Doing business in foreign companies sometimes involves practices that are illegal in the United States. The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was enacted to prevent U.S. businesses, citizens and others who fall under government jurisdiction from paying monetary bribes or offering items of value to foreign companies, politicians or individuals to further their interests. The FCPA checklist provides an outline of things to check when you do business in a foreign country to ensure you fall within the FCPA guidelines.
When you do business with a government official or department, consultants, joint venturers, distributors, subcontractors or suppliers, you must ensure that these business contacts are not going to ask for a bribe at the present time or at a later date.
Before doing business with a specific country or region, and before doing business with an individual or company in a different region or country, check to make sure that the area is not one where government and police officials are known to ask for or accept bribes.
Familiarize yourself with the owners of the companies with which you plan do business. Do a background check into the business reputations of the executives to ensure they are known to operate legally and with integrity.
Consider whether the individual or company that recommended the company with which you plan to do business is itself a reputable, respectable company.
Take note if the company or individual with which you are doing business requests money to be sent in an abnormal way, such as requesting money to be sent to a Third World country or in cash form.
Ability of the Entity
Make sure that the entity with which you are doing business possesses the capacity, experience and knowledge to perform any and all tasks that the job requires.
Before entering an agreement with another individual or company, ensure that the agreement contains a written clause that states that neither side will violate the laws and regulations of the FCPA, and have representatives of each side sign the agreement.
Be cautious if the requested commission for the individual or entity is higher than the industry standard for commission rates.
Bribery in the Industry
Be cautious before dealing with businesses that frequently do business in industries where bribery is common among contractors and business partners, such as in the oil and construction industries.
Contact the law department of the FCPA if you are waiting on payments to government officials to complete obligated tasks, or if you are waiting on any other exceptions to the FCPA.
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