As more and more companies seek new opportunities overseas, the question of how to select the "right" markets becomes an increasingly important issue. In particular the wide range of possible markets and the plethora of available information suggests the need to establish systematic evaluation and information collection procedures. The paper provides a conceptual framework for developing such a procedure. The proposed approach consists of a series of steps for screening countries based on global country characteristics so as to select a set of countries for examination in depth. The relevant criteria and specific research procedures to be used at each stage in the evaluation process are determined in relation to the specific objectives, constraints and other idiosyncratic characteristics of the individual firm.