To start a digital business all you need is a laptop, a steady internet connection, and a coffee shop to set up residency in, right? Whilst this is a good place to start, there are a number of factors you need to consider - one of the most important being what country should you start your business in.
“Can’t I just set my business up in the country I live in?” we hear you ask. While this may certainly be the most convenient option, this doesn’t make it the best option. In fact, setting up your business offshore may give you access to several benefits that will be great for your business long term.
This begs the question - what are the best countries to set up your new digital business? Keep reading to find out.
The British Virgin Islands has long been a popular spot for digital businesses. It has less to do with the picturesque location, and more to do with the business benefits. Business registration and legislation are considered very flexible when compared to other countries.
The BVI are used to dealing with international businesses, which means they are better suited to look after you. The corporate tax rate is zero, VAT is zero, and the reporting requirements are minimal. All of these factors make the British Virgin Islands very attractive for internet entrepreneurs.
In 2018, Forbes named the UK as the top country to do business in. A few years later and this status has barely changed. The UK has a strong economy, which is good for business. Incorporating your company can be done within an hour and cost as little as £14.
The UK government also offers tax benefits for founders, employees, and investors that you could take advantage of. Furthermore, of the G20 countries, the UK has one of the lowest corporation tax rates.
Norway has a number of benefits for online businesses. For starters, the economy is very strong and the population is generally wealthy. This means that setting up business here opens up the door to a pool of potential customers with cash to spend. Furthermore, Norwegians are very pro-tech and are always open to new technology.
There is also a highly skilled workforce that you can take advantage of. Registering a business is easy, and you can digitally communicate with the government!
To incorporate your business in New Zealand, there is one procedure to follow and this can be done in a day. You can register a property in two days. So hitting the ground running here is very easy. Generally, labour costs are low, there is a highly-skilled workforce that you can tap into, and there are tax benefits too!
In New Zealand, you don’t need to pay tax on capital gains, payroll, or social security. Furthermore, LLCs are considered their own legal entity that is separate from shareholders.
It’s quick and affordable to set up a business in Canada. There are two procedures to follow and typically you can get this done in two days. If you set your business up as a Limited Partnership, you won’t pay any corporate tax.
VAT is low, and the proximity to the US means that you will have access to both the thriving Canadian market and the large US market.
Georgia is a great place for an online business, especially if you’re setting up an IT company. The standard corporate tax rate is 15%, but IT companies will pay zero corporate tax!
Labour costs are also cheap and registering a business can be done within 2-3 days entirely remotely.
Estonia has one of the strongest startup communities in the world. This is in part due to its robust IT infrastructure. Registering your business in Estonia is very easy, often taking as little as 3 minutes. There are also a number of funding opportunities available through venture funds and other sources. Furthermore, there is a zero corporate income tax policy.
Denmark is widely regarded as one of the easiest places to set up a business. Typically, hiring and firing employees is very expensive. Denmark has some of the most flexible rules in regard to hiring and firing employees in the world. This significantly reduces the cost of scaling your business.
Registering your business is easy, and is often completed in a number of days. There are no requirements to have residents in management positions, and the taxation and legal system are very efficient.
The UAE has fast become the go-to destination for budding entrepreneurs, crypto investors and generally anyone who enjoys year round sunshine and almost zero taxes. Whilst the UAE has a growing start-up ecosystem and is gradually getting more friendly for founders, the biggest hurdle for most is cost. The cost of living and the cost of setting up a business in the UAE is still substantially higher than most countries mentioned above.
If you need help or advice on setting up a company, contact us for impartial advice.
When selecting the country to set up your business in, weigh up the pros and cons that best suit your business. This way, you can make the best decision for your business and set yourself up for success! Make sure you’re subscribed to the Money Saving Expat blog for more from us.
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