Lawpath Blog
How To Take Your Online Business To The Overseas Market

How To Take Your Online Business To The Overseas Market

Want to expand into new and emerging markets online? Here's how to expand your online business and reach that untapped overseas market.

15th January 2019
Reading Time: 3 minutes

You might be looking to move into the overseas market. This could be America, Europe, Asia or more. Therefore, there are a couple of things you will need to change on your website in order to function as a truly international online business.

Online business privacy

A privacy policy is a two-way street. On the one hand, it acts as a safety buffer and prevents you from breaching the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). Likewise, it aims to bridge the gap for consumers and add an extra level of transparency to your business. When you decide to expand your market overseas this means new privacy laws. If you are operating in the EU, collecting EU customer data or selling there then you will need to abide by the GDPR. As a result, you will need to use the GDPR privacy policy. Therefore, you will need to make sure your data collection fits another legal system like America. If you’re expanding your business into a new market you can check with a privacy lawyer to see if you currently have enough privacy protection.

International shipping

The expansion online is going to include shipping assuming you use physical goods. This cost should be factored into your expansion overseas. You can either absorb the additional cost of shipping, raise the price of the product, or just charge for the extra shipping. Regardless, work out which method will bring the most profit for your particular market. Furthermore, you should already have terms and conditions as required by consumer law. This sets out your refund policy along with shipping. If you are expanding into an overseas market you may need to consider updating your terms and conditions to account for the overseas market.


This is not a legal issue but still highly relevant. If you expand into a market that differs from your native language you may run into issues. Hence, large multinational websites have a section that auto-translates or provides a different language based website. This could be a Mandarin page, Korean page and an English page. There should not be a reason for language to be a barrier to your online business’ expansion.

Taxes and Currency

Expanding into a new country means new currencies and new taxes. An example of this would be England. There exists the VAT, value-added tax, to some extent it functions like GST in Australia. Therefore, your online business may need to register for foreign taxes if it sells or operates in another country. Furthermore, as your business accepts money from those markets it will need to be converted. Again, using the British example, the pounds must be transferred into Australian dollars. Usually, this can be done through a third party merchant platform seamlessly and easily.


Usually, it comes down to two things: price and shipping. Why should someone buy your good and wait longer while spending more money on shipping than purchasing it locally? You could have good reasons such as a unique product or setting yourself apart from the market. Furthermore, online businesses that operate as an entirely digital service really dominate the market. That’s where the internet really allows you as a digital service provider to expand into other countries. If that’s the case still make sure you are meeting tax obligations, consumer law and privacy rights.

Don’t know where to start? Contact us on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents and obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest lawyer marketplace.

Justin Pasqualino

Justin is a legal intern at Lawpath as part of the content team. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Economics at UTS.