Home » The Best Countries To Move To If You’re Starting Your Own Business

The Best Countries To Move To If You’re Starting Your Own Business

Setting up a new enterprise in today’s world isn’t an easy task, and things can get even more complicated if you decide to choose a foreign location for your venture. While some expats just set up their businesses wherever they relocate, others have to plan their move carefully, after studying, understanding, and analyzing the economies of different nations.

So, which country do you think is the best for you to establish your own company?Contrary to common belief, countries like China, India, and Brazil aren’t necessarily the best places for a new start-up, in spite of the fact that they have the fastest growing economies across the globe.

Instead, there are so many other different factors that play a pivotal role in the success of an enterprise. For starters, it is important to know how easy or complicated the entire set-up procedure is and whether foreigners are allowed to form their own independent firms without the involvement of a local.

Other aspects like credit availability, property registration, documentation, permits, manpower availability, proximity to other places, taxation policies, and ease of conducting business should also definitely be taken into account before you zero in on any location. Of course, the nature of the service or product has to be instrumental in choosing a place too.

Keeping these factors in mind, read on to find out about the best countries to move to if you’re starting your own business.


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Most surveys rank this country among the top five places for new commercial ventures. This is because Singapore has a secure and business-friendly work environment. Its Global Investor Program further eases the path for potential foreign investors. For more information, click here.

Expats who do not have the required capital may find it challenging to get a loan or a partner in Singapore. Many outsiders move to this island state for employment but start their own business when they have built up the required investment amount.

According to inc.com, you can start your own company In Singapore within 3 to 10 working days. The procedure for obtaining permits and registering property is relatively straightforward. Most commercial establishments in this country get access to credit quite quickly. Singapore therefore ranks among the top countries in terms of ease of doing business. However, it is best to engage a local attorney as there are certain complications, such as restrictions on ownership of property by foreigners.

The resolution of a commercial dispute takes the court system around 150 days or so, which is the shortest in the world. The cost for getting a resolution is also fairly low at around 26% of the claim value. In other countries, a dispute could take years to get sorted and may cost up to 50% of the claim value.

Take a look at the Singapore government’s guidelines for more information on how to start a business in this country.

New Zealand

Up until a few years ago, this nation had an agrarian economy and was dependent on British markets to a large extent. In the last couple of decades though, New Zealand, the youngest country in the world, has become a forerunner among industrialized, free-market economies worldwide. Upcoming entrepreneurs can actually set up their companies within a matter of a few hours, all thanks to its simple, online registration procedure.

Today, New Zealand is regarded as one of the easiest places across the globe to start a business. This place ranks very high even in terms of credit ranking and ease of doing business. This doesn’t just apply to the locals, but also to outsiders. However, it is imperative for you to possess the right permits, such as an entrepreneur work visa or a partnership work visa, before you commence the procedure.

Since 2009, when New Zealand emerged from the recession, it has been achieving an annual growth of 2-3%. According to the World Bank, this country has implemented several measures to protect its minority investors. The open political system, free trade agreements, efficient tax codes, and pro-competition regulations all contribute to a healthy business environment.

Before you begin the company registration process, think about getting a lawyer and an accountant who can help you in setting up your bank accounts as well as the other required specialist migrant services. For additional information on how you can start your own business in New Zealand, click here or here.


According to the World Bank’s Doing Business report, effective digitization processes are one of the main factors that make Denmark a great place for setting up a business. Forbes has also listed this EU member as the number one place for business, based on factors like its GDP growth, GDP per capita, trade balance, and population. Since it has a free border as well as documentary compliance on imports and exports, trading across Denmark’s border is easy.

Entrepreneurs and potential investors can make use of the country’s advanced digitization process for swift and easy registration of their establishments. They can also acquire the “NemID” signature and apply for employee insurance in the same way. Take a look here for information on the registration steps. The entire procedure can be completed in a day or so, and the fee for setting up is as low as 670 Danish Kroner (US$98, £68, €90).

The government is promoting self-employment as a way for foreigners to get active in the labor market. Any expat who has a permit to work in this country can also start a business. The authorities have set up a national organization with several regional and local offices in order to help outsiders with the establishment procedures.

As in the case in any country, it is best to consult a lawyer and accountant before finalizing your business model and plan. Help is available on the Startup Denmark website.

Hong Kong

With its free market economy, Hong Kong is highly dependent on international finance and trade. The country’s government levies excise duties on just four commodities (imported or local), and these include tobacco, hard alcohol, methyl alcohol, and hydrocarbon oil. This nation has no tariffs on imported goods, no dumping laws, and no quotas, making it an excellent choice for entrepreneurs from all across the globe.

