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How to Open a Business in Europe as a Foreigner

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With 44 countries, 27 of which are in the European Union, favourable business conditions and strong economies, Europe is a great place for any foreigner to startup

  • Europe has been the incubator of many industries and entrepreneurship for nearly a century
  • Most countries in Europe require that a foreigner intending to set up a business in the country must have a resident permit
  • Declare the specific number of jobs your business will create
  • Have financial requirements that your business must achieve to gain an Entrepreneur Visa

Europe has been the incubator of many industries and entrepreneurship for nearly a century, making it a desirable market for businesses. It has 44 countries, 27 of which are in the European Union (EU) open market and under one common currency, the Euro. Setting up a business in any part of the EU means you can automatically transport goods at lower tariffs, and sell your goods or services throughout every country in the union.  First, you need to learn how to open a business in any European country. If you are a foreigner in the European country where you want to do business, here is the guide for you on how to open a business.

Get a Resident Permit

Most countries in Europe require that a foreigner intending to set up a business in the country must have a resident permit, but EU country citizens do not require a resident permit to do business in other EU countries. Permits are a temporary sanction as they usually last a few years or months. However, if your company performs well, you may be able to secure a long term residence permit. To secure a resident permit, you need to produce a sound business plan proving that your business is viable and sustainable.

Chalk out a sound business plan

You need to come up with a business plan that is endorsed by an accounting firm and financial investors if your business requires investment. Most European nations require you to produce a business plan since they want you to contribute significantly to their economy. Immigration and labour authorities will scrutinise your plan to see if it suits their country’s financial system’s needs. Accordingly, you need to prepare your business plan in such a way that it helps to fulfil an existing requirement for the economy you’ll set up your business in.

See our resources page to create a sound Business Plan

Declare Job Creation in your business plan

Creation of jobs is a common requirement for almost every nation. This is why some European countries require you to declare the specific number of jobs your business will create. In the pre-Brexit UK, you would have had to declare the creation of 2 new full-time jobs for UK citizens. Ensure you have a definite number of employment opportunities that your business would generate and descriptions for what these roles are.

Declare additional funding capacity

Some European countries like the UK, have financial requirements that your business must achieve to gain an Entrepreneur Visa. For example, in the UK, you need to have access to at least £50,000 investment capital that you’ll invest in the business or have £200,000 overall from third parties and other investors. This amount could be higher if you plan to immigrate with your family because European countries require you have additional funding to support your family until the business becomes profitable.

Declare That You Have A Controlling Stake

In some European countries, the law requires you have a controlling stake in the business or at least an equal stake if it is a partnership. This shows you are committed to making the business a success and will put in the time and effort required to do this.

To gain an advantage over your competitors who have pre-existing companies set up in the region where your interest lies. Gain thorough knowledge about the market, customer base and other relevant information, and lay a solid foundation for your business venture in Europe.

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