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Which Country is Best for Startups in 2023?

If you are a netizen for life, have portable skills, judge your success by the freedom to engage in what makes you happy, be who you are, and see the world, you are likely to become a digital nomad. So you must have already tried to find answers to such questions as: Which countries allow foreigners to start a business? Which country has most business opportunities? What country is the easiest to start a business in? Who can advise me on which country is best for startups in my field of expertise? Who can guide me on my entrepreneurial quest? You are not alone in the quest. That is why we address your questions in this article.

To tell you for sure which country is best for small business formation, dozens of jurisdictions need to be compared by such aspects as: the current and forthcoming issues in taxation, asset protection, company registration matters, the level of corruption, and other issues important for planning the right business strategy. 

Where to start a business - top countries

On the one hand, there are worldwide and regional ratings of countries by the ease of doing business. However, they do not provide any step-by-step guidance on how to register a company in a particular jurisdiction, how to take advantage of the local incentives available to foreign entrepreneurs, and how to recognize barriers and avoid disappointments before you invest too much into starting your venture in a country not suitable for or not welcoming your type of business. So, what you need is a case-by-case review of the possible options on today’s world map.

Let us share in this article our exercise in comparing 10 popular business destinations in 2023. This food for your thoughts will help you decide which country is best for startups in general and your small company formation in particular, so that you could choose where to register a new company and picture your business prospects. 

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Just recently, we have written about the MARSHALL ISLANDS, BELIZE, SERBIA, UAE, TURKEY. The hereby review of 10 jurisdictions focuses on the countries gaining popularity in 2023. If you need more specific answers to your particular questions and concerns about offshore destinations or other aspects, you are welcome to book a free online session with our expert and/or order our professional assistance in your company formation in any of the most popular business destinations featured on our portal. We offer customized services at very competitive package prices.  

What does it mean to ‘register’ a company overseas?

To register a business/company means to get an official confirmation that your new economic entity is legally recognized as valid in a particular country and can operate with or without the permits and licenses required by the authorities. 

Whether you register a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a corporation, a subsidiary, or any other business structure allowed in the country of incorporation, it will enjoy certain rights, liabilities, and many advantages stipulated by the legislation. 

Apart from daily operations and activities, a company can perform the following functions:

  • initiate legal action 
  • protect the shareholder’s personal property from seizure in the event of a lawsuit
  • acquire assets and real property
  • operate irrespective of where its shareholders are geographically.

Besides, if you register your company in any country abroad as an LLC or corporation,  you will not be liable for all of its possible losses, debts, or failure. Your responsibility will be limited only by the amount of your share of capital invested into this business. 

However, there are country-specific nuances that you should consider when researching which country has most business opportunities and which country is best for small business.

Things to consider when choosing which country is best to register your small company in

Your vision of which country is best for startups will depend on your awareness of some key aspects. Let us consider the most important of them.

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Tax Implications and Contracts 

One of the key things that can really affect your foreign company’s revenues, investors’ profits, and employees’ wages is the amount of costs and expenses, including the taxes.

Tax planning deserves your attention from the early steps you take to register your company in a particular country. Therewith, you should estimate the following issues well in advance:

  • investors’ and founders’ tax allowances/exemption opportunities in the country of incorporation as well as the jurisdictions where your company is likely to operate in the future
  • the income tax liabilities that your company will face after you register it
  • the capital gains taxation rules 
  • the possible impact of the local tax laws on the opportunities to attract potential investors to your business project in the future. 

Stakeholders’ considerations

The key reasons for choosing a foreign country to register and grow your company may depend on the opinions of different stakeholders.  

Many founders register a new company in another country because of the tax incentives.

Shareholders’ opinions about how the company should be formed and run may also matter and need to be taken into consideration. 

Besides, the company’s management structure often depends on the rules and laws maintained in the country of incorporation. 

Even the company owners’ citizenship often makes a difference. 

In fact, there is no single answer to the question of which country is best for small business. Therefore, our experts need to put together a puzzle of different facts and details of your particular situation, to be able to make provide you sound recommendations. 

Let us see if it is possible to define what country is the easiest to start a business in, i.e. where the rules and procedures are the simplest ones. 

