Starting a Business in Europe – Tips for Non European Natives

If you are a non-European native, starting a business in Europe can at times seem very daunting. The regulations you must adhere to change from country to country within Europe, cultural specifics often come into play, and finding someone who actually speaks the language of your corporate destination may be hard to find. Even when you cross all of those bridges, how do you figure out which accountants or attorneys to use? Sure, you could spend hours, even days, scouring the internet, interviewing business formation experts and studying up on all the relevant business laws, but isn’t there a better, quicker, more reliable way of starting a business in Europe? The good news is, if you follow the 5 tips regarding European company formation for foreigners below, your incorporation will be as fast and painless as possible.

1 – Use only local business pros based in Europe

Laws and regulations can change right in the middle of your incorporation efforts, and if you are not employing locals that live and work in the country of your choosing on a daily basis, you can be sunk. Demand that the European company formation expert you choose use only locally trained and headquartered European lawyers and accountants to handle your corporate filing. They work with the bureaucrats who do the paperwork for foreign and overseas business incorporation on a daily basis, and can ensure you the fastest, most stress-free filing possible, at the lowest cost.

2 – Employ a seasoned European corporation firm

New players to the scene arrive all the time, offering ridiculously low price points for incorporation. But before you go with the low ball estimate, ask about the company. Have they been in business long? How many countries do they handle? How many companies have they formed in the past? You are a successful business man or woman because you understand that you get what you pay for. Don’t be misled by bargain basement prices where starting a business in Europe is concerned.

3 – Choose the right country in Europe

There are 27 countries in the European Union (EU), and each one has the freedom to set their own incorporation regulations. When starting a business in Europe, choose carefully, and find the right one to suit your business’ unique needs. Need tax freedom? Ireland offers 0% tax for the first three years if you qualify. Want cheap, skilled labor? Spain may be the country for you. A seasoned company formation expert will know exactly what each country has to offer within Europe.

4 – Pick the right corporate entity in Europe

A Sole Proprietorship is a vastly different animal from a Limited Partnership or Limited Liability Company. The vehicle you choose for your business, whether it is a new start-up, or you are purchasing a ready-made shelf company, is vital to the success of the business goals your company has. And different business formations have different rewards and requirements from country to country.

5 – Get a free consultation

Either through the internet, or by phone, only deal with experts that give you a free consultation before starting a business in Europe. Flat fee only companies with upfront payment schedules should be avoided at all costs. And on that call, make sure the European corporate expert answers each and every question to your satisfaction. Then and only then will you feel comfortable that you are in the hands of a respectable, trustworthy firm with your successful corporation goals in mind.

Some Reasons to Choose a Business School in Europe

The first American Master of Business Administration program was founded at Tuck Business School at Dartmouth in 1900. America has been seen as the home of the MBA over the last century, indeed MBAs have only been offered in Europe since 1957. However, with 3 of the top 10 MBA programs now located in Europe, increasing numbers of students are applying to Business Schools in Europe, including students from America. The GMAC (Graduate Management Admissions Council) Geographic Trend Report for Europe states that: The number of GMAT score reports received by programs in the top 10 European countries increased 96 percent between TY 2005 and TY 2009, outpacing a worldwide increase of 41 percent over the same period.

So what is behind this huge increase? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons prospective MBA students are increasingly choosing to study at Business School in Europe. Typically, American institutions focus on finance and consulting, with graduates tending to specialize in these areas. However, due to the economic downturn, jobs in these areas are scarce and the advantages of studying a wider range of specialisms have never been so apparent. A Business School in Europe will typically cover the areas mentioned above, but will also offer courses in other areas such as management, marketing and entrepreneurship, meaning their graduates are more well-rounded and adaptable – a key quality in today’s job market.

Speaking of job markets, Europe is now known as a great place to make contacts and find job opportunities. There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, European businesses tend to develop links and contacts more easily, as they are used to trading outside of their own country, and geographically are in a great position to do so with so many other countries on their doorstep. And again, as mentioned above, as a Business School in Europe will focus on a number of different areas, they tend to also make contacts with industry figures in these areas, meaning students are exposed to a wider variety of industries. Take Spain as an example: Barcelona is the eighth most popular city in the world for MBA studies, as it is in a convenient location for travel to many European countries, and is a base for Spanish industries such as the retail and financial sectors.

In the current economic climate, this increased diversity and adaptability can only be an advantage. In 2009, for example, GMAC reported that three quarters of Europeans who earned a business degree in 2009 got a job within a few months of graduating. Another important advantage to studying at a Business School in Europe is that costs tend to be a lower than at American institutions. Whilst an MBA in a top American school could cost you upwards of $150,000, a similar program at a European school costs around half that price! So the real question is, with so many advantages to studying at a Business School in Europe, why go anywhere else?

Information on Opening a Business in Europe

There are a myriad of reasons for wanting to establish a branch of your business, or an entirely new business, overseas in Europe. You may even want to transfer your entire business entity to some European country. That’s understandable, with the current set of economic conditions that many business owners face today. The United States economy was recently lowered from a four-star to a three-star credit rating by all the major international credit rating bureaus. To say that the economy in the United States is weak is an understatement. However, if you do your homework, you can find very attractive business advantages and perks in Europe.

The key is in doing your research or paying someone who is already a professional in that area. If you had to personally surf the Internet and respond to the thousands of business formation specialist listings, bring yourself up to speed with tax and business law in every country in Europe, and then make a decision, it could literally take years to get the right information. Fortunately there are one-stop companies who do nothing but specialise in opening a business in Europe for the foreign investor.

The correct European company formation specialist firm can answer all of your company relocation and company formation questions concerning Europe, including the number one question most foreign business investors have on their mind. That is, “Which country should I incorporate in?” That is probably the first and most intelligent question you could ask if you are considering establishing a business presence in Europe, or any other country for that matter. The cultural, business and tax atmosphere in Europe can vary drastically from country to country. With several dozen countries in the EU (European Union), all with separate economies and business attitudes, if you do not match the correct country and their business strategies to your business goals, your experience will be less than enjoyable.

For instance, did you know that Ireland offers 0% business tax for the first three years for qualifying foreign investors? However, they may not be regionally or geographically a viable presence if you are opening a branch office. In that respect, Spain or Portugal, and their access to some of the best trade routes in the world, may be a better choice for you. But the key is still in knowing what exactly you have to do to incorporate, and how to do it in the most speedy manner, while still satisfying the needs of the regulatory and business entities involved.

By simply choosing a respected European business formation firm that has years of experience dealing with local attorneys and accountants in several European countries, you ensure that your business formation in Europe goes as speedily and successfully as possible.