The biggest problem with establishing a market abroad for your product or service is, quite simply, lack of familiarity with the country. One not only has to generate sales but also must avoid certain traps that can undermine an international operation

Two common pitfalls

Sending an expat 

Sending in an expatriate manager with no experience in Germany. The German market is unique in every way–language, culture, attitudes and peoplIt takes time and experience to know what will work. The learning curve is steep and could prove to be costly. A foreign manager, no matter how successful in his or her own country, will encounter substantial and often insurmountable barriers to success because of his inexperience in Germany.

Operating Europe from London

Choosing to enter Europe via Great Britain simply because of language rather than true market potential. 

Subsidiary

US Businesses often have the assumption that by not establishing an entity overseas, they will consequently not be bound by the laws and regulations of the markets in which they are operating. This is almost always wrong, especially if you are selling to consumers. Better manage the top issues US-based businesses must tackle by choosing a risk-averse go-to-market implementation roadmap.

Individuals are generally protected by the laws of their own country whether it is under consumer laws, employee regulations, or data protection rules.

Employees

US Businesses often have the assumption that by not establishing an entity overseas, they will consequently not be bound by the laws and regulations of the markets in which they are operating. This is almost always wrong, especially if you are selling to consumers.

Individuals are generally protected by the laws of their own country whether it is under consumer laws, employee regulations, or data protection rules.

Contracts

If you are selling to consumers the localization of terms should be considered. You will need to ensure you localize legal terms as well as translate them Into the local language.

The failure to do so will allow complaints to be filed and considered under terms which you have not dictated, and even worse, under terms which have not limited your liability.

B2B contracts do not necessarily need to be legally localized, although they may need to be if negotiating with larger overseas customers that insist their local laws govern the contract.

Data protection

Europe (Germany, as the European Union largest single economy) has strict data protection laws that require businesses which receive or process personal data to follow strict rules regarding its use, receipt, and retention. Data protection is one of the top issues US-based businesses must tackle when looking for a market entry in Germany

Specific consent or disclosure must be made to the data owners and may not be transferred outside of the EU without the appropriate registrations to ensure protection and proper use.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation is a major step in digital privacy and is the result of a long process settled in European values. It is the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years.

Disclosure

I do not provide legal advice but support legal advisors with learnings from 20+ years with US.-based tech firms