The business environment has changed a lot over the past decade or so, making it increasingly easy for brands of all sizes to target overseas audiences. The internet provides all the communication tools a modern company needs to interact with markets all over the world, but the legal processes for conducting international business remain complex.
The more markets you operate in, the more complex your legal requirements become. Ensuring everyone at your company understands their legal obligations is crucial – just one area where legal translation keeps modern businesses running smoothly.
Translating legal market research
Every market you target comes with its own unique regulations for local and foreign businesses. Your obligations will depend on the countries you are selling to and whether you are operating within the country itself or selling as a foreign business.
Either way, key business decisions need to be compliant with regulations in every territory – everything from product safety, marketing campaigns, documentation, refund policies, finance and more.
You are going to need legal advice in every target market and the relevant information will have to be translated for departments and individuals alike. From advertising guidelines for your marketing departments to the local consumer rights for your sales teams, everyone needs access to the necessary legal information in their own language.
Intellectual property translations
If you are innovating your own products or technology, there are various types of intellectual property translation you will need as an international brand. For example, our own i plus translation software was built using innovative concepts and technologies we developed in-house – all of which need protecting. Then we have the name itself, which is a registered trademark (R).
The purpose of securing intellectual property rights is to discourage people from (intentionally or unintentionally) copying your products and brand. It also gives you the legal power to take action against any party that does so and refuses to cease using your property illegitimately.
You do not want to go through any legal processes if you can avoid it, though, and having your intellectual property documentation fully translated gives you the best chance of preventing any issues from landing in the courtroom.
One of the most fundamental roles of legal translation is handling business contracts between international parties. Of course, these documents need to be available in every language involved in the deal and accuracy is absolutely paramount.
Any discrepancy in translation could result in the terms and conditions having different meanings or – more likely – being too ambiguous for a court to make a decision confidently.
You don’t want a contract dispute being thrown out of court because of a translation mistake.
Terms and conditions
Speaking of terms and conditions, this is something that applies to the consumer as well as the businesses and organisations you deal with. Customers dealing with your brand need access to all of the T&Cs related to your products, services and general business policies.
You also need the opportunity to inform customers of their obligations when they sign up to any services, buy your products or give consent for you to handle their data (especially in the GDPR age).
These are your legal backup should any disgruntled customer try to take legal action against your brand – so make sure everything is accurately translated.
All of the legal translation services we have covered in this article are designed to keep you out of international courtrooms, but they are also there to give you everything you need to protect your business if it faces legal action (or takes it against another party).
Courtroom interpretation will help your brand defend itself in court, but having the correct documentation in place is the most important thing you can do.