international entrepreneurs

Launching a startup is exciting, but it can be a very costly endeavor. This is one of the many reasons modern entrepreneurs are packing up and setting up their new businesses overseas, in countries where becoming an entrepreneur is relatively affordable.

There are plenty of countries where you can move to start your business, but research shows that these 10 are the top choices, this year.

1. China

China has been one of the world’s fastest-growing major economies – trailing only the United States. The government is keen to get certain industries going, and accordingly the National Development and Reform Commission’s latest five-year plan covering 2016-2020 focuses on innovation, especially in science and technology. Starting a business in China can take about 30 days and costs…$1.00!

They have fairly high Internet coverage at around 46% and speeds of up to 3.2Mbps.

2. Malaysia

Starting a business in Malaysia can take about 4 days and will set you back about $350.00. Paperwork for the new business registration process can be completed online through the Companies Commission. Internet Coverage is 67.00% with speeds up to 5.0Mbps.

The country has an open, diversified, upper-middle income economy and is a major exporter of electrical appliances, electronic parts and components, palm oil and natural gas.

3. Thailand

Business registration can be completed within 1-3 working days and will cost about $487.00. Beyond that, actually starting the business can take about 28 days.

New business density is one of the lowest in the region, leaving room for hopeful entrepreneurs. It is the world’s largest exporter of rice and a leader in textiles, tin and electronics. Western education and technology have been absorbed into the Buddhist society.

4. Philippines

It can take only 1-3 business days to process incorporation papers and obtain SEC approval at a cost of $130.00. Kicking the business into life will take about another month to work through the setup processes.

Each year, the Philippine economy is flooded with billions of dollars sent home by the large number of Filipinos living abroad. These remittances, along with a flourishing tourism industry, have helped maintain a budget surplus. Foreign investment in the Philippines is low, so there seems to be a good deal of opportunity.

5. Poland

Poland is one of the fastest growing economies in Central Europe. The flood of foreign direct investment is evidence of the country’s appeal to startup entrepreneurs. With internet coverage of 65% and speeds of up to 16.0 Mbps, Poland is able to boast a rapidly evolving infrastructure for startups and an increasing number of success stories. The startup ecosystem in Poland provides everything that’s needed: ideas, motivation and enthusiasm, world-class engineers and designers. New co-working spaces are emerging, and accelerating programs are popping up all over the country.

Company registration fee for foreigners is $280.00

6. Hong Kong

Internet speeds of 105.2 Mbps make Hong Kong one of the global magnets for startups. It is experiencing a proliferation of startups, co-worker spaces, and accelerators and is now the 5th fastest growing startup ecosystem, according to the Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking 2015 study.

InvestHK, Hong Kong’s economic development authority, reported in August, 2015 that there were 1,558 startups in Hong Kong with Fintech and IoT the hot trends.

Setting up is quick and easy: it costs about $220.00. By submitting your application for business registration in paper form, the registration certificate will be issued in 30 minutes over the counter, or in two working days by mail.

All this makes moving to Hong Kong to set up your business very attractive.

7. Singapore

Singapore has the highest Internet speed in the region: 121.8Mbps which is only one of the many factors making it an attractive location for starting a business.

One of Asia’s four economic “tigers”, Singapore has seen impressive growth with free-market innovation in the booming electronics and pharmaceutical industries. Singapore is one of the wealthiest nations in the world. It is diverse, exciting and very cosmopolitan with many different cultures blending easily into this very democratic city-state.

Under normal circumstances, a company can be incorporated in 1-2 days at a cost of about $220.00.

8. New Zealand

Moving to New Zealand to start a business is very attractive for many entrepreneurs. English is the national language, and the culture and business ethic are very British and organized. Internet coverage and speed (27.4Mbp) are good, and company registration fee for foreigners is only $150.00. There are few restrictions on establishing, owning and operating a business in NZ. By using the Government’s online portals, the official paperwork can be completed online in a matter of hours.

Entrepreneurs are also creating some fantastic bio-tech and green technology companies in one of the most beautiful and friendly places to do business in the world.

9. Bulgaria

The Bulgarian start-up scene could become a hub for seed investment and start-ups in South East Europe. There is a €9,000,000m fund (partially EU money), which offers investment plus a six- to nine-month acceleration program for start-ups in Sofia. Company registration fee for foreigners: $200.00

Bulgaria’s economy is powered by construction, mining, services – which include tourism – and agriculture sectors.

10. Canada

Starting a business in Canada takes no more than two days and costs less than 1 percent of the average income per capita. The entrepreneurship environment is considered stable; according to data from Entrepreneurship Indicators Database about three-quarters of newly formed businesses survive for at least two years. Canada offers start up visa and self-employed persons program for foreigners looking to establish a new business in the country.

Becoming an entrepreneur has plenty of obstacles and challenges – don’t let costs of starting be one of them. Why not launch your business while living overseas?  Not only will it be more cost-effective – it will also be one of the greatest adventures of your life.

Written by Einat Mazafi