A Guide to Foreign Business Formation – What you Need to Know

There are more than 200 countries that make up our amazing blue planet and each has its own unique business arena, with their own set of rules and regulations. Indeed, there are no UN mandates regarding how much taxation a country levies on its citizens; each government must consider how they generate their essential revenue and some nations try very hard to attract foreign investment.

International trading

If a company does regular business in another country, it can be advantageous to open a foreign branch in said country; one has to look at import/export duties, transportation and laws, then crunch the numbers to see how things might change if you did set up a foreign company. Corporations are very good at finding taxation loopholes, they employ top lawyers and accountants to sift through legislation and they are very successful at minimising taxation.

Local law firm

Let’s imagine you want to set up an offshore company registration and you want to know which country offers the most attractive package; you would engage the services of a local law firm that has hands-on experience in setting up offshore companies. Such a lawyer would be able to provide you with a proposal and when they find out more about your plans, they can advise accordingly.

Branch offices

You might be looking to penetrate new markets; set up a Representative Office and you can carry out extensive market research, using a non-trading business entity and not be liable to local laws and customs. If, in a couple of years, you are ready to trade, you can set up a private limited company and move your operation into a new country.

Local partners

It is often the case where a foreign investor partners up with a local businessperson; this might be due to legal requirements, or a need for local expertise. It is wise to seek out a local partner, as they would have connections and a deep understanding of market forces. Some law firms can connect you with local investors, while also providing resident directors where required, making sure that your business stays compliant with the many rules and regulations. Click here for tips on developing business services.

The importance of seeking legal advice

Your knowledge of the target country would not be on the same level as a local lawyer, one who assists foreigners to set up businesses; a legal professional who is well-versed in corporate and business law. There are global law firms that specialise in foreign business formation and they can easily be located with a Google search. You can schedule a free Zoom call with a lawyer to discuss your needs and this would allow the legal professional to make some recommendations.

There are many documents to prepare; bank accounts must be opened and permits applied for, which is why you need the assistance of a local expert, one who deals with the government on a daily basis.


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