Do I need any form of licence to sell my Saas product globally?

A potential sales director just asked me if we had got our licence to sell our software globally.

I’d never heard of needing such a thing and to avoid looking stupid, I gave a vague, non-committed answer, politician style!

Have I missed something?

Our product is SAAS in the agritech sector to be marketed globally.

  • Well if your product depends on other licensed products, you may need to get assurance. I don’t think most open sourced licenses care, but you should work with your tech team to make sure. If you are re-selling a physical product as part of your solution, that product may have geographical licensing limitations.

    Otherwise local licensing / regulations can be dealt with as deals progress.

  • Conventional SaaS products don’t need any licenses, and there is no such thing as a universal “global” license. SaaS isn’t sold as a product, so export laws don’t apply. You sell the service, and the service follows the jurisdiction of the location where your company is registered.

    So if you’re based in the US and you have a customer in Sweden, then nothing gets exported because the Swedish customer is simply buying a service from a US company. This is why you don’t pay customs duties on SaaS like you would when you import/export physical goods. It doesn’t even matter where your servers are.

    The sales director probably just wants to know if they can use the software outside of the US, and the answer to that question is yes. Unless you signed those rights away in some partnership agreement but I assume you would know if you did.

  • Even if there was some really rare bi-law that said “oh you had one server in Turkmenistan and that means you exported data”, the fines would be a fraction of the profit. The regulations like the one listed above are not made to put companies out of business, they are meant to dip into profits, like parking tickets.

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