In truth, setting up a new establishment in Hong Kong today isn’t as easy as it was for foreigners up until a decade or so ago, because of higher registration fees. Yet, there is a great amount of protection for minority investors, and this gives the country a high rank in terms of ease of starting a business and access to credit. Studies show that Hong Kong is very active in making regular reforms in terms of cost and minimum capital in order to foster the start-up culture. Moreover, it is quite easy to obtain construction permits and conduct trade across the border.

There are various visa options for foreign entrepreneurs, but you will still require a local sponsor for your business. Creating a robust professional network is therefore essential before trying to start a business.

To know more about registering a company in this country, click here or here. However, remember that the information provided by these sites is of course no replacement for personalized expert advice.


With a high-tech industrial sector that is in the trillion-dollar class, Canada is a lot like the US in terms of its economic system, which is quite market-oriented. The production patterns, standards of living, and ways of doing business in both the countries are also quite similar. Many expats who have lived in Canada prefer working for themselves after a while, and either buy an existing company or franchise, or open their own establishment.

After the Second World War, this nation saw impressive growth in the fields of service, manufacturing, and mining. Canada is also the largest foreign supplier of energy (including electric power, oil, and gas) to the US. Today, these sectors have transformed Canada from a rural economy to an industrial or urban one.

The procedure for starting a new establishment in Canada is quite simple, and it takes no more than 2 to 3 working days. According to the World Bank, the overall cost for setting up is less than 1% of the average income per capita. Moreover, the country’s access to credit and ease of conducting business rankings are also fairly high.

For more information on staring a business in Canada, take a look here for an entrepreneurship database, here for visa requirements, and here for self-employment programs.


The continuous economic progress Thailand has been experiencing can be credited to its efficient workforce and infrastructure as well as government support. The country ranks second in terms of being the most affordable for trade. Since the new business density is quite low in this region, there is a lot of scope for potential entrepreneurs. However, all companies that aren’t Thai-owned fall under the Foreign Business Act, which can be quite restrictive. There are several trade dos and don’ts that need to be carefully considered. It is therefore imperative to consult a lawyer before registering a company or making any kind of investment here.

It takes a month or so to start a business in the country, and the procedure costs approximately 6.4% of the average income per capita. The actual company registration can be accomplished on the same day as the memorandum, as long as certain criteria are met. For more information on how to set up a business in Thailand, take a look here or here.


Malaysia has a diverse and hospitable society, which is quite accepting of foreigners. The business community is thriving, and there are several opportunities for freelancers as well as entrepreneurs from all over the world to establish themselves in this area. According to the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business survey in 2015, Malaysia ranks 18th out of 189 nations in terms of ease of doing business. It scored very well in terms of protecting investors and trading across borders. However, because of the great cultural diversity and complexity found in this country, there are a few things to keep in mind before making the decision to invest. Thorough research with insider tips and expertise is definitely required.

Starting a business in the country requires about four days and 6.7% of the average income per capita. Once you decide the name of your company and check its availability, things will move at a fast pace, as you can incorporate your business online. After paying the fee, the procedure takes about an hour or so to be completed. This enables you to sell goods or services to other entities. Of course, depending on the nature of your set-up, you may also need to apply for certain licenses.

For more information on business start-ups in Malaysia, click here.

The Philippines

The economy of the Philippines has withstood global ups and downs in a better way than its neighbors. This is probably because of various factors which include low dependence on exports, less exposure to unstable international securities, large remittance from overseas Filipino workers, resilient domestic consumption, and an expanding outsourcing industry. The Philippines’ huge population makes this country an excellent destination for industries that require a large amount of skilled manpower.

Starting a business in the Philippines takes a month or so and costs about 16.1% of the average income per capita, which is slightly higher (and much more complicated) than the other nations in this region. As an entrepreneur, you need to go through 16 independent procedures and connect with about seven different agencies during the start-up process. Engaging a lawyer therefore becomes very important.


The countries mentioned above are among the top listed places for new start-ups according to recent global surveys. However, they are not the only nations that are good for new businesses. Given the current economic conditions and government policies, some of the other countries that entrepreneurs may be interested in exploring include Sweden, Norway, Finland, the US, the UK, Australia, South Korea, Macedonia, and Estonia, just to name a few. It is therefore imperative to conduct in-depth research and preferably also consult with an attorney before making a decision.

Sources: [1], [2], [3]

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