Opening a business in your home country can be fairly daunting at the best of times. Starting a business in another country presents an even greater challenge, especially if you’re new to setting up your business. The key to success lies with investing research and planning before you put your hard-earned cash into the project. Forethought and budgeting will allow you to successfully open a business in another country.

Step 1.

The country and type of business must ultimately work together. Your personal skills and work experience are likely to guide you toward the type of business to open, so make that decision first. Knowing the type of business you want to open will make choosing the country easier.

Step 2.

Make a list of three or four countries where you are interested in opening your business. Research each country to ensure that your business service will be needed. You can search online, visit a library and get newspapers produced in the countries you are researching. The CIA website is a good online source of country information. See Resources for the link.

Step 3.

Check government websites in each country. You will find sections about foreign business opportunities. Many countries offer incentives for business start-ups, particularly if your type of business isn’t widely available.

Step 4.

Find out about immigration rules, financial regulation (limits on money into and out of the country), taxation and employment law. If your business requires import or export of goods, you need to check out any restrictions. It is imperative you get this information before opening a business in another country. Much of this information can be obtained from government websites. For example, in the United Kingdom, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office website has excellent detailed information on many subjects. In the U.S. check out the U.S. Department of State website. General tax information can be obtained free from most large accounting firms, such as PriceWaterhouse or Ernst &Young. They have offices in most countries with local websites.

Step 5.

Visit your chosen country and location to further your research. Go for a week or two as a minimum. You need to be certain your business will thrive and serve the community where you choose to set up your business. Check out competition, because you don’t want to set up next door to an already established business of the same type.

Step 6.

Contact a local business property agent to help you find a location for your business. The services will generally be free until you decide on a property. Once you have found a property to rent, lease or buy, find a local lawyer to assist you.

Step 7.

Get an accountant with offices near your business location. Be clear and precise about what you want to achieve. Ask questions about local rules and regulations, especially employment. Make certain you will be able to comply with them.

Step 8.

Return to your home country while your accountant and lawyer complete the formalities. Continue with your final preparations to open a business in another country. Make sure everything is in order, then wait for your lawyer and accountant to confirm that your business is ready to open.


If you are opening a business in a country where it is important to speak the local language, you should invest time to learn it. Many countries speak English as their second language, but your business is more likely to succeed if you can converse with the local people. You will need many local goods and services.