WANT TO MOVE YOUR BUSINESS ABROAD BUT DON'T KNOW WHERE TO START?
Relocation of business abroad: a detailed legal algorithm
AppLaw lawyers are ready to help you with this!

We have prepared detailed instructions with all the necessary legal steps to take on the way to opening an international business.

*Reading time: ~ 7 minutes

Decide on the fate of your business

In the first stage of planning moving abroad, you need to understand what you are doing with your current business.


In this case, you will have 2 main options.

1) Complete relocation: close the current enterprise and open a foreign business from scratch.

This option can be used by entrepreneurs who, in the current situation, cannot fulfill tax obligations or pay salaries to employees and wish to start working abroad.
2) Partial relocation: form a corporate structure with your current business and a foreign company.

In this case, your current company continues to work in regular or modified mode, and new employees are hired in the company created abroad. Sometimes the owners take with them a few top managers and individual workers who can leave, for the faster establishment of the foreign business.
Whichever option you choose, before entering the international market, you should perform the following actions with your current business.

Solve tax issues

Make sure you've paid all your taxes and filed all your returns on time so that you can resume work as quickly as possible after your possible return.

Deal with employees

Determine how many employees you will need to work abroad, depending on whether you will leave your current company and what type of business you have.
Also find out who among them is ready to continue working in your current business, and who can move abroad. Based on this, it is worth settling with the workers who will leave you, drawing up the necessary documents for them, and making changes to the employment contracts of current employees, where necessary.

Resolve issues with counterparties

Negotiate with entrepreneurs to whom you owe money or have to fulfill contractual obligations and with contractors who have not fulfilled their obligations.
Determine the conditions under which you will make the calculation and agree on installments and deferral of payments.


It is also important to make a general list of all agreements, and counter-obligations so that after the restoration of the normal situation, you can keep your finger on the pulse of your relations with counterparties and preserve your own reputation.

Business registration abroad

At this stage, you will need to go through a series of steps before starting your foreign company

Selection of a country for opening a business

Your choice will depend on whether you plan to do business remotely, whether you want to move to a new country personally, or move your family.

Usually, offshore or low-tax jurisdictions are chosen for the first option, which allows you to open a company relatively quickly and without significant costs and manage it remotely.


If you want to be able to live in this country, personally negotiate with partners and represent your company, you should stop at highly reputable (onshore) jurisdictions. However, such states often set additional conditions for registration and conducting business and expect greater solvency of foreign entrepreneurs.

In any case, the choice of jurisdiction to open your company determines quite a few things that will affect your work, relationships with counterparties, and financial condition.

Choice of the business registration form

In most cases, we recommend using foreign analogs of a limited liability company.

However, in each specific situation, it is worth starting from the type of activity, the amount of start-up capital, and the presence of equity partners with whom you plan to do business.


All these issues are determined at the stage of building a foreign corporate structure.

Collection and submission of necessary documents

In general, the registration process does not involve a significant number of documents.

You should prepare copies of passports and other personal documents of all those who will be part of the management team of the business, as well as develop a charter or its analogs, corporate agreements between the founders on the distribution of rights and powers, and other corporate documents if necessary.


You will also need to take care of registering the legal address of your business and provide a document confirming it.

Opening a bank account

You will need it to conduct financial affairs abroad, receive and transfer funds and register a business.

To verify you personally and your business, in addition to the documents you used to register the company, the bank will request information about your previous activities, your clients and partners, and the origin of funds.


We advise you to approach this verification procedure responsibly and provide the necessary documents at the request of the bank in time so as not to delay the moment when you can finally start your business.

Contractual issues of work abroad

After a successful start, you need to prepare a set of documents for the effective implementation of your business plan.

Employment

You can hire both local specialists and invite those who have worked with you before.
To move to the country of your business, workers will additionally need to issue an employment permit, as well as relevant residence documents, which can usually be obtained precisely based on moving to work in another country.
We recommend forming your top management partly from employees who know your business from the inside, and partly from experts who already live in this country, know the specifics of doing business, and will help you quickly navigate all the local nuances and rules.

Rental relations

If your business is in the service sector, you will mostly need to rent an office.

If you sell goods, sooner or later you will have to rent warehouse space. To save money on logistics costs, we advise you to stay at a property located close to your office or to the location of your main suppliers.


When drawing up and signing documents, pay special attention to the terms of payment and termination of the contract. No matter how friendly your landlord is, even a 1-day delay or violation of a seemingly insignificant circumstance can force you to look for a new place.

Contractual relations with customers, contractors, and suppliers

It is important at the first stages of work to develop templates of contracts with your counterparties, as well as commercial offers with the terms of your cooperation.

The sooner you manage to fix the first agreements, the sooner you will receive the first income and be able to use it for business development.


If your counterparties offer you ready-made contracts, pay attention to the balance of interests and financial issues. Your position should not be weakened, and your business should be protected from possible violations and excessive fines.

Immigration and personal matters

If your business has already started working reliably and you plan to continue living in this country, you should consider legalizing your status.

Issuance of residence permits

In many countries, the presence of a business registered in it is one of the reasons for the owner to obtain a temporary residence permit.
It is necessary to submit the appropriate application and documents for obtaining a temporary residence permit as soon as possible.
Carefully follow the terms when you can extend the permit so that you do not lose the opportunity to live in this country, and also check the conditions for obtaining a permanent residence permit.

Family immigration

In some countries, having a residence permit and an open business may be grounds for issuing similar permits to your family.
However, this process is not always quick, so it is worth evaluating all available options and grounds for legalizing your family's move, including employment and enrollment in local educational institutions.

Acquisition of real estate and investments

Investing in the economy of your country of residence can be the basis for obtaining not only a temporary or permanent residence permit but also citizenship.

If you have enough funds, you can consider one of the following options:

  • acquisition of a residential or commercial building or land plot
  • opening a deposit in a local bank
  • purchase of shares in a local business
  • purchase of government bonds

Each of these options, depending on the requirements of the state, can cost from several hundred thousand to several million euros.

If you have decided to move abroad and open a company there, contact the AppLaw team!

We will take care of all legal issues, help you comfortably move your business and family, as well as:
→ Choose a country with favorable taxes
→ Register a business
→ Open bank accounts
→ Register employees
→ Sign contracts with partners and counterparties
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