation in more or less any country in the world and they currently have legal entity representation in 226 countries across the globe. There is no denying that Blackthorne legal entity representation presents your company with the fastest route to new international markets.

Not only can we provide you with legal entity representation,we can also act as your importer of record for any items that need to be shipped abroad for your business. With many years of experience behind us, we are able to provide you with the specialist support you need to help ensure quick, efficient and reliable importing and exporting of equipment worldwide. When working with Blackthorne you won’t need to worry about a thing, we will arrange the payment of duties, levies, fines, product classification and certification. You can trust that you are in safe hands with their team.


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