Start a Business in Your New Country

open a business abroad


Americans are by nature independent and entrepreneurial, so it should come as no surprise that John Wennersten, author of “Leaving America: The New Expatriate Generation,” writes that many Americans who move abroad are in some ways pioneers looking for a new “West.” They also are participants in a larger international development, a global shift that is fostering real economic growth in neglected areas of the world like Latin America, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia.

Technology developments that have brought the Internet, Skype, satellite television and other communication services to even remote corners of the world are helping to fuel the migration abroad. Capital and trade markets are opening, according to Wennersten, and these in turn have created numerous job opportunities for would-be expatriates. Enterprising Americans are starting a record number of small businesses in many areas of the globe.

Starting a business in your new country is often the easiest way to obtain a residence permit visa. Small business investments generally are welcomed with open arms in most countries, especially if your business requires hiring local people. But starting a business in another country also can be frustrating. Local rules, regulations and bureaucratic practices often are difficult to navigate, particularly if you are not fluent in the language.

To help you better understand local business regulations you may face before you make the start-up plunge, The World Bank provides an annual ranking of 183 countries on Ease of Doing Business and Starting a Business abroad as well as nine other important business factors. You can also navigate to your country of choice or selected cities within the country to see additional rankings and, importantly, the key steps required to start a business, the time to complete each step and the associated costs of each step.

Mexico, for example, has made great progress in the past year in improving its business processes, according to The World Bank. The country jumped from seventy-fourth to thirty-sixth in the Starting a Business ranking. Mexico is an expat magnet, particularly for those with entrepreneurial ambitions. We found two new expats in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico willing to share their recent new business start-up adventure with us.

What do you think?