Business issues with international teams

It seems we have quite the international population here. I’m curious how to handle issues of contract law, currency differences, labor laws, etc when you have team members spread across different countries, each with their own legal intricacies of contract law. How do you navigate that sort of labyrinth? I mean, I’m sure big international companies do it all the time, but for an indie developer, legalese is probably overwhelming enough even if the team is entirely domestic, let alone if you have an international team!

I wouldn’t mind developing with an international indie team, of course, because that way you can work with some amazing talent, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable navigating all the legal wranglings of doing so without some guidance.


I suppose it would depend where the ‘company’ is based and operating from.

if its for financial gain, i would think thats a minefield, and im as thick as two short planks when it comes to the legalities.

but I would think, any work carried out would be considered contract work thereby not bound by their own legal system of the worker, but that of the parent subsidiary, wherever it is based.

But yea, I wouldn’t mind doing a project with multiple people out of curiosity, just as a learning platform to see if we can get something off the ground. I think it would be interesting for all parties.

But, if were gonna do it for nowt, then that lowers any legal implications and that leaves us to enjoy the experience i would think, and an eye opening experience it would be IMO.

One option might be to engage your offshore team through a site like They have their legals all worked out, including the IP ownership provisions.

Thats the pickle I am currently in. I want to start a indie company, but I can’t because I don’t live in America, and I cant start one here because I am not a Japanese resident. :confused:

Well I’m not a lawyer but from my own experience, the only reason you need a corporation as an indy developer is a) offsetting development losses against future income, and b) limiting liability.

I’m not certain of either US or JP law, but you may find a service that can set you up a US company even if you are nonresident (presuming you’re a US citizen) although it may get complex come tax time if the IRS want to know about your JP income.

Until you release something substantial and non-free to the market, you shouldn’t really have any liability worries, so you might be able to go a good long time without a corporation. At least until either the income/expense side or the liability side are getting to the point where being a private operator isn’t sensible any longer.

Well since I would be operating entirely here in Japan, and I am a US citizen and due to my special visa status here, I think I would only owe taxes to the IRS. However, due to operating specifically on JP soil, and also targeting JP clients as well as US clients for development, I am not sure where I would legally stand.

With your unique situation, you might want to talk to a business lawyer there in Japan.

To survive as a business, international or domestic, you need 2 things

a) a good lawyer
b) a good accountant

Without those two expect to lose a lot of money