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For international telecommuters, payroll compliance is key

One of the benefits of managing a virtual office is that you're free to hire the best and brightest, whether they live down the street or around the world. Many telecommuting operations primarily employ people within a specific geographic area, but many others boast teams in disparate areas of the country and across the globe. This can enhance diversity in professional collaboration, give your company an ear to the ground in key geographic markets and deputize representatives of your company for facetime with clients and partners in many locations. 

For a large company with a deep human resources and payroll department, working out the tax, benefit and payment arrangements for international telecommuters can be easy. However, small businesses that employ workers in different countries should devote time and resources to understanding compliance regulations in those respective nations, as well as international standards for payroll. 

"It is just as likely that a foreign court will take the view that local labor and employment laws apply to an individual spending weeks working in their jurisdictions," explains the International Employment Lawyer blog. "And are you really willing to pay French overtime pay? Or grant German vacation? Or what about the worst case scenario: if an accident happens in a foreign land, does your workers' compensation policy provide you with protection?"

For virtual offices, learning the ropes of compliance is a small price to pay for assembling the best team you can build. Sometimes, consulting with an attorney or finance expert can help companies patch lapses or vulnerabilities in existing compensation models, or build a new system from the ground up. Either way, it's important to make these considerations as you bring new employees aboard. 

Small businesses that employ workers in different countries should devote time and resources to understanding compliance regulations in those respective nations.

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