Blog Post

Expanding into the US Marketing with Industry Expert Phil Crowley

June 12, 2024


Expanding into the U.S. market is a thrilling prospect for tech startups but comes with its share of challenges, particularly in understanding and navigating the complex U.S. legal landscape. Recently, Talking Medicines hosted a webinar featuring Phil Crowley, from Crowley LLC a seasoned attorney with deep expertise in life sciences and technology startups. Here are the key takeaways from that enlightening session, tailored to help you demystify the U.S. legal system and strategize your successful market entry. 

Understanding U.S. Legal Frameworks 

The U.S. is unique due to its layered legal structure comprising federal, state, and local laws. Phil emphasized the importance of choosing the right state for your business operations, as local laws and business climates vary significantly across the country. For tech startups, this decision can impact everything from taxes to how easily you can navigate local regulations. 

Choosing the Right Business Structure 

One of the most crucial decisions when entering the U.S. market is selecting the appropriate business structure. Phil outlined several options, each with its own benefits and drawbacks: 

  • Subsidiaries: Ideal for full control and benefitting from liability protection and potential tax advantages.
  • Joint Ventures: Useful for leveraging local expertise but complex and requiring careful legal consideration.
  • Distributorships or Sales Agents: Lower-risk entry points but offer limited control. 

Phil recommends setting up a subsidiary as it provides a substantial presence and can help mitigate risks associated with intellectual property and legal disputes. 

Navigating Employment Law 

U.S. employment laws can be a minefield for the uninitiated. The webinar highlighted the critical distinction between hiring employees and independent contractors, a frequent area of confusion and potential legal exposure. Phil stressed the importance of drafting comprehensive employee handbooks and clear policies to avoid disputes and ensure compliance with local employment laws. 

Intellectual Property Protection 

Protecting intellectual property (IP) is paramount, especially in a tech-driven market like the U.S. Phil advised having robust agreements to secure technology and creative outputs, essential for safeguarding your innovations from potential infringement. 

Insurance and Risk Management 

The litigious nature of the U.S. business environment makes having the right insurance coverage essential. From general liability to cyber liability, ensuring you have adequate protection can save your startup from potential financial pitfalls.

Tax and Financial Considerations 

Phil pointed out that effective tax planning and understanding the U.S.-U.K. tax treaties are crucial for maximizing profitability when expanding to the U.S. He also touched on the importance of strategic transfer pricing, which can significantly affect how much tax a startup ends up paying. 

Immigration for Global Talent 

For startups looking to bring in talent from abroad, understanding U.S. immigration laws is crucial. Whether transferring existing employees or hiring new talent from overseas, startups need to navigate the visa system effectively to ensure compliance and avoid delays. 

Data Privacy and Security 

In the era of GDPR, understanding the U.S. approach to data privacy, which varies significantly by state, is crucial. Phil highlighted California’s strict privacy laws as an example of how diverse the legal landscape can be and advised startups to be well-prepared to comply with these varying regulations. 


Phil Crowley’s insights from the webinar provide a robust foundation for any tech startup looking to explore the lucrative U.S. market. Understanding these key areas will equip you with the knowledge to navigate potential hurdles and leverage opportunities for successful market entry and growth. Want to gain more in-depth insights from Phil? Watch the full session here.

Are you considering expanding your tech startup into the U.S.? Make sure to consult with legal and financial experts who specialize in U.S. operations to tailor your strategy effectively. Getting the right advice can make all the difference in achieving successful and sustainable market entry. 

To have a more in-depth conversation with Phil about setting up in the U.S., please contact him at [email protected] and include ‘Glasgow’ in the subject line. 

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