Despite assurances about ‘getting Brexit done,’ the legislation which relates to the separation is still unfurling and the situation is still in a state of flux. The combination of a global pandemic and Brexit have created a stream of problems for business and small businesses have been hit particularly hard so it’s hardly surprising that many British businesses have been weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of moving abroad. Access to markets is perhaps the key motivation for a move abroad but there are other potential advantages, such as the opportunity for expansion, cheaper business costs, rebranding opportunities and, on a personal level, the opportunity for a more congenial lifestyle. No serious business leader would underestimate the upheaval of moving a business abroad, but as the old saying goes; nothing ventured nothing gained.
You’ve found an abandoned factory, deep in the French countryside, it’s cheap as chips and would suit your business perfectly, but what is the transport situation? Proximity to an international airport, fast roads, good links to ports, options to ship by rail, these are all considerations when choosing a location. As we look to a future of increasingly expensive energy, considerations of how a business deals with its transport requirements will become even more important.
Cultural differences and local laws
A business move within Europe is unlikely to encounter dramatic cultural differences, unlike India or South-East Asia, but they are still there and an awareness of the different nuances of cultural exchange will help you avoid causing unintended offence which may be detrimental to your business. It goes without saying that you will need the services of a trusted bilingual legal expert to help you negotiate business law in your new location.
Access to the type of skilled labour that your business requires will be a key factor in your choice of location and may enable your business to make considerable savings in its operating costs. Another key area for potential savings is office space. London has the most expensive office space in Europe, move your business to a city where office space is much cheaper, such as Lisbon, and the scope for savings is considerable. Office space in Prague is around 90% cheaper than Hong Kong.
Funding and Incentives
Countries around the globe are vying with each other to attract foreign business and there are plenty of start-up schemes and tax incentives out there which are worth exploring. The Netherlands has a corporate tax rate as low as 5% for research and development and if you set up a business in France and your business income is liked to, for example, an American address, you’ll be exempt from corporation tax.
Now that the U.K. is no longer part of Europe, securing business visas is an essential requirement for moving a business abroad. New Zealand is the easiest country in the world in which to set up a business, the process takes just one day, but most countries recognise that it is in their interest to make the acquisition of business visas as easy as possible.