Missed Our Doing Business In The USA Event? Read About It Here....


On Friday 29th September Ulster Bank hosted an event on Doing Business in the USA at our HQ on Georges Quay. The event was organised in conjunction with PKF O’Connor Leddy Holmes accountants, Flynn O’Driscoll solicitors and Enterprise Ireland.

We appealed to the weather gods for a fine morning, and that is what we got. It was an early start with registration from 7.30am, but on a lovely morning in Dublin the first attendees started arriving well before 7.30am. By the time we got started at 8am after a bit of breakfast and lots of networking, we had over 60 people in the room, and more chairs were required, which is always a good sign.

The MC and moderator for the morning Conall O'Móráin (Broadcaster and of The Sunday Business Show on Today FM) got proceedings underway.

We were delighted that the Ulster Bank Chairman, Des O’Shea, was in attendance to open the event. Des highlighted Ulster Bank’s long standing involvement in assisting companies to expand globally, with a story from his own experience of funding well known Irish plc’s to do just that back in the 80’s/90’s when he was working with Ulster Bank himself.

After the welcome address from Des, we got into the reason why people were there – to learn about Doing Business in the US. We had really valuable and informative presentations from our three US visitors.

Locating to the US

John Woodward from Metro Atlanta Chamber provided advice on what factors to consider when deciding where to locate in the US, with a particular focus on Atlanta, and shared information about what is on offer to companies setting up there. John also had some great tips on common pitfalls to avoid and told us about some “monsters under the bed” to steer clear of.

John was followed by Tycho Stahl, from Arnall Golden Gregory LLP, Law Firm. Tycho shared some stories where European companies, both large and small, entered the US market without seeking local legal advice, with some disastrous consequences. Tycho dispelled the myth that US legal fees are overpriced versus what we pay in Europe, and spending “peanuts” on legal fees can save significant time and money in the long run. Tycho started and finished with his key take away point, which was get US legal advice at an early stage when setting up in the US.

Our third and final contributor from the US was Mike Whitacre from PKF Frazier & Deeter, Accountants. Mike brought us through the various structuring options for setting up an entity in the US. He described the various filing obligations that go with each structure, as well as the benefits and some of the potential risks associated with each legal entity type. I won’t even attempt to explain the different structuring options here – but I will be sharing all the presentations from the day on the Business Achievers website.

Enterprise Ireland

Jonathan McMillan from Enterprise Ireland was a fantastic follow up to these three speakers from the US. John, Tycho and Mike had shared so much valuable information and hints and tips on setting up in the US in the strict 15 minutes that had been allocated to each of them that the task of starting this process could seem a little daunting for a company thinking of going down that road. That was until Jonathan took to the stage. He brought to life how Enterprise Ireland are set up to assist companies going internationally and gave many examples of companies where they have done this successfully. He certainly left me with the impression that the networks and support is there to make this happen for Irish companies, and that it need not be a daunting task at all but an exciting adventure, where you get lots of meaningful assistance along the way.

With Conall O'Móráin ensuring everybody stuck to the allotted times, we had all of this done within the hour. Next up was learning from those who have “been there, done that” and definitely got the t-shirt. We were really delighted and very grateful to have David Walsh (CEO of Netwatch Systems) and Patrick Condron (CIO of Sysnet Global Solutions) join us to share their first hand experiences of setting up in the US. With questions firing from Conall and the audience, David and Patrick covered a wide range of topics including how best to approach recruitment, how best to sell in the US market, how to cover a country the size of the US, and so much more.

It was a credit to Conall O'Móráin’s time keeping skills that he managed to wrap things up just on time at 9.30am. But it did not end there; attendees were so engaged on the topic and with what our presenters and panellists, that people were still chatting, exchanging business cards and advice 45 minutes later. It was close to 10.30am when people finally decided to get back to their respective businesses full of knowledge, motivation, inspiration and a list of relevant contacts to help make their US expansion plans happen.

Thank you to everybody who attended on the morning and most particularly to our speakers, moderator, and our panellists David Walsh and Patrick Condron.

To join similar events in the future, please register on the Business Achievers website and keep an eye on the Events section.

Slides from this event can be found here.


Comments 1

Aislinn Brennan on Wednesday, 04 October 2017 16:27

This is super Lisa. Sounds like a super event.

This is super Lisa. Sounds like a super event.
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