Starting a Business Abroad

Starting a Business Abroad

When developing your business in a foreign market or region, you might consider establishing a more substantial operation. This can be for a variety of reasons such as lower costs, increasing market penetration, improving customer service and complying with government regulations.

Most firms only set up an overseas operation after testing the market. This can be a logical progression from working with an agent or distributor as a company grows its sales. There may be a demand from customers that the exporter has a local presence, and to win government contracts this could actually be a requirement.

In most countries around the world there are government-backed economic development organisations ready and willing to support setting up a more permanent base in the local market. They will be able to help with advice, support and introductions to other companies who have set up similar operations.

Tips from our trade advisers

  • carefully select the best market
  • undertake a full feasibility study to show costs and returns
  • research set up time – some countries are quicker than others
  • seek advice from expatriates already working in the country
  • engage a local lawyer to provide legal advice before setting up
  • use an experienced accountant to advise on incorporation, business tax, payroll, VAT and repatriation of profits
  • investigate office premises, employee residences and bank accounts
  • consider who will run the operation. For example an existing manager willing to relocate will understand the company’s ethos, products and services
  • create a launch plan and timetable to monitor and review progress
  • make an exit plan for a potential future closure


➤ Netherlands

➤ United Kingdom

➤ Spain

➤ Portugal

➤ Denmark

➤ Ireland

➤ Luxembourg

➤ Austria

➤ Belgium

➤ Finland

➤ Turkiye

➤ Norway

➤ Sweden

➤ France

➤ Switzerland

➤ Lithuania

➤ Latvia

➤ Estonia

➤ Slovakia

➤ Czech Republic

➤ Malta

➤ Italy

➤ Poland

➤ Japan

➤ Singapore


➤ Canada

➤ Australia

➤ New Zealand

➤ Kuwait

➤ Vanuatu