The ease of doing business in the EU provides access to a huge market of potential customers. However, there are many things to consider when you want to register a business in a particular region.
It is important to understand the legal and tax system of the country in which you are registering. This will affect everything from the type of legal entity you decide to register to the preparation of documents.
There are 6 main steps for registering a business in the EU:
- Check local laws and regulations. In the EU, each country has its own national legislation regarding starting a new business. It is important to fully understand exactly what laws will apply to your business in the country where you are registered, as well as in the country where you work. Depending on your country of residence, you may find it financially more advantageous to register and work in another jurisdiction
- Choose a country to register your business. Naturally, registering a company in different European countries has its advantages and disadvantages. It is necessary to pay attention to the permission to conduct your business, and planned activities.
- Select your company type. Different countries have different business legal forms available.
- Complete the registration process. Most EU countries have portals where you can register online (or by proxy).
- Obtaining the necessary licenses and permits. This may vary depending on the country and your industry.
- Opening a commercial bank account, setting up your payment system, and taking any necessary steps to protect your intellectual property.
An example of a comparison of the main advantages and disadvantages for different jurisdictions:
Ireland: A low corporate tax rate of 12.5% and minimal bureaucracy make Ireland an attractive place to start a business.
Cyprus: Company profits are taxed at a rate of 10% and there are no rules regarding the nationality of company owners or any residency requirements.
Austria: A limited liability company in Austria requires a minimum capital of €35,000 and a lot of paperwork. In addition, the corporate tax rate is 20%.
Bulgaria: With a corporate tax rate of 10%, Bulgaria is one of the most business-friendly countries in Europe.
Italy: There are no restrictions on foreign ownership of companies in Italy, but the incorporation process is complicated.
Malta: Corporate tax can be as low as 5% with great tax incentives.
Poland: no restrictions on foreign shareholding, corporate tax is 19%.
Portugal: Easy access to shipping lanes and the rest of Europe makes Portugal a great place to do business. However, corporate tax is set at 31.5%.
Romania: To register a business, you only need 60 euros of capital investment and you can have up to 50 shareholders. The corporate tax rate of 16% is reasonable.
Slovakia: A flat corporate tax rate of 21% and a dividend tax of 0% make Slovakia an attractive option.
Switzerland: Corporate tax in Switzerland ranges from 11.9% to 21%, depending on the location of the business and its profits, among other factors.
Turkey: Businesses that want to register a company in Turkey must have at least five shareholders and a starting capital of at least 24,000 euros.