Paperwork

The rules for filing documents to register an offshore company can be quite challenging. Do you need to submit the papers in person? How can you do this remotely? What are the language and certification requirements? Besides, you need to take into account the format and standard timelines for your company’s fiscal and administrative reports in the future.

Visa/residence matters

When choosing the jurisdiction to register a company, you should explore which countries allow foreigners to start a business. In some regions and countries there may be citizenship requirements for company founders, while in other countries there are no such restrictions. This is something to keep in mind, especially if you need to open a company as soon as possible, while you do not have the right type of visa or residence status, or your citizenship makes it difficult to obtain them.

HR options 

If you need to relocate your most valuable personnel after you register a business, it may be difficult to do so quickly, especially if you are not sure for how long you would like to rely on them. Recruitment of the local employees can also be an issue because of the shortage of professionals with the right competences and language skills, the costs of hiring and retraining staff for your project, the cultural differences that take time and extra efforts to resolve. 

It would be too late to start thinking about HR matters after you register a company in another country. Moreover, you may face some legal restrictions on how you can hire and fire employees, promote or demote employees, and your commitments may turn out to be too challenging.

Therefore, you need to discuss with our experts your HR needs and policies yet at the stage of choosing the country of registration and drafting the company structure. 

Management issues and operational arrangements

Corporate management requirements and aspects are also country-specific. Will you need a brick-and-mortar office? Can you sell your products in the domestic market? Where will you find suppliers? Before you choose which country has most business opportunities and register your company, you should understand whatever can make a difference for your success both in the short and long term.   

Mergers and acquisitions

Someday, with the successful development of your business, you may decide to sell or merge your company on very favorable terms according to the rules established in the chosen country. In some places these procedures are more transparent and straightforward than in others, and any entrepreneur can easily understand, start and complete them. In countries with less developed corporate legislation, however, such processes may be confusing, so it would be challenging to sort out things without extra costs and efforts.  

10 countries to register a business in: food for thought in 2023

Having recommended all the key aspects for choosing a country in which to register your business, let us share our experts’ shortlist of the promising business destinations in 2023 and their strengths. Our selection for this article is based on our experts’ current insights and latest experience of consulting our clients. 

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Please note: our list is not numbered, as the final resolution on which country is best for startups needs to be made by you with consideration of your specific circumstances and aspirations.

NEVIS — a good choice for asset protection

Nevis has become one of the most popular places on the globe to register a company in. 

Nevis has gone far ahead of Europe in terms of asset protection and diversification, so it is often recommended as a country to register business in.  If you need to secure your international asset protection from claims of foreign authorities or legal proceedings abroad, you should consider Nevis. 

Other advantages of Nevis as a place to register your company are:

Apart from the above-mentioned advantages, you should also discuss the only possible concern: companies registered in Nevis have not yet earned international recognition and unconditional trust. However, the reputation and credibility of your company will depend on your business strategies, and openness of your shareholders. 

You will soon see for yourself and agree that there is every reason to call Nevis one of the best countries to register a business and open a company in.  

You can find more information in our posts and during a fee online session with our experts many other benefits available to clients wishing to register their business in Nevis. 

CANADA — the right place for business focused on innovation engineering

Canada, like Europe, is a very good place to start an innovative business. This country is a business acceleration center and is going to become a world-leading hub for innovations. The foundation for this ambition is the Innovation and Skills Plan adopted in 2017. Besides, if you register your company in Canada, you will have access to the top-notch engineering expertise. New generations of technical talents are supplied by professional higher education. The government supports universities and encourages research and innovations. 

You must have paid attention to our articles covering many strengths of Canada as a place to launch an international company and develop one’s business.  

Companies registered in Canada have the following advantages:

  • Canada’s strong brand as a center of quality and high-tech products
  • tax credits that can be used for research and development of new products on the premises of newly registered companies
  • a unique business and investment environment enhanced by the proximity of the United States, the government support, and the developed infrastructure – available to all companies registered in Canada
  • the country’s huge highly-qualified labor force market, which, along with the developed immigration legislation, makes it possible to involve professionals from Canada as well as from any other country and do so on very attractive relocation terms
  • the convenient geostrategic location allows trading physical goods in the markets of Asia, the European Union and North America;
  • relatively low cost of company services and living expenses in the country.

Please note also our recent post on advantages of company formation in Ontario, Canada, and ask our experts for more recommendations.

