The essentials of setting up a company abroad

successAre you planning to move abroad? Maybe it’s a choice to improve your quality of live, or perhaps your partner has a new job and you’re moving with him. If you already have a mumpreneur business, or you are planning to set one up, then there is a lot to consider – there a few mistakes that far too many people make! So make sure you’re not one of them. The process requires thorough research on your behalf, and costs of setting up abroad can be high.

First, you need to make sure you can work in your chosen country. If you are an EU citizen, then you can trade elsewhere in the EU. Countries such as Canada, the United States, New Zealand and Australia however, only let a certain number of immigrants in each year – and you will need a visa. Your partners job may allow you to live there, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can work there.

Should you move abroad, your UK tax position will also change, so you may need to hire a tax advisor to help you with paying UK tax. Every person’s situation is different and your tax liability will partly depend on your residency status in relation to the UK and your new home country. It will also be influenced by how you have set up your business and where the majority of your income is derived. It’s important to consult an adviser as every country has different rules.

The most important part of setting up abroad is research. Not only will you (perhaps) need to learn a new language, but you will need to learn local laws and tax systems, and make sure that your location is suitable for the business you have in mind.Ask yourself what is in demand and where the gaps are in the market. You need to live like a local and understand your neighbours. Here is a summary of the points to consider:

Languages – If you can’t speak the language then simple tasks such as filling in forms or creating a job advertisement can seem impossible

Working hours and salaries – You must abide by local working hours in your chosen country and pay appropriate salaries for the job and area

Visas – Securing a visa can be difficult if you plan to move outside of the EU. You must research immigration laws and processes

Tax – Hire an accountant to help you with local tax laws so you don’t get caught out. Most UK tax advisors are not always familiar with foreign tax systems but having a UK tax advisor is also important because you might have to pay UK tax depending on your residency status.

Market – Your target market in the UK might not be the same in your chosen country, so check this out carefully before proceeding


The best way to make sure you are on track is to create a business plan. This should include details of your product, costs, operations such as how you will conduct business and financial forecasts. You should be detailed with it and include facts and figures about the market, the area you plan to trade in, competition and anything else that will help you get a clear picture of your business. It is also necessary to have a business plan should you require a bank loan. However big, or small, your business plans may be, one of the smartest ways to make sure your set-up goes smoothly is to get in touch with an advisor in the area who can help you with all of this information. Major UK banks will be able to offer you contact details for overseas advisors. There is a lot to consider – but if you get it right then a new life overseas can really allow you to ‘live the dream’.


Guest post by Carol Cheesman, Cheesmans Accountants


About Carol Cheesman

Carol Cheesman is Principal of Cheesmans Accountants based in Islington, North London. Always client focused, she regularly meets with clients in person and has a hands-on approach in all of the services the firm offers.





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