If you’re planning on starting a business abroad you may be feeling very excited and worried at the idea of running a business in a different country. There are a lot of benefits to owning a business in a different country especially now with the strength of the U.S dollar but many may be too hesitant to do so out of certain risk. Starting a business in one’s home country is one thing though there are a lot of risk to that also but starting one in a different country is a huge gamble that even fewer are willing to make. For those brave enough to do it though here are a couple of things that you should do to make the transition to your new business happen more smoothly.
1. Pinpoint your vision, ideas and expectations
Naturally with a new setting comes a new culture that you must get accustomed to and the best way for business owners and entrepreneurs to get to know their new surroundings is to connect with local professionals or mentors who can help you learn about the culture and about your new potential customers too. Looking for one may be tricky though luckily websites like LinkedIn can help you find local professionals through your network connections. There are tons of other places you can search online too to help you find the right person to help your business such as joining a Meetup group, connecting with local business networks and joining websites specifically geared towards helping foreign workers getting settled in.
2. Start learning the language
This may be the hardest step for anyone to follow through on but depending on where your new business is located, you would have to learn the language of the local populace. If you’re bilingual this may be a chance for you to improve your language skills already if you’re not fluent but if you’re not learning to speak even a few sentences is better than nothing. Taking classes and interacting with the locals is the best way to be conversational when learning any new language or you could do what most other people living in the digital age do and learn online.
3. Understand the Country’s Tax Laws
It is necessary for every business owner living abroad to understand how rules regarding taxation and other business related laws will affect your business because sometimes you might be in for a surprise. Obviously choosing a country with a more stable political climate or economy is the best way for you to go but you can be sure that there are many differences that should come to mind even when you’re working in another relatively stable country. You may not know that European countries such as Belgium and Germany, have one of the highest tax rates for individuals and business owners in Europe with a tax rate of almost 40% compared to America’s 22.70%. It helps being aware of important details such as this before you even make the move.
4. Look for legal advice
Hiring a lawyer is the best course of action for any business owner working in their home country or abroad to take. One thing you can take advantage of is finding an expatriate lawyer from your country working in the country you intend to start your business in or already have started your business in. Since they will be able to connect with you culturally and already know their way around your new country of business you will have a much easier time resolving legal matters than you would hiring a native legal representative for your business.
5. Build a new network.
Getting to know the people around you is the only way you can build your new network. You can try reaching out to important foreign entrepreneurs in the area you intend to start your business in and schedule meetings or plan casual outings that would help you connect with each other more. This will start you on the path of creating long lasting relationships that will support you in your business’s future. Some people may be less then willing to help you which is why perseverance is key.
6. Give Yourself Time
Even if you feel like now is the perfect time for you to rush in on the opportunity to start your business abroad it may not be the right time for you to start. Things sometimes happen at their own pace so while you’re making plans as to where you think you may want to work in this would be the perfect time to seek consultation, do research and weigh the pros and cons of moving your business abroad. You may find that it is not what you intended it to be. If you can’t wait though the best countries to go to to speed up the process includes Australia, Canada, Singapore and New Zealand. Be sure to have the right visas ready so that the process would flow much smoother on your big day move into the unknown.