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How to find foreign business partners

How to find foreign business partners

Due to modern communication technologies and substantial improvements in shipping and logistics, more and more people are trying to find foreign business partners. A good connection in a foreign country can easily open up a whole new market. And, by choosing carefully, you can even co-promote, therefore making your partnership much more effective. So, how does one find good foreign partners? And, once they find them, how do they set up a good relationship? Well, that is what we are going to explore.

Before you start looking

Just like many things in business, finding foreign business partners is mostly about preparation. If you do your homework and outline carefully what you are looking for, you should have little trouble finding a reliable company to partner up with. Know that expanding your business to another state is complicated, let alone finding a business partner in another country. So, let us first go over the necessary steps you need to take before you start looking.

Consider your business

The first thing we would advise you to do is to consider your business. The number of potential foreign partners is endless. Therefore, it can be hard to figure out who to contact if you don't precisely know what suits your business. So, try to carefully outline where your business is at now, and what precisely do you need from your foreign partner.


Knowing how to outline your business will be quite useful when you try to find foreign business partners.

Ideally, you will find someone with whom you can have a mutually beneficial partnership. Therefore, expect that your potential partners will ask you about your business and what it has to offer. This is another reason why knowing your business is not only useful but also essential for solid business dealings.

Why are you looking for foreign business partners?

While this question may seem redundant at first, it is surprisingly important to answer. People use different strategies to find business partners. So, the more you can outline the precise reasons for finding foreign business partners, the easier it will be to online an efficient strategy. Among the more common reasons are:

  • Looking for a new market
  • Trying to outsource the production of your company
  • Planning to relocate your business in the near future
  • Trying to promote your product and/or service in a different country
  • Combining your business and marketing efforts with a foreign company (co-promotion)

The more precisely you can formulate your business plan, the easier it will be to put it into practice. Especially when it comes to working with foreign companies.

Outline your deal before you partner up

Depending on where you are looking for foreign partners, this may not be necessary. But, as a general rule, it is usually a good idea to have a bare-bones plan to give to your potential partners before sealing the deal. Having a premade plan shows that you are serious and that you don't shy away from doing your homework. Your outline should help your potential partners better understand your intentions and give them a rough sketch of financial dealings. Ideally, you should translate the outline into their language, so that they can understand you more easily. Just keep in mind that having a premade outline makes finding foreign business partners much more efficient.


Properly outlining your business idea will help your partners decide whether they want to work with you.

Find foreign business partners

Once you've prepared properly, you can start looking for business partners. While you may have a stroke of luck and find a terrific business partner in a couple of days, we do suggest that you plan for a long-term search. Most partnerships fail due to poor negotiations or due to misunderstanding over financial details. So, while you should hope to find foreign business partners within a week or two, expect to spend at least a couple of months looking for them.

Online research

The best place to start looking for business partners is, surprise surprise, online. To do so properly, we first suggest that you pick a specific area, then go through all the potential business partners that operate in it. Doing so will also make finding international shipping companies easier, especially one like Four Winds Saudi Arabia that has global shipping capabilities.

First contact

Once you find a suitable business partner, you need to approach contacting them very carefully. Just like when buying a business, you need to know which question to ask and how to present yourself. Know that the first interaction you have with your partner will set up the rest of your dealings. So, you need to ensure that you have the right first impression. This is why we've put so much emphasis on preparation and on having a premade plan. Also, this is why you need to perfect your communication skills. Expect that you will have at least a couple of video calls with your partner before you set up a permanent deal.


People from certain countries won't work with you until they've seen your face.

Ideally, you will present your idea in a clear, confident manner and give your future partner the feeling that they can rely on you.

Language barrier

One thing worth noting about trying to find foreign business partners is that there is often a language barrier. If you are living in the U.S and you are trying to find a Canadian partner, this won't be the case. But, if you are looking for a partner in Saudi Arabia, you might run into issues even with reliable help with trade in Saudi Arabia. In essence, there are two ways you can go about solving this barrier. You can either find a translator to work beside you, or you can commit to learning the language. The second option will be quite useful for prolonged partnerships as keeping a translator on retainer can be costly. If you know the basics, you can only resort to hiring a translator for legal documents and further written deals with your partner.