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    How To Start A Business Abroad

    EST. 1996

30April

How to Start a Business Abroad: Tips & Advice  

How To Start A Business Abroad

Do you want to start your own business abroad, but don't know where to begin? In this article, we will provide some tips and advice for people who are looking into starting a business overseas. We have included information about how to get started, what it takes, and some things to look out for.

Going global is not just a passing trend; with the corporate tax rate at 21 percent in the US, going abroad is likely here to stay. It's no wonder why so many companies have backpacked their bags and are moving abroad.

Lower rates for taxes, an easier regulatory environment, lower startup costs are just some of the benefits you can find when you decide to make the move. While your success is not assured, following these steps will help increase your chances of becoming the next unicorn.

Table of Contents:

Business Plan: Questions to Think About

As you set out to start your new business creating a business plan will help shape what you intend to do and where you intend to go. Some questions that might help shape your plan and help decide the best place for you:

  • What is the overseas market competition like? Are there many players?
  • What is the demand like? Is it niche-specific or broad?
  • What is the business physical structure going to be like? Is there a physical store and products involved?
  • How are supply chains organized? What type of supply chain will you need to fulfill your business plan?

Laying the foundation of your business plan isn't about making sure you have every aspect mapped out it's about taking advantage of the local market by focusing on the areas that you will have a natural advantage in.

How to Raise Money? Budgeting 101

Here is a surprising fact, in order to incorporate your business abroad, you are going to need money. Maybe that isn't so surprising, but what can be are the creative ways to try and raise money for your new business.

For starters, establishing local partnerships is a great way to get off the ground. Filling a hole in a pre-existing market especially in B2B services helps ensure that you will be able to launch quickly and get customers who have a bigger budget than your average consumer. Getting your first customers quickly can often help in gaining traction.

Some general ideas if you are looking to fundraise from the ground floor can come from crowdfunding, collaborating with friends, starting side businesses, taking out a loan, borrow from family, get a second mortgage on your house, sell your car, or auction any collectibles are valuables. There are many ways to get some extra cash, it often comes down to how bad you want it and what are you willing to do to get it.

 
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Choosing a Country to Start Your Business

You’re tired of working in the rat race for scraps. You want to be your own boss and have more control over what you do. But, before investing in a new country or location, it is imperative that you research to see what is best for you. Some questions that will help you find the right country for you are:

  • How is their currency valued relative to yours?
  • What are the different tax laws?
  • Can you borrow money from banking institutions?
  • How stable is the government which may affect future policies?
  • What are the labor costs like?
  • Is the country’s currency weaker than yours?

Knowing this will give you a better idea of where it is you should move. While it may be difficult to find out all of this information beforehand. You can often connect with people on the ground, who have been there before or are already in the market that you plan in entering through forums, groups and online channels.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Country to Start your Business

Regulations

A country's regulations will vary drastically. There are innumerable policies and regulations that govern commerce within a country. From everything from taxes to customs, licenses and restrictions.

Having the low down on these will help ensure you don't come across unexpected roadblocks once you startup. Other things to keep in mind and investigate are the country's employment law, import and export duties, and property rights which will each affect your business.

Politics

Being in a country that has political stability is incredibly important. Turbulent political and social forces are going to make setting up a new business incredibly difficult because of disruptions that may occur in supply chains, in regulations, as well as the lack of rule and order that could make things incredibly unstable for a new venture especially for you being the new kid on the block.

Economics

A country’s tax regime and the availability of incentives to new businesses can have a dramatic effect on your growth. Countries that are experiencing negative growth due to tough fiscal conditions may be looking for ways out, while others who wish to attract investment from abroad might offer attractive policies in order to promote social stability.

If your business is operating within a particular location that helps the local populous you are likely able to get more local support rather than if you were primarily online or focused on export-orientated products.

Culture

Cultural differences that might seem innocuous on the surface may lead to huge misunderstandings if you don't know what's really going on. You need a cross-cultural consultant, lawyer, accountant, or someone, anyone on the ground who can help guide you through the cultural challenges that are inevitably going to come up. Each culture has different nuances that will be difficult to fully understand unless you get local help.

International Banking

Sending money internationally can be problematic, especially if you want to do it quickly. If your country does not have PayPal or other UPI apps and has strict finance laws in place it will definitely make nonlocal sales more difficult. As people rely more and more on third-party payment processing, without having a solid payment processing system put together you risk walking into a nightmare.

Having an offshore bank account (or non-resident account) somewhere that can hold different currencies, are open to non-resident individuals, have quick response times, and modern banking infrastructure is a must. Each country has a different banking system with different rules and regulations that may work for some types of businesses and not others. While the whole world is rapidly progressing on this front there definitely are still corners of the world that lack proper banking services.

Last Considerations 

Before you start your journey there are a few last things you would likely need to take care of.

Documentation

Make sure you have a valid passport, birth certificate and national ID. Without these you won't make it very far.

Having a bank introduction letter, as well as a company that is already incorporated helps so that you can hit the ground running when you arrive.

Criminal Record

Do you have a criminal record? You will likely find that getting your foot in the door, whether that is for a loan, visa, or license will be that much more difficult if you have a criminal record.

Having misdemeanors, DUI charges, or a felony might make it very difficult in getting the necessary accounts, licenses, and documentation all in order. Although it may not be a deal-breaker, it is something you should check with your lawyer before you jump on a plane.

Conclusion

While this is not an exhaustive list of what to look out for, it may help you start planning your next venture. Be sure that your plan is open enough to adapt to the changing local conditions of your environment. A plan is only as good as it is open to change when confronted with a different set of circumstances.

It is important to do your research and have all the right tools in place before you get started. If you're not sure where to start, be sure to contact an expert for advice on which countries might best suit your needs.

 

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