Setting up an expat business overseas

Setting up an expat business overseas

Setting up an expat business overseas

For most would-be entrepreneurs, setting up a new business is a challenge, but doing so in an unfamiliar county can seem like a nightmare.

Many world countries are sympathetic towards those wishing to set up new enterprises, but language, different laws, financial requirements and visas can make it seem as though it’s not worth the hassle. Opportunities are out there, especially nowadays, and the answers to your all-important questions can be had online as well as via local professional help.

Examining the business culture and practices of your chosen country is the first step, and includes commercial regulations as well as fiscal and financial policies, all of which differ dependent on where in the world you’re planning to be. Timing varies country to country with, for example, setting up in New Zealand sorted within a week or so and the same process elsewhere taking months. If at all possible, costing your proposed enterprise as regards property rentals, legal costs, business visas and potential staff costs should be done before you get involved in the legalities.

Getting in touch with local, helpful business-oriented groups such as the local Chamber of Commerce can help a lot, as can linking with similar commercial organisations before you open up. Countries which welcome expat entrepreneurs can often offer local support, easing your transition from your home country to a new kind of business culture. Finding an English-speaking expat lawyer if at all possible reduces your chance of misunderstanding important aspects of contractual and other business-related laws.

Taking a careful look at the political scene in your chosen country is important, especially nowadays, as political instability doesn’t bode well for start-up businesses in strange lands. The possibility of asset seizures or less than favourable expat tax policies are often linked to politics, but can be avoided by making changes to your business model as well as by socialising with the right people if possible. Another important aspect to be examined is your new country’s employment laws as, outside Europe, they’re likely to be very different than those in your home country.

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