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Starting Up Your Business Abroad

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 8 Jan 2019 | comments*Discuss
Emigration Startup Starting A Business

If you’re in the emigration process and have either just moved abroad or are about to do so, there may come a time when you’ll consider starting a business in your new location. Many people use the opportunity of a new life overseas to ‘have a go’ at their own small business or startup company and in doing so, learn that being an entrepreneur abroad can be quite different compared to the UK. There are a variety of essential pieces of knowledge all business owners should know about working abroad and researching these can make your entire experience a much happier one.

Business Plans, Bank Loans and Emigration

One of the first considerations you should make when thinking about starting a business abroad is that you’re sure you’re able to emigrate there without a problem. If you’re looking further afield than the European Union, you must speak with immigration in the country you’re thinking of moving to or making your business investment in. When you’re definitely sure you can start a company there, then it’s time to develop a business plan that will outline your own personal needs.

Your business plan is the key to obtaining funds for your business start up and many banks in the UK are willing to consider a business loan for starting up abroad. Your business plan should include plenty of relevant information regarding the local area you’re hoping to invest in. You should include facts and figures on the local economy, similar businesses, rival companies and anything else that will help the bank to make a more informed decision on a loan. When banks are considering investing money in someone who is developing a business abroad, they will see the issue of security as a critical area of whether or not to give you money. You will have to ensure the bank that you can offer security against the loan. They will also want to know if you have the option of local finance in the country you’re starting up in and how you intend to manage the business from either the UK or by moving to the new area.

Business Like a Local

If you’re starting a company abroad there is no doubt that local knowledge can be the key to your success or failure. The most obvious necessity is that you learn to speak the local language where your business is to be based. Even the most seemingly simple tasks such as speaking to customers, filling in forms, providing information, can all be almost impossible if you don’t understand the local language.

The more time you spend in a country, the more natural the language will become to you and the easier it will be to pick up, but investing some time in learning the basics initially can go a long way to helping your business succeed.

If you’re in charge of marketing your business or dealing with funds and legalities for it, there is simply no way of avoiding the language barrier. From developing your own website to advertise your products, right down to simply placing adverts in shop windows or outside your place of business, you must have a good grasp of the local language. Even when you move to a country where English is the primary language, having a good grasp of local knowledge is also essential. Small things like knowing what your competitors offer on certain nights, understanding local festivities and events or educating yourself on why locals prefer one product over another, are all essential components of a successful business overseas.

When you start to live like a local, you can start to do business like a local and that will help ensure your business is respected and used by them.

Essentials for Starting Up a Business Abroad

There are a number of essentials that you must consider when developing a business start up abroad. Whether your company is a small business start up, or a large corporation, you must seek specialist advice from local advisors. All of the major UK banks will be able to provide you with a local contact overseas and corporate lawyers will often have overseas agents who can help you with information.

Research and educate yourself as much as possible on local laws so you know the details of everything from employment law right through to bankruptcy law. Also look into possible red tape issues when setting up your business. Some countries have incredibly long drawn out processes to get what may appear to be the smallest change approved to a building plan or proposal, so make sure from the onset that you’re setting up your business inline with national laws.

The ultimate goal of any business is of course to be successful and make money, so ensure that you’re familiar with local currency and set up a business bank account in the country you’ll be working in. it’s usually worth setting up the account before you go abroad as sometimes it can take well over a month or more. Some countries will also restrict the amount of money you can take out of them. If you’re planning to have a business abroad and live in the UK, ensure that you check for this first as you may find you’re unable to remove your money when you want to. In some cases, even if you live in the country your business is in, you’ll find it difficult to remove your money from there if you want to move back to the UK. Again, get specialist advice on this to be certain your business is secure as well as your money.

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Hi, I'm a British national with friends in the US who are keen to start a fish and chip business. I have the knowledge and a little bit of money to invest. The online reading is starting to become very overwhelming and not too clear. What are the best options to get started. Thanks in advance.
Jmg - 8-Jan-19 @ 3:53 AM
I want to open up a company in Denmark and want to live there I’m from the uk what are my options and is there a firm I can pay to deal with this
D - 28-Jul-18 @ 4:23 PM
Hi, I am a British national with dual nationality (Mexican and British). I currently live in Mexico and I want to open a B&B in the caribbean (near Cancun). What are my options of getting a loan to open my business? Thanks!
caros - 2-Nov-17 @ 4:46 PM
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