The USA is the UK’s single largest trade partner. In fact, the total investment between the two countries exceeds £600 billion and helps to generate more than two million jobs1. Given the size of the US market and the shared language and cultural norms, it’s easy to see why more and more UK businesses are beginning to think global and set-up shop on both sides of the pond. So, if you too are looking to take on transatlantic opportunities, here are five tips to bear in in mind.
1. Location, location, location
With 50 states and around 20,000 different cities and towns to choose from, you’ll certainly be spoiled for choice, but it’s not as easy as raising a finger in the air. In such a diverse nation, you’ll need to consider the best market for your good or service and it’s also worth consulting a guide to see which places are the most competitive. New York City ranks first in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Hot Spots 2025 guide with Chicago, Washington DC and Los Angeles also topping the charts.
2. Dot your i’s and mind your…z’s
A shared language is one major benefit of setting up a business in America, but just because you can understand your customers and employees doesn’t mean you’re really communicating. Don’t underestimate the value of small talk in American business and how far a 20% tip can get you. In short, make sure you research the cultural intricacies in the area you intend to do business and don’t forget to drop your u’s and insert your z’s.
3. Make your taxes less taxing
Taxes, everyone’s favourite topic. In America you’ll not only be dealing with a national tax regime, but also state and local laws. Certain states offer breaks which may be beneficial to your business and some have much clearer tax structures than others. The Tax Foundation recently released their ranking of US states by tax climate index. Wyoming and South Dakota top this list with the best tax environments, with New York and New Jersey bringing up the rear.
4. Know your market
Did you know Florida’s largest export is aircrafts, Idaho’s is memory chips and Maine’s is lobster? It’s worth getting to know the American marketplace and most commonly produced products. Find your niche, where you fit in and how to differentiate yourself from the competition.
5. Keep and eye on currencies
Currency fluctuations can have a major impact on your bottom line, especially if you are repatriating funds on a regular basis. Will we see a strong dollar under Trump or even a weak dollar under Clinton? Our Chief Economist shares his predictions in our Ask our Economist section. And, by using a dedicated currency specialist, like World First, you can make international transfers cheaper, faster and easier. You can even take advantage of a forward contract to lock in a rate for up to three years.
If you’re setting up or running a business abroad, World First can help you save time and money on your international payments. Sign up for a business account to access our award-winning currency transfer service.