Once due diligence is completed, it is likely that the project's operations and business requirements will be more clearly defined. Global Business Services (GBS) has comprehensive business solutions which can be tailored to meet each project’s unique needs. Generally, there are three business frameworks which most projects will fit into as follows:
Working with an in-country collaborator or partner is an efficient route for planning and executing an international project. If you are conducting Stanford activities in a foreign country, GBS strongly encourages you to leverage existing relationships and networks in that country. Working with a local collaborator can avoid triggering a Presence and minimize administrative complications for faculty and staff. In-country partners usually have local insight and are able to provide pragmatic advice with on-the-ground operations. To optimize your collaboration, explore whether if you can leverage local relationships to utilize any of the following:
- Use of existing facilities for research or education
- Services for payment of local employees and processing of other transactions related to the project
- Support with administrative tasks such as local hiring, tax reporting and withholding, and licensing
- Knowledge, and perhaps financial advantage, for acquiring goods and services only available to local institutions.
Wise choice of partners is essential to the success of the collaboration and the resulting activity. It is recommended that you consider the following factors in selecting a collaborator and managing those relationships abroad:
- Understand your and your collaborator’s objectives to ensure they are aligned
- Analyze both parties’ benefits and obligations
- Plan to meet the required obligations
- Consider the relationship development over time
- Set mutually agreed-upon metrics for determining success of a collaboration
- Formalize collaboration through Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) / written agreement
Stanford has developed a diverse networking of global collaborations. If you don’t have a local collaborator and would like to leverage on existing in country networks, please connect the following resources at Stanford:
- Center for Innovation in Global Health (CIGH)
- Stanford Center at Peking University (SCPKU)
- Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Countries (Seed)
- Office of International Affairs (OIA)
Managing from Stanford
For projects that do not require much time and resources in the foreign location (for example, events, short-term study abroad or research), management from Stanford will be a feasible plan and would save significant costs.
Setting up a Presence in a foreign location is a very complex, time-consuming and costly process, and it requires on-going administrative management that is also resource-intensive. Contact GBS if the nature, scope and scale of your project may require that you set up on-going operations in a foreign locations based on the Due Diligence considerations above.