SINGAPORE — a country in Asia providing impressive tax incentives to foreigners going to register their business

For years, Singapore remains our clients’ popular destination where we offer to register business entities focused on markets in Asia.

The country has repeatedly been rated as Asia’s most competitive country to form and do business in. The strong trade and investment opportunities attract global entrepreneurs and business leaders to this cutting-edge business hub. 

It is for many reasons why a lot of major international corporations place their headquarters in Singapore. Here are some of its strengths: 

  • it is one of the richest countries in the world
  • it is a politically stable country
  • it is a convenient geographical place to develop business in Asia
  • it has created a competitive market of highly skilled professionals
  • it’s tax-free for dividends and capital gains
  • there are serious tax preferences for registered resident companies.

For free advice on your possible choice of Singapore as a country to register a company in, please request a free online consultation. 

U.S.A. — let your new business discover tax incentives and access a huge market 

The United States is a great place to start a business, especially if it is focused on IT products and services. Everybody knows that Silicon Valley is in California, and some other states have become hubs for innovation-driven companies. Let us name just a few reasons for this success: 

  • the opportunity to hire diverse and skilled workforce
  • international cooperation and advanced positions in research, development, and innovation in many spheres
  • a wide range of funding sources for businesses and individual companies: investment funds, banks, venture accelerators, business angels 
  • fairly easy company registration procedures.

Please note that every state has its own specifics, so the rules and laws need to be clarified for each state in particular. 

Procedures and requirements may also differ for resident and non-resident entrepreneurs. For example, residents are allowed to register a company only in the state of their residence. Non-residents will need to analyze all options and seek professional advice.  

We can recommend, for example, the state of Delaware as the place to register your company because of benign taxation terms and a consistent legal system.  One can even call it an offshore zone. Over half a million of entrepreneurs incorporated companies in Delaware, including more than 50% of all U.S. public companies in 2019 and 60% of businesses listed in the Fortune 500 ratings.  

The key advantages of Delaware for owners of new companies are as follows:

  • the initial incorporation fee is very small, compared to other states
  • several meaningful tax incentives for LLC companies, including the corporate tax payable only on profits generated within the U.S., i.e. all profits received from other countries, including Europe, are exempt from tax
  •  business licenses are not required
  •  non-residents do not pay income tax
  • non-residents can be shareholders, members, directors or managers of Delaware companies
  • the fee for preparing and filing documents with the IRS is lower than the average sums charged for similar services in other states
  • the rules and requirements for doing business within Delaware are minimal and unsophisticated 
  • the Court of Chancery is specifically focused on handling claims against corporations.

We can also recommend you Wyoming as a very favorable US state for company formation.

As for the downsides of the US company registration, please consider the following issues:  

  • Not all states have low taxes. For example, a cumulative corporate rate in the Silicon Valley is charged at 29.85%, of which 21% is the federal corporate tax. The good news is that it takes a company to grow to make profits. But once your profits are in sight, it’s a great time to attract investors and reorganize the company or the business project at large, involving a relocation to a state or country with a lower tax burden. So tax forecasting should be done as soon as you start your test trading operations in the States;
  • Sometimes it is quite difficult to know whether foreign income is taxable or not. So you need to consult professionals. 

Do you need advice on opening a company in the USA or Europe in 2023? We will be happy to offer you our professional services and share our customized recommendations. Just send us your request to the email address or in messengers given at the top of this page, and we promise to provide our prompt feedback.

GREAT BRITAIN — a hub for very fast-growing and efficient companies

If you need detailed information on how to register a company in Great Britain or Europe, we can tell you a fast and easy way.  In fact, this solution is one of the winning strategies many of our clients have chosen.

Advantages of company opening in the UK include the following strengths:

  • it is possible to open a company in Great Britain within 1 hour and the fee is GBP20
  • the British tax authorities understand that new companies usually do not make a profit during the first years of operation, so there is no penalty for unprofitable business operations here
  • the British Government offers various tax incentives for investors, founders and employees, as well as foreign entities
  • some of the best places to start a business and register a company in the UK are Belfast, Durham, Derby, Stoke, and Stirling.

Please look up our portal for articles on doing business in Scotland, England, corporate accounts, and other popular topics relevant to Great Britain.

