U.S. firms entering the market in the DRC will face multiple challenges. The lack of reliable electricity and water often means companies provide their own supplies. The high cost of transportation can make inputs more expensive and eat into profit margins. A difficult customs clearance process can result in a long wait for imported products to become available. Companies often arrange for a local agent who can facilitate the process. Further, the taxation system is complicated and its application often arbitrary. Companies often work with a local counterpart who can handle this process. Corruption and bureaucracy are a constant brake on business activity. Laws are applied inconsistently, and the judicial process is slow. Companies usually find it necessary to retain a local legal advisor.