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Using an international money transfer to pay overseas legal fees

Save money on overseas legal costs for your business by sending a simple and affordable international money transfer.

In today’s interconnected world, Australian businesses increasingly find themselves doing business all around the globe. But while doing business overseas brings with it plenty of potential profits, it can also expose your business to a number of risks. To make sure you comply with all relevant laws and regulations you’ll need to get the right legal help in every country.

This means finding an easy and affordable way to pay your overseas legal fees. The best way to do that is to send an international money transfer, so let’s take a look at how you can get the best value for money when sending funds overseas.

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Refreshing in: 60s | Thu, 23 Nov 01:40am GMT
1 USD = 1.0000 1.3180 Inverse: 0.7587 1.2742 Inverse: 0.7848 0.8494 Inverse: 1.1772 6.6116 Inverse: 0.1512 0.7532 Inverse: 1.3277 64.7750 Inverse: 0.0154 18.7773 Inverse: 0.0533 50.5500 Inverse: 0.0198
1 AUD = 0.7587 Inverse: 1.3180 1.0000 0.9667 Inverse: 1.0344 0.6445 Inverse: 1.5516 5.0164 Inverse: 0.1993 0.5715 Inverse: 1.7499 49.1461 Inverse: 0.0203 14.2467 Inverse: 0.0702 38.3533 Inverse: 0.0261
1 EUR = 1.1772 Inverse: 0.8494 1.5516 Inverse: 0.6445 1.5000 Inverse: 0.6667 1.0000 7.7834 Inverse: 0.1285 0.8867 Inverse: 1.1278 76.2554 Inverse: 0.0131 22.1053 Inverse: 0.0452 59.5092 Inverse: 0.0168
1 GBP = 1.3277 Inverse: 0.7532 1.7499 Inverse: 0.5715 1.6916 Inverse: 0.5911 1.1278 Inverse: 0.8867 8.7779 Inverse: 0.1139 1.0000 85.9987 Inverse: 0.0116 24.9297 Inverse: 0.0401 67.1128 Inverse: 0.0149

How to pay overseas legal fees

While legal assistance doesn’t always come cheap, it’s simply one of the costs of doing business overseas. However, if you need to send money overseas to pay legal fees – for example, if you need to pay a Chinese law firm you have used to help satisfy all regulatory requirements for your business’s expansion into China – it could end up costing a whole lot more than the initial fee for legal services.

There are two main expenses to take into account when sending money overseas:

  • The exchange rate. Money transfer providers add a margin onto the price at which they buy currency. By selling it onto you they can then make a profit on the transaction.
  • The transaction fee. In many cases you’ll need to pay a transaction fee when you transfer money overseas.

Exchange rates and transaction fees vary substantially between transfer providers, so shopping around for the highest rates and the lowest fees could save your business a whole lot of money.

Banks vs money transfer services

Most businesses will have one or perhaps two financial institutions with which they do all of their business banking. So when the time comes to send money overseas to pay legal fees most will simply approach their regular business bank to handle the transaction.

But while this may be a convenient option, it can be a costly one. Banks add a hefty margin on top of the currency they buy, with the extra cost passed onto you in the form of a poor exchange rate. They also tend to charge high transaction fees on international transfers, which can add a further boost to the cost of your transaction. The end result is that you get a bad deal and your bottom line takes a hit.

The best way to find better value for money on your next international money transfer is to use a dedicated online money transfer service. These providers specialise in moving money across international borders and because they trade large volumes of foreign currency, and don’t have as many overheads as the banks, they can offer you far superior exchange rates. Their transfer fees are also usually lower, so by shopping around for the best deal you could save your business a substantial amount of money.

Finding the best exchange rate: why you should compare your options

After Darren’s investment firm used the services of an overseas law firm to negotiate the purchase of a range of US-based assets, Darren is left with a USD$10,000 bill for legal services. Darren initially plans to send the money through the bank with which he does all his regular business banking, but is dismayed to find the exchange rate on offer is far from competitive.

He compares the total cost of sending the transfer via his bank with the cost of using a specialist transfer company. As you can see in the comparison table below, Darren can save AUD$725.26 if he chooses the higher exchange rate offered by the specialist transfer company and he can save AUD$18 in transaction fees.

BankSpecialist money transfer company
Exchange rateAUD$1 = USD$0.7006AUD$1 = USD$0.7384
Transfer feeAUD$22AUD$4
AUD needed to send USD$10,000AUD$14,273.48AUD$13,548.22
Money savedAUD$725.26

This example shows just how important it is to shop around and compare your money transfer options. Doing so could boost your business’s bottom line by hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

How to compare and choose money transfer providers

There are several factors to consider when deciding on the best money transfer provider to help you send funds overseas to pay your legal fees. These include:

  • Exchange rates. Not only should you compare rates between your bank and the specialist transfer services, but also between different money transfer providers. There can still be significant differences from one provider to the next, so look for the company that offers the best exchange rate for your transfer destination(s).
  • Transaction fees. Transfer fees and charges can have a big impact on the overall cost of your transfer, with some companies charging a flat fee and others charging a fee calculated as a percentage of your transfer amount. However, some companies don’t charge any fees at all on large transfer amounts.
  • Transfer time. Time is of the essence when paying bills for your business so make sure all transactions are processed as quickly and easily as possible.
  • Forward contracts. Forward contracts are a very useful tool to help business owners plan ahead and take out protection against falling exchange rates. They allow you to secure an exchange rate today for a transfer that will be placed in the future. But not all providers offer this feature so it’s worth shopping around for the right transfer company.
  • Limit orders. Does the provider allow you to place limit orders for your international transfers? When you place a limit order you can nominate the exchange rate you want for a transaction. The transfer provider will then monitor the market and automatically complete your trade when that rate becomes available.
  • Recurring payments. If you need to pay overseas legal fees on an ongoing basis, does the provider offer a recurring payment facility? Using this to schedule a regular payment could save you plenty of time in the future.
  • Supported currencies. Consider the countries where you need to send money and then research whether the provider allows you to send funds in each country’s local currency. This will ensure a smooth and quick payment process when bills are due.
  • Help and support. How can you access customer assistance if you ever have a problem? Are phone, email and online live chat support available? Will you have a personal account manager to handle all your transactions and requests?

The importance of privacy when paying overseas legal fees

One of the key concerns for any business when operating across international borders is privacy and protecting sensitive information. This is doubly important when paying international legal fees as there is a greater risk of confidential business dealings and arrangements being exposed to competitors.

With this in mind, you might want to use a money transfer provider that offers a personal account manager to oversee sensitive payments. This will ensure that all the important details of any contract, deal or other business transaction remain confidential and that personalised service is available whenever you need help with a transaction.

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Tim Falk

A freelance writer with a passion for the written word, Tim loves helping Australians find the right home loans and savings accounts. When he's not chained to a computer, Tim can usually be found exploring the great outdoors.

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