How to open a business abroad? How best to prepare for a business creation abroad? Which approach and which methodology?
If you think it is difficult to start a business in your country of origin, know that opening a business abroad is even more so, including in countries deemed “business-friendly”. However, that is not a reason to give up: you just need to be aware of the nature of the challenge.
Do you dream of opening a shop, a bakery, a crêperie, a bar or a restaurant abroad? Before going further with your idea, read these tips and familiarize yourself with our methodology for setting up a business abroad.
Methods for Opening Business in Foreign Countries
1. Learn about the business practices of the target country.
Laws, taxation, business and banking practices vary greatly from country to country.
If it is possible to set up a business in just a few hours in New Zealand, it can take weeks or even months in some African or Eastern countries.
Before going any further, find out about the laws and requirements of the target country:
- List the possible obstacles: removal, customs barriers, conditions for money transfer (controls, convertibility of money, etc.), payment systems, legal and administrative obstacles, risks in terms of health regulations, insurance, social security, etc.,
- Assign a risk level to each obstacle,
- Try to identify ways to get around each of these obstacles, as well as the cost that this could cause.
2. Study the cultural differences.
The second step to opening a business abroad is to study cultural differences. You approach things through your own cultural prism, which can be risky when you want to start a business abroad.
You need to understand the cultural differences that could affect the viability of your business. Research the consumption patterns and habits surrounding the product or service you are going to offer, to make sure there are a market and a real need.
But this is not the only cultural difference to study: from language barriers to business culture, an expatriate can find it very difficult to integrate into a foreign business community. Ask your compatriots who are already there. Consider a few short stays to start interacting with the local community.
3. Explore the political climate of the country.
It is very important to probe the political climate of the country you are targeting, as well as its history in legal and tax matters. Is the country where you plan to open a business politically stable? How is it evolving in terms of laws and taxation? Is its monetary system reliable? What is its strategy with regard to the reception of foreign investments? In short, can you trust the political development of the target country?
Some countries do not hesitate to massively raise taxes in the event of an economic or financial crisis, to devalue their currency, or to seize the assets of companies.
Measure the risks and prefer to settle in a country with a reliable political and economic system.
4. Get legal advice.
Get advice or lawyers to help you get the most out of your business abroad. Find an expatriate lawyer who lives and works locally. Approach people who may understand you culturally, but who have the knowledge to help you navigate this new environment.
5. Seek help locally.
Well before opening your business abroad, contact the economic service of the French Embassy, the French Chamber of Commerce, or the networks of French entrepreneurs present on site.
Get as much information and contact as possible before you move. Ask your questions as you go: it is by finding the information that you will remove the grey areas and that you will gain confidence.
6. Give yourself time.
Even if you are enthusiastic about opening a business abroad, remember that it is a process that will take time, a long time.
Don’t rush things: the worst thing would be to make decisions without getting the right information. The keyword is caution. Give yourself time to research, find trustworthy people, and cross-check information.
Many steps will have to be planned, both personally and professionally, the two often being interdependent: allow at least 3 additional months compared to your initial planning.
So, are you still motivated to open your business abroad? One last piece of advice: contact Byconcept, an organization that can help and advise you on opening your business from A to Z, even abroad.