Whether you’re an expat or hoping to start your own business abroad, there are some important things to consider before establishing yourself as an entrepreneur. Start by speaking with local entrepreneurs and getting advice from foreign chambers of commerce—these organizations can help you learn about everything from hiring employees to securing contracts.
If you’re just starting out, it might also be helpful to consult an international tax accountant who can advise you on local laws as well as how to comply with U.S. regulations. Of course, all of these things vary depending on where you choose to do business so do your research!
- Do your research. Make sure you understand the business climate and the regulations of the country you are considering doing business in.
- Choose the right business structure. There are a variety of business structures to choose from, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Speak with an attorney to determine which is best for your company.
- Register your company. This process will vary depending on the country you are doing business in. Once registered, you will need to obtain the necessary permits and licenses to operate your business.
- Find a suitable location. Consider the infrastructure, transportation, and zoning regulations when choosing a location for your business.
- Hire local staff. In addition to hiring employees who are familiar with the local market, it is also important to consider language barriers and cultural differences.
- Create a marketing plan. Develop a strategy for marketing your products or services to the local population.
- Establish efficient operations. Make sure you have systems in place to manage inventory, shipping, accounting, and customer service.
- Seek professional advice. When starting a business in a foreign country, it is important to seek out the advice of professionals who are familiar with the legal and tax implications of doing business overseas
What You Need To Know When Starting A Company Overseas
There are more than 200 countries with some form of legal structure for starting a business. Unfortunately, there is no place on Earth where it’s easier to start an international business than your own country.
Many people think that it’s difficult to start an international company from scratch, but that isn’t true; you’ll have no trouble if you use local professionals (not Google translate) to assist with legal documents.
However, because there are so many cultural differences that can impact your operation, when you’re talking about fully remote workers spread out over dozens of countries—and even continents—it gets significantly harder.
Should I Leave My Current Job?
Before You Take The Plunge Into Self-Employment, Figure Out If It’s Worth It! While it might seem that everything would be better once you start your own business—deciding your own schedule, doing what you want to do when you want to do it, etc.—it’s important to consider if you can realistically make that work.
One of biggest factors that need to be taken into account is how leaving will affect your financial situation. If your current job has enough benefits for you or pays well enough for what it is (and most don’t), then it may not be worth going out on your own.
In addition, while starting your own business gives you complete control over what happens at work, there are other things to consider such as health insurance coverage and retirement plans.
Do yourself a favor by considering all of these factors before making any rash decisions. Remember, nothing is set in stone; take some time to figure out if being self-employed really is best for you. If so, congratulations!
However, just remember that no matter how much research you do beforehand, there will always be unexpected challenges along the way; staying flexible and prepared for those situations is vital to success.
When figuring out what kind of business structure makes sense for your new venture—Sole Proprietorship? Partnership? Corporation? LLC? Incorporation? —you should also try to think about what your future goals may be.
This is especially true if you have any ideas about growing beyond where you currently are, because different structures have different tax implications depending on how big they get.
For example, sole proprietorships and partnerships often require more paperwork than corporations and LLCs but don’t require annual meetings like corporations do.
They also pass profits directly onto personal income taxes rather than having them taxed separately from personal income like an S corporation does.
And while they may be simpler to set up initially, they’re not as easily scalable as corporations or LLCs. On top of that, there are also different types of corporations that you can incorporate under such as C-corporations (the most common type), S-corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs).
And although each of these structures has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on your business needs, all of them provide limited liability protection for their owners; if something goes wrong with your business, you aren’t liable for it—only your company is.
In addition to providing legal protection for its owners, forming a corporation or LLC can give you access to other benefits such as tax savings through deductions or write-offs.
However, unlike sole proprietorships and partnerships, both corporations and LLCs have formal requirements for setup that must be met before you can officially begin operating your business.
If you decide to go with a corporate structure for your new venture, make sure to check out our guide on how to form a corporation . If you decide to go with an LLC instead, make sure to check out our guide on how to form an LLC .
Either way, it’s important that you know what’s required of you before moving forward so that things run smoothly once everything gets started.
How To Get Funding For Your Startup (From Home)
When you have a business idea, it can be difficult to find funding. A lot of banks don’t want to take any kind of risk when it comes to startup businesses, so getting them to sign on as investors can be nearly impossible.
And even if you do secure financing from an investor or bank, it will likely take several weeks at least for you to see any money; during that time, your company could lose momentum or run out of cash before you receive any funding.
That’s why startup loans are often overlooked; they require less paperwork than most other kinds of loans and there’s no need for guarantors. There are also many companies offering easy online loans specifically designed for new businesses.
Choosing The Right Location For Your Startup
Choosing where to launch your startup is perhaps one of most important decisions you’ll make. For many, that choice boils down to Silicon Valley vs. New York City or Boston, with proximity to existing networks being key.
But location can also affect how much capital you need to raise, how fast you can grow, and even your company’s legal status. When it comes to startups, laws vary from country-to-country. In some countries, simply incorporating will cost upwards of $10K; in others, it’s free or nearly so.
7 Important Questions You Must Ask Yourself Before Moving Abroad
- Do you have enough money saved to support yourself for several months until you find work?
- Are you willing to spend two years or more abroad, without ever seeing your friends and family?
- Can you handle cultural shock if your host country is very different from where you’re from?
- What can you do to be sure your business ideas will succeed overseas?
- What kind of visa are required, how difficult are they to obtain, and what changes might occur during your term of residency?
- Does it make sense to incorporate your business before moving to your target country, or should it be done after arrival?
- Is there anything else that could impact foreign ownership rules between now and when (or if) your company launches operations in that country?
What Makes Entrepreneurship In A New Country Challenging?
Overcoming language barriers, cultural differences, and competitive business environments can be challenging. You may have trouble attracting customers to your new venture because you’re not familiar with local customs or practices.
And many foreign countries don’t want to see their industries dominated by big U.S. businesses.
If you do succeed in getting started, it can be difficult to get financing for your company if no one knows you or your business very well yet (it’s more difficult than just saying banker and expecting people to understand what that means).
Why Is It Harder To Work From Home When Traveling Abroad?
The first thing to keep in mind is that it’s not always easy to work from home when traveling abroad. If you work for yourself, there are really only two countries that are big enough for you to be your own boss, but also small enough for you to actually feel like you’re making an impact. Those would be Australia and Canada.
Even if your job allows it, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to have everything set up from a computer hundreds or thousands of miles away. That said, there are great benefits to working from home as well—but again those don’t necessarily extend outside of those two nations.
Things To Consider Before Making That Move Abroad
One of your first stops before uprooting to launch your company abroad should be an immigration lawyer. This can help you make sure you’re in compliance with local laws. Many countries have tax breaks for small businesses; find out if yours does, and investigate what documents you’ll need to get set up.
Also check into worker protection laws. Even if your company is small, it’s best to start following regulations from day one so that your business isn’t crippled by legal penalties down the road (for example, by having employees that aren’t documented).
Be sure to consider those cultural differences that might impact your business, too! You don’t want to open up shop only to discover things are done very differently overseas than they are back home.