In our globalized world, you can start a business almost anywhere – you just need to decide which place would be best for realizing your business ideas. Many countries are welcoming to foreign entrepreneurs too – let’s see your best options around the world.
Often dubbed “the gateway to Asia”, Singapore is a buzzing business hub with close connections to other countries of the region. Since it used to be a British colony, local legal and financial structures may be familiar to the Western investor, which might be a factor why several multinational organizations have chosen Singapore as their East Asian headquarters. Corporate tax is 17%, and the country is known for its investment-friendly business environment. Investors may decide whether they want to apply for a business visa or residency, while SME business loans are also available to foreigners.
Hungary is located in the center of Europe, with excellent local infrastructure and connections to all major cities in the region. It is a member of the European Union, so if you apply for residency after company formation in Hungary, not only do you gain access to the entire EU market but also get the option to travel visa-free to any member state of the Schengen zone as well as a few additional countries. Company registration takes only 4-5 business days, while corporate tax is as low as 9%, the lowest in the EU.
United States of America
The U.S. is a world leader in business and a land of opportunities. Regardless of your field of business, its huge market and advanced infrastructure will increase your chances for success. At the same time, getting a visa may prove quite complicated, while the corporate tax rate is 21%. Becoming a contributor to one of the world’s largest economies offers various advantages, but it undoubtedly has its price.
Canada is right next to the U.S., with a similar culture and similar great opportunities, while you have to jump significantly fewer hoops for access. Standard corporate tax is pretty high at 38%, but there are several benefits available, to the point where small businesses in fact only pay 9% (if their yearly revenue is under CAD 500,000). The start-up visa program lets you enter the country quite easily, while there is clear guidance for entering the neighboring U.S. market as well.
While South America has gained a reputation for violent crimes, Argentina is in fact a business hotspot in the region. Setting up your business here is relatively straightforward, possibly entirely online, and puts you in a great position for entering South American markets. You just need a partner with local know-how who can tell you which parts are the best for foreign investors. Corporate tax is 25%-35%, while the dividend tax is 7-13%, both depending on the yearly profit of your business.
Aspects to consider when choosing a country
When deciding where you want to start or expand your business, you have several aspects to consider. Is the market of your choice ready for your product? Is there a niche for it? Is the market size right for it? If you are producing goods, how will you obtain materials, and how will you distribute the product? Will you be working with local employees or are you planning to move talent to the target country? For example, Hungary has quite a small market on its own, but it gives you access to the entire EU market. The country has excellent connections, and you can easily obtain a work permit in Hungary for your employees.
Plan for the future
Consider your options for growth, not only just how easy it is to start a business in a given country. How big do you expect to grow? For example, corporate tax in both Canada and Argentina depends on the size of the company. If you outgrow your bracket here, you will need to start paying significantly more taxes, while e.g. in Hungary the 9% corporate tax is for everyone, regardless of the size of the operation. Another aspect is whether you plan to actually move to the country chosen for your business. Having just a business visa gives you different rights from residency, while citizenship based on long-term residency can again grant you additional perks. For example, while it is notoriously difficult to become a U.S. citizen, Hungarian citizenship is available to anyone after 8 years of residency, or even sooner if someone gets married and has children here.
Make a decision that is right for you and your business
When you consider expanding your operation, the world is your oyster. You just need a clear vision of the product you want to offer and the milestones you will need to reach in order to find your niche on the global market and make your business a success. Market access, taxes to pay, and options for immigration are normally among the most basic things to consider. Remember that there is no best option, only the best option for your business.