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS – easy banking as an incentive to register a BVI company 

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is the best place to register an offshore company if you are an IT entrepreneur with worldwide income which you would like to keep overseas for later investment in new business projects.

This country has perhaps the most reputable and experienced registered agents of all offshore countries. This is an important advantage when you want to register a company without the waste of time and efforts.

Another important benefit of running an international company registered in the BVI is the opportunity to link it to an overseas bank account opened elsewhere in the world, be it a European country or, for example, Hong Kong or Singapore. Asian banks are especially welcoming to companies registered in the British Virgin Islands.

There are reasons why banks are eager to work with companies incorporated in the BVI. 

The BVI legislation is ideally designed for the successful operation of the international offshore hub and its impeccable services. This means that the BVI is the likely answer to the questions of what country is the easiest to start a business in and which country is best for small business. 

Despite all the worldwide demands of international organizations to combat tax evasion, the BVI does not seem to be a target for any criticism. All the standard requirements for company registration and business development are by and large met there.

That is why foreign banks have no doubts about the legitimacy and transparency of companies registered in BVI.

Some additional forms need to be filled out when you register a business in the BVI. They include the beneficial owners’ declaration. Therefore, foreign banks feel at ease with companies registered in the BVI. 

Apart from the benefits, there are some disadvantages of registering a company in the BVI:

  • registration is not as cheap as in some other offshore countries (e.g. Belize), though cheaper than in Europe
  • registered agent’s fees and government fees are also somewhat higher
  • just like in almost all offshore countries, there is a requirement for the economic substance of every company which you register in the BVI
  • AEOI (the automatic exchange of information/financial data between counties) can be , which may be of little importance if the registered company is properly structured and its management architecture is appropriately designed.

For more details on how to order our professional services to register a company in the BVI with a bank account abroad, to learn about the recent and forthcoming changes in taxation, substance, other key requirements, please read the relevant articles on this portal.

DENMARK – competitive tax rates and labor costs attracting investors to register new companies

Denmark is recognized as one of the easiest countries in Europe to start a business and register a company. Its strengths include the following advantages:

  • the Danish flexicurity model (flexibility plus security in the labor market) with the most flexible hiring and firing rules in the world allowing to reduce the costs of scaling up business operations while involving part-time and temporary employees
  • you can register a company in Europe and complete company registration in Denmark in just a few business days, not weeks;
  • there are no citizenship requirements for your key managers, including the CEO and the Board members
  • no need to take care of notarial certification
  • the corporate tax rate in Denmark is below the average OECD and EU level, and there are tax incentives to expats and foreigners meeting certain criteria 
  • the Danish company law is up-to-date and in line with the current EU legislation.

For more information on how to register a company in Denmark and to learn about the new developments, please look up our posts on this portal. 

NORWAY – a magnet for foreigners wishing to register their new digital business in a high-tech hub  

Norway is a sustainable economy, and nearly any interaction with the government bodies can be digital. Although the country is not part of the EU yet, it provides a scope of opportunities for business in Europe due to Norway’s membership in the EEA.

You can register a company in Norway quickly, and as quickly understand how to comply with the straightforward taxation regulations. Maintenance of a new legal entity is also fairly easy and not very costly in the realm of European business. 

Here are some of the benefits of Norway that you will enjoy if you decide to register a business here:

  • it is a great option for companies running web-based/digital business, as all matters and issues involving communication with the governmental bodies can be arranged/resolved digitally 
  • the support and incentives from the authorities are geared towards technologically advanced businesses, services and products
  • the country’s labor market is rich in highly skilled IT, finance, design, and music technology professionals
  • entrepreneurs have easy access to manufacturing expertise, investors and creative talents
  • the country is economically and politically stable
  • Norway has long-standing trade relations with the EU and European countries
  • communication and transport infrastructure is well-developed.

There are some weaknesses, though:

  • a newly registered company has to spend much time on obtaining a construction permit 
  • the country’s labor regulations are quite strict, which is a disadvantage compensated for by the availability of highly qualified personnel.

To discover how Norway compares to other destinations that may suit your specific needs and the new company formation goals, please send us a request for an online consultation with our expert. 

