How to Start a Business Abroad

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Unless you are looking to retire abroad or purchase a second home, for many of us, moving away from home will mean that you need to find a job. A new home, means a new start and starting a business abroad is a dream many hold.

With languages to learn, friends to make and a new life to settle into, the prospect of setting up a business abroad may seem a daunting one at first. Which is why we’ve put together a guide of what you’ll need to consider before you begin your business abroad, from starting up to essential paperwork and legalities you can’t afford to miss.

Starting Up

Whether your business is already established in your home country or a new venture you’re about to embark on it is essential that you research the market you’re entering into abroad. What works and is successful in one country may simply not translate abroad so knowing your target market will be key to success. If you’re unsure of where to start your business then look at the cost of starting a business across a range of countries and compare to find the one that suits you and your needs the most.

There may be language barriers you’ll need to overcome along with a change in culture. Office or work based culture can vary greatly from country to country so you’ll need to consider whether your business takes on your new home country’s attributes or stays true to its home countries roots.

Building a contact of networks is vital for any business to survive and in a new country you’ll also need to consider how you’ll integrate into the community. Research local business networks, industry talks or networking events to help build up your little black book.


Your visa is your gateway as to whether you’re actually allowed to set up a business abroad so ensure that you’re clued up on what you can and cannot do on the visa you’re on.

If you’re an EU citizen relocating to an EU country then you can reside and trade elsewhere in the European Economic Area with the same employment rights as the nationals of the country you’re working in. However, Canada, Australia and United States have stricter visa regulations.  In some countries you may find you are required to partner with a local business to create a joint venture business.

If your business needs determine that you’ll need to hire employees then research employment laws, working hours, holiday requirements, average wages and other statutory employment benefits to ensure you’re in the best position possible to hire.

Business Regulations

As with any new business there are regulations you need to adhere to and foreign procedures you may not be entirely familiar with. Tax is one of the biggest things you’ll need to get to grips with and enlisting the help of an accountant can help you to understand what you need to know. You may also be required to pay taxes back home or Capital Gains Tax if you decide to move back to your country of origin.

What you need to declare and paperwork you need to complete will be different in every country so familiarise yourself with procedures or hire a local with the knowledge of systems and regulations to assist you.

Be aware that some countries may be wary of foreign investment and access to some materials or resources may be hard to reach. These are all regulations you’ll need to consider before setting up abroad and there are often ways around which can ensure your business venture is a success.

Whatever your business dream is or your reason for relocating abroad, starting a business away from your home origins can be extremely fulfilling and rewarding.




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