Media Release: Demystifying the process of establishing an office in Houston

ESTABLISHING an operation in the US is less risky than is widely perceived, according to SABA, the Scottish American Business Alliance.

An American delegation from the networking group concluded their week long informational visit to Aberdeen on Thursday 3rd of July, with an evening reception held at Norwood Hall Hotel.

The event which was attended by 55 representatives from the North East’s Civic and Business communities, marked the end of a trip to reach out to Scottish businesses and break down barriers to operating in the US.

The founder members of SABA are Gus Bourgeois, Legal Counsel at Houston-based law firm, Boyar Millar, Lisa Morton, director of Business Development at the tax advisory firm ABIP and Taylor Parker, sales director of Payroll at the Human Resources specialists, Paychex.

Together they have been helping companies establish a foothold in America for nearly three years and formally launched the networking advisory group two months ago.

Their inaugural visit consisted of meetings with Finance companies, Technology Specialists, Accountancy firms and other Oil and Gas service companies whilst also including Aberdeen City Council and Chamber representatives.

Speaking about the feedback from these discussions, Gus Bourgeois said: “We confirmed that the misperceptions about the Houston market that we thought existed, do actually exist.

“Several of the people we spoke to raised the same concerns we expected to hear – such as costs, litigation, timing, how much opportunity there may or may not be in the marketplace, about what competitors were already there.

“We were able to talk at a high level about those things and in most cases take concerns around cost and risk of litigation off the table.”

Lisa Morton added “Mostly we were able to confirm that there is still a pent-up demand for companies to go to Houston.

“Many oil and gas service providers and vendors are being asked by their customers to provide goods and services outside of their traditional regions; so, for example, a service provider with an excellent track record in the North Sea might then be required to do the same in the Gulf of Mexico, even though it had never operated there and had no office or personnel there.”

Commenting on the visit, Councillor Ron McKail, chair of the Grampian – Houston Association, said: “As a councillor I am often approached by businesses needing help to get established in Houston.

“These kinds of events are tremendously important for building up the relationship between the City, Shire and Houston. Anything that could pave the way is incredibly useful.”

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Contact: Brett Jackson