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The Best 10 European Countries to Start a Business

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  • Some European countries have trade laws that make it favourable for business to startup
  • Ireland ranks first of all European countries for paying taxes. Setting up a business here is relatively cheap and quick
  • Norway has a high annual GDP growth rate GDP which pushed its GDP to US$434 billion by 2020. The inflation rate here is also low at 3.6%, and income is very high
  • The United Kingdom slipped down our list significantly this year because of Brexit, which will affect its ability to trade with the rest of Europe and existing laws governing startups

Choosing the right location to base your business is challenging and significantly impacts its success. The pandemic and Brexit have made this decision more difficult and made it even harder to start a business. Some European countries have trade laws that make it favourable for business to startup. We’ve created a list of the ten best countries to startup your business to help you make the right decision. This is partly based on the World Bank Doing Business Index, and several other factors including ease of starting a business, paying taxes, trading across borders, registering new companies, annual GDP, Income per capita, employment and secondary school enrolment rate. 

  1. Denmark has some of the highest income levels and employment levels while being ranked first for trading across borders and second for paying taxes. This means that customers can more easily afford products and services, and businesses can easily trade with countries across Europe. 
  2. Ireland ranks first of all European countries for paying taxes. Setting up a business here is relatively cheap and quick. Also, it has one of the top secondary school enrolment rates across Europe, making it an ideal location for recruiting talented and skilled workers. For any businesses considering Ireland remember that Brexit will affect how it trades with the rest of Europe.
  3. Norway has a high annual GDP growth rate GDP which pushed its GDP to US$434 billion by 2020. The inflation rate here is also low at 3.6%, and income is very high, so customers have bought more and more each year, increasing its GDP. The technologically adept nation has some very straightforward tax compliance laws that also make it easy to startup.
  4. Germany is rankly highly here for being Europe’s largest economy with a sizeable workforce, highly skilled and educated workforce. It’s why the term ‘German Engineering’ is synonymous with quality. Any business that starts up here can expect to create high-quality products and services which customers will love and pay a higher price for, than those made in other European nations.
  5. Finland is a great place to open your startup, despite not typically being on top of most entrepreneurs minds. The government provide plenty of grants and loans to emerging startups. It’s also ranked fourth for ease of paying business taxes and has one of the lowest new startup registrations per 1000 people in Europe. Any business starting up here will face much less competition and barriers to market than in most other European nations. 
  6. France alongside the Netherlands is often called the doorway to Europe and with good reason. It’s ranked first for ease of trading across borders as it has excellent access to all of Europe. It also has one of the strongest economies Worldwide with a GDP of US$2.7 trillion, high-income levels and a highly educated workforce. The government has introduced the second highest fiscal incentives for businesses during the pandemic alongside Germany.
  7. The Netherlands has one of the highest numbers for accelerators and tech incubators worldwide, which helps startups successfully develop. However, this number is mostly made of incubators Amsterdam. Outside of the city, the country doesn’t have much to offer except great cross border trading.  
  8. Switzerland overall GDP was as high as US$705 billion in 2020 with a low inflation rate of -0.4% and GDP growth around 1.4%. The country has a highly skilled workforce and a politically stable climate encouraging economic growth. It’s also known for luxury and one of the highest incomes per capita worldwide, which means customers are more willing to spend higher amounts on quality products from startups.
  9. The United Kingdom is home to 30% of European venture capitalists. It’s one of the easiest, cheapest and quickest countries worldwide to start a business. It’s slipped down our list significantly this year because of Brexit, which will affect its ability to trade with the rest of Europe and existing laws governing startups.   
  10. Romania encourages local and international startups with some of the best tax-friendly policies and guidance programs for young entrepreneurs in Europe. It boasts some of the best IT skilled workers worldwide and easiest ways for getting credit. 

Here is our findings broken down.

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