NEW ZEALAND – the right destination for the fast and easy company setup

New Zealand is a country known as one of the easiest destinations to start a business in because of many advantages, including the following ones:

– it takes just 1 or 2 days to register a company

– registration of a company and real estate can be done in 2 days

– the country’s workforce is skilled and educated

– labor costs are relatively low,

– in terms of taxes: there are no payroll, social security, or capital gains taxes,

– you can register a LLC which is more of a corporation, independent of shareholders.

New Zealand can be called the best place to do business, even if you consider only the opportunity for ultra-fast company registration. But there is also much more to appreciate in New Zealand. To discuss this with our expert, please book a free online session.

ISLE OF MAN – recommended for the zero tax rate and other perks to those intending to register a company

The Isle of Man has a customs agreement on facilitation of trade with the UK. It is an island country located between England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, yet it is independent from Great Britain and the EU. This status provides certain advantages to companies registered in the Isle of Man, investing in the local economy, but doing business abroad.

The following advantages will be available to you if you register a company in the Isle of Man:

  • the zero income tax rate
  • a well-developed banking system with sophisticated services
  • the possibility to register and run a company with only one owner (shareholder)
  • the right to hire only 1 director, whether a resident or a non-resident one, in the Isle of Man
  • the benefits of registering a company in the Isle of Man which will hold investment portfolios, including commercial real property assets 
  • the Isle of Man is great for owning intellectual property
  • a rather fast procedure of company registration in the Isle of Man, compared to Europe.   

OTHER COUNTRIES that we recommend in 2023 for registering a company and starting new businesses 

MALAYSIA offers all the advantages of a country with a large market and low business registration and maintenance costs.

SOUTH KOREA is the country of innovation and technology, a good place to set up an online outlet or other remote business types.

SWITZERLAND is a European country with excellent top-tier banking options and relatively easy company registration rules.

THAILAND is not Europe, but can be very attractive for any online business as it is a digital haven for downshifters and digital nomads.

SWEDEN is similar to Norway, located in Europe, but not as optimized for business startups and is somewhat difficult to register new companies in.

AUSTRALIA is a great country to start a small business (you can register a company almost instantly there).

NETHERLANDS is a fantastic place to start any new business with tax benefits, and the registration process takes no efforts.

The exact cost and time needed to incorporate your new company in a particular country depends on the city, state, or province in which you want to start your business.

We hope we have given you an idea of what you need to look for to define which country is best for business. But, as mentioned earlier, you should take time to thoroughly research all possible options, to understand what you want and how you can successfully grow your business and your company in a chosen destination.

Our experts can cut your way shorter to becoming an owner of a new company abroad and help you choose the country to register the company in, draft the successful modus operandi for your business, help with opening accounts in a reliable bank or payment system. 

We offer the following unique types of customized services:

You are welcome to send us your request for a free consultation at: [email protected], or contact us in any convenient way offered at the top of this page.

How do you choose a country to start an international business project?

Start by assessing what you and your team have to offer to the target market. Then think about your goals for the next 3-5 years. After you understand the tasks that you need to undertake to achieve your goals, you will be able to have a vision and the strategy. This strategy needs to consider the availability of solvent demand, venture capital infrastructure, investment climate, tax incentives, other critically important business aspects. Only then you can start choosing the jurisdiction which would suit your goals and company type best. To help your business ambitions come true, you can rely on professional assistance of our team of experts. We will be glad to lead you by the hand and assist you in your quest for success.

What can help me start and grow my business abroad for years to come?

The main pillars that you should look for are the right people, technologies, and investments. Also important is the host country’s attitude to foreigners bringing along their new ideas and innovations to be accomplished in business. Finally, you will need to find the right environment that will provide sustainability for your growth: the mature legislation, the straightforward registration procedure, the secure arrangements for asset protection at all times, the reliable banking options. If you choose the country where all these prerequisites are available, you’ll have the best of both worlds.

What kind of business should I develop abroad?

Simple things like innovation, scalability, and the potential profitability of the business model are important. But, more important is your aptitude to dedicate your efforts 24/7 to your business idea, your venture, your team. You need a team to follow you wherever you are leading them. If your business has these resources, then your efforts will be appreciated in many countries -be it the USA, Nevis, Singapore, or other jurisdictions that we promote on our portal. Any business project which learns to be flexible and proactive to changes in the local and global economic situations can break through and prosper. Just accept that whatever comes easy, can go as quickly as one pitch. But patience and hard work will surely be rewarded.

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