How Hard Is It To Move Your Business Abroad?

Expanding or moving a business internationally can seem like a daunting task at first glance. Where does one even begin? Such apprehensions may lead one to believe that staying at home would be the better, and certainly the easier, option.

Yet, foregoing this opportunity could be a missed chance. After all, expanding to new pastures can open up a world of opportunities, from accessing new markets to diversifying revenue streams. Moreover, it can be a remarkable personal adventure.

While moving a business abroad comes with its share of challenges, let’s delve into the complexities involved and explore strategies to facilitate a seamless transition when embarking on this venture. You can also relocate your business to the foreign country, for example Italy, if you want to retire here and potentially have a constant source of income.

How Easy Is It To Move Your Business Abroad?

Fortunately, moving your business abroad is entirely possible and can mark the beginning of an exciting new chapter in your professional journey, whether you’re a startup or an established enterprise. But exactly how hard is this venture?

The feasibility of this option will all depend on the destination country and your business’s specific needs. There’s no definitive answer to whether it’s easy or not, as this will need to be applied on a case-by-case basis.

Some examples of what may make it ‘easy’ to move a business abroad include countries that have more favourable business climates, streamlined processes for foreign investment, and supportive regulatory frameworks, making it relatively easier to establish operations.

However, personal considerations also play a significant role. Are you, your business, and your employees adequately prepared and confident in the venture? Have you successfully managed similar operations or large moves before? Have you created a comprehensive business plan and do you possess sufficient financial stability to ensure long-term success in a new environment?

It’s crucial to ask yourself these questions and thoroughly consider the implications before making this leap. Taking ample time, perhaps even several years, to decide and plan is advisable.

Think – do you know anyone who has done anything similar you can talk to? Seeking advice from individuals who have undertaken similar endeavours can provide invaluable insights and help streamline the process. Gathering as much information as possible beforehand can make the transition smoother and increase the likelihood of success.

What Country Is Hardest To Move To?

It’s difficult to objectively list which countries are harder to relocate to. After all, the feasibility of this will depend on various factors, including your business’s industry and financial constraints. However, it is possible to determine countries that may be a little more tricky to take this leap to.

Certain countries may pose challenges such as language barriers, tax regulatory environments, political instability, levels of corruption, limited infrastructure, bureaucratic procedures, and poor economic conditions that may all pose hurdles for businesses seeking to establish operations.

Moreover, while some nations actively welcome foreign initiatives and provide incentives and schemes to attract businesses, others may not extend such opportunities. Therefore, countries deemed ‘harder’ to move to may be those that lack specific schemes, permits, or incentives tailored to create a favourable environment for foreign businesses to thrive.

5 Tips For Moving Your Business Abroad


1. Opt For ‘Easier’ Countries

While labelling any country as ‘easy’ to move to can be challenging, certain nations stand out for their welcoming attitude and incentives.

Especially for startups seeking to expand or relocate internationally, there are countries keen to embrace entrepreneurial and innovative ventures. Many of these nations offer enticing startup incentives, fostering environments conducive to a high quality of life for both you and your businesses. Take, for instance, Singapore, which caters to tech-savvy entrepreneurs through initiatives like the TechPass or Canada’s popular startup visa program which offers permanent residence without imposing minimum qualification or net worth requirements.

Moreover, some countries have tax agreements in place that can make life a little easier. For example, certain nations waive taxes on income earned abroad or reduce tax burdens for startups established within their borders. The Netherlands, for instance, lowers tax rates for foreigners who have launched a startup there. By incentives such as exempting entrepreneurs from double taxation or applying lower tax rates, these countries can quickly become more attractive destinations.


2. It’s All About The Research

As with most things in life, thorough research is the key to a seamless transition.

In addition to exploring countries offering favourable incentives, delve into various factors to determine the best location. Assess the logistical aspects by estimating relocation costs and ensuring they align with your budgetary constraints. Scrutinise the target market in potential regions to gauge demand for your offerings, assess competition, and understand cultural nuances.

Tax considerations are also paramount, so invest time in researching tax regulations across different countries and consider seeking guidance from professionals fluent in English and experienced in assisting foreigners in similar situations. As mentioned, some countries have tax agreements that may favour your business, so it’s worth exploring these opportunities.


3. Be Time Flexible

Regardless of where you relocate, you might find yourself in a different time zone from your home country. Don’t be scared to embrace this opportunity and ditch the conventional working day, adjusting your working hours to accommodate this shift.

The traditional 9-5 schedule may simply not suit your new location. You might need to schedule client meetings in the early morning or late evening to sync up with their time zones. Being flexible with your work hours is essential; you might find yourself starting and finishing work earlier or later than usual. Rather than forcing your business into a rigid schedule that no longer fits, embrace flexibility and adaptability to ensure smooth operations in your new environment.


4. Build Local Partnerships

Although maintaining relationships and partnerships at home is crucial, particularly if your business retains a base there, forging new partnerships with local entities in your new location is just as essential.

Establishing relationships with local businesses, suppliers, distributors, and so on, can offer numerous benefits. Not only can it address logistical challenges and provide operational support, but collaborating with local partners can also facilitate your integration. Building local connections can help mitigate cultural differences and even assist in overcoming language barriers.


5. Take Time to Settle!

While it might seem tempting to dive straight into organising your new business operations upon arrival, it’s essential to resist this urge. Taking the time to settle in, both personally and professionally, is crucial.

After all, moving can entail a fair amount of logistical challenges. From arranging office space and furniture to setting up internet services to managing the logistics of your new home, there’s a lot to tackle.

Allocate yourself and your employees a sufficient period, perhaps around a month, to handle these tasks without the pressure of work responsibilities. Then, consider gradually reintegrating work hours, perhaps starting with half days. Just make sure to prewarn your clients, and anybody else who needs to know, beforehand that there will be a transition period; keeping them informed and aware of any changes will ensure a smooth transition.