One thing is certain, these are uncertain times and they are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future, but no business can thrive by clinging to a rock as the waters rise all around. The future is uncertain, but that uncertainty needs to be countered with decisive action and that may mean, thinking the unthinkable and taking your business overseas. Moving overseas may give your business access to improved market conditions or expertise, it may save you money on accommodation or taxes, it may make transactions with European banks easier, it may offer the opportunity to rebrand and reinvigorate or may simply offer a much more congenial lifestyle. Moving your business overseas could enable you to take it to a whole new level, but you need to do the research very thoroughly. Here are some key areas to consider.
Laws and regulations relating to your business
Business law is complex when it’s in your native tongue, when it’s in a foreign language it is very easy to misconstrue or misunderstand, so it’s crucial that you employ the skills of a disinterested translator who is well versed in business law to take you through the legal requirements of the country you are considering.
What incentives are on offer?
Some European countries are actively encouraging businesses to relocate, make sure that you are clear about the incentives. , for example has put aside 200 million euros to help foreign companies to relocate and start-up founders can access an easy to use online process.
What are the financial advantages of a move?
The UK has the highest average office rental costs in Europe, with an average of 1513 euros per year. Compare this with a cost of just 288 euros per year in Portugal and renting office space in Lisbon or Porto becomes a very attractive proposition. Low corporate tax rates and the employment cost of skilled workers are also factors which could make a significant contribution to the success of your company.
Will language be a barrier?
UK and American businesses are inclined to assume that everyone in Europe speaks English and whilst this is often the case, post-Brexit there may well be a shift toward conducting business in German, French or Spanish. If you are relocating outside of Europe, language barriers may be significant.
Be aware of cultural difference
Europe shares common cultural values but this does not mean that all countries are the same. Your business needs to be sensitive to the culture in which it has relocated so that offence is not caused inadvertently. For businesses relocating outside of Europe this is even more important.
Your business will need to be remarketed
Moving the location of your business should open new trade opportunities, most obviously, routes into the E.U. but you cannot assume that you can simply carry on as you did before. The successful relocated business will be one that embraces its new cultural home and adapts accordingly.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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