Considerations to Take Into Account Before Starting a Business Abroad


You may have always wanted to start your own business in a country that has appealed to you, either because of its climate, beauty, or opportunity for growth and expansion. Starting afresh in greener pastures be one of your boldest moves, but before taking flight, it is vital to take the time required to analyse what requirements you may have to fulfill. Research and sound advice are the pillars on which any significant move of residence should be based.

Obtain Legal Advice

Countries sometimes have complex bureaucratic requirements when it comes to opening a business, so hiring a good lawyer in the country you intend to operate, is key. Your chosen counsel should ideally hail from your home country, so they can inform you of the biggest differences you can expect. For instance, did you know that in Argentina, obtaining a construction permit can take a full year, or that even starting a business takes 26 days? If you are intent on launching in Argentina or countries in Latin American and the Caribbean (which also require several months for a construction permit), you will need to factor in delays and other bureaucratic requirements.

Ask Experts about Tax Requirements

Some economies, for instance, Brazil, boast booming economies, yet also have high tax burdens. In this country, firms spend various months a year filling in tax forms, and they pay a total tax rate of over 67%. Other countries charging high corporate taxes include the United Arab Emirates, Puerto Rico, and Argentina. You need to have a qualified team of accountants and financial experts on your side, to work out if the business incentives offered in these countries are worth the steep tax burden. You may be positively surprised, but you will need to crunch the numbers before making your decision.

Compare Salaries and Health Costs

In order to attract top talent in your country of choice, or convince key players in your organization to take up a post abroad, you will need to consider benefits vs salaries and other incentives for staff, including coverage in the case of illness overseas, bonuses, etc. Health is one of the most important benefits for employees, who are attracted to countries such as Spain or the UK, where the public health system is solid and reputable. In other countries, obtaining private health insurance is key, and employees may expect the company to foot the bill.

Research into Waiting Periods to Open a Business

CNBC recently reported that Russia is one of the hardest countries in the world for businesses to obtain an electricity connection; often, they have to wait over nine months to do so. The same occurs in Indonesia, where the process will take you significantly longer than in other countries in Asia. Your lawyer should be able to inform you of this and other practical considerations that could delay your intended launch date.

Obtaining Helpful Advise from Expats in Your Chosen Country

Most countries have tightly knit expat communities with forums for discussing businesses, schools, health etc. – anything and everything relative to building a life in a new country. These boards can be very helpful in terms of finding reputable professionals in finance and law.

Moving to a new country and starting up a business is always exciting, regardless of whether you are launching a small or large business. However, it is important to conduct professionally led research into legal requirements, political climate, health costs etc., to ensure your dream is not shattered by bureaucracy and excessive tax burdens.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, CEO of Inspired Marketing, Inc., is a small business marketing coach who shows women entrepreneurs how to use solid marketing strategies to turn their life’s passion into a profitable, service-based business. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog, Entrepreneur-Resources.net.

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