It is a consultation/ system Integration Company that specializes in the management of content and single source publishing that is based on XML. The company is also an active participant in DITA and DocBook. Their customers are Global 2000 companies and Fortune customers. The company also deals with Air Traffic Management (ATM) and recently obtained the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) contract that is valued at $ 300 million in the next three years. Flatirons Solutions are required to conduct a critical Airspace Capacity Study or FAA in a project to determine the capacity of the federal aviation system with respect to the future demand.
The firm is privately owned and belongs to computers and internet industry. It was founded in 2001 and has over 120 employees. Its revenue has steadily risen in the recent years with an estimated three-year growth of 49% in 2010. Its 2009 revenue amounted to $32.5 million, a rise form $21.9 million in 2006 and $14.6 million in 2005. It has three offices in Boulder, Washington, and Dallas. It has over 100 consultants today.
In September 2011, the company announced their major growth milestone when they announced their expansion into the United Kingdom on the Kingdom Street, London. This has been termed as a major milestone in the history of the company since it will be nearing their potential media and publishing customers such as Oxford University Press, Pearson, and Cambridge University Press among others. These publishing companies have been potential customers, but the proximity of the company in he US has not helped the situation. This new initiative has been termed as important and geared towards more expansion in the future. It is also a major expansion move outside the United States since the founding of the firm in 2001. The new branch will be managed by Bill Pease who has been in the publishing industry for over twenty years. This brings experience and proper handling of the material to be published.
Legal Issues Surrounding the Company Expansion
Expansion into the United Kingdom has to be critically looked into to avoid legal confrontations in the future. Poor management of publishing material could lead to many patent and federal issues that could be injurious to the company’s operations as well as its reputation. Such legal considerations that have to be accounted for include administrative issues, taxation of foreign companies, and industry regulation in the UK (Adamson, 2011).
Administrative issues are those regarding the manpower in the operations of the company. This could be important in the consideration of the employees to engage in the new expanded regional offices. The regulations could be very different from the home branches in the US. This is because the technology is new in the UK as compared to the US where it has highly penetrated into the market, and many institutions are adopting the technology.
Taxation is an important aspect to consider, because the company needs to have a clear overview of the tax system in order to reduce the possibility of suits that claim that the company has been evading taxation. This would significantly hurt the reputation of the firm having in mind that it targets big and reputable companies as well as federal contracts. Being a foreign based company, the taxation system could be more sophisticated than the managers could anticipate at first.
The regulation of the industry in the UK is another legal issue that the company needs to consider before the investment is finally made (Clarkson, 2009). Since it is moving closer to potential sustainable customers, it should ensure that their approaches are in line with the UK law as well as the US legal requirements. The issues that the company needs to consider include the employment status of the company, nationality of the employees as well as the gender equality in the company. At the same time, the UK law could have a closer scrutiny and media regulation than the United States. This, therefore, calls for better management of the information that needs to be published in order to ensure that the company does not get legal confrontations regarding patents and copyright material (Adamson, 2011).
Legal Considerations on Sales, Licensing, and e-Commerce Laws
Different countries regulate the sales and licensing process of foreign companies. There is no exception with the expansion of Flatirons Solutions in the United Kingdom. It is therefore important that the company gets well conversant with the existing law that regulates sales and licensing. Every company should determine the legal requirement in their country of operation since the government determines their GDP and employment through the complete census of the companies that offer employment in that country (Adamson, 2011). When a company follows the wrong registration and licensing procedures, some of the expected revenues by the government are lost. If this is discovered later, the company’s operations are frozen in a business criminal activity. This should be avoided at all levels of operations by reputable organizations.
E-commerce is a new entrant in the market, and the regulation of the operations is yet to get full security and smooth running (Clarkson, 2009). This is a very precarious position for the companies that are in the industry since piracy and regulation of internet material is facing new challenges every day. It is, therefore, important that the new entrant into any new region is well conversant with the existing internet laws of the new country they set in. Such laws include piracy and information protection.
First, the company needs to carefully select the manpower they use in the new regional branch (Clarkson, 2009). This is because the management and support teams need to be well conversant with the exiting rules and regulations of the company. A well-experienced person in that specific region and industry should be chosen to reduce the risks involved (Clarkson, 2009). Since Flatirons is targeting the UK based publishing companies, they ought to get a manager who has worked in the UK for a long time and who is well conversant with the existing publishing regulations. A foreigner could be hired, but he could take more time to internalize the new system than a person with adequate experience (Adamson, 2011). This way, the manager will have adequate measures to reduce mistakes that could lead to lawsuits.
Secondly, the company needs to have enough and well competent local legal counsel in order to guide the management team on the issues that could lead to undesired outcomes (Clarkson, 2009). Such a legal counsel should be well conversant with the industry and should have legally guided other companies successfully.
The company needs to have a well competent software review team that would ensure that all the materials that are published through Flatiron Solutions have not been patented in any other organization or by other individual. This is a serious copyright crime, and many companies have been sued for publishing already published works. Flatiron Solutions are renowned for their software development strategies, and they should easily develop thorough and competent software that could detect the status of all the material. They could also convert as much of the available hard material to soft material.
Finally, the company should abide with all the licensing and development procedures of the new region to avoid undesired outcomes. Such include the registration with the local and central governments, premises clearance, and avoidance from dealing with companies that have unattractive history, especially in the first days of their existence in the new region.