Thanks to the Schengen Agreement it’s easy for UK entrepreneurs to travel unhindered around Europe with no visas (and usually) a single currency. Setting up abroad is a big decision to make for many businesses, but often the cost benefits outweigh homesickness. Taking your business overseas could help you to tap into new markets.
Chocolatier Louis Barnett exports produce from Heathrow. He explains that although the chocolate market in Europe is saturated, he exports to the Far East and South America. Exporting will help you to expand and grow your business, even if it can take a little while to establish yourself. So why not go and join the markets you’re exporting to, and cash in on all the benefits they bring?
Before you move abroad, it’s worth considering a handful of things. First, there’s the language. Will you be able to communicate in the local language, and if not, do enough people speak English? Salaries are important to consider too. Make sure you’re aware of the minimum wage before you promise salaries to new staff members. Working out how much tax you’ll need to pay is essential too. Even though a country may seem cheap, interest rates could be extortionately high. To ensure you have everything covered, it might be worth asking your bank to put you in touch with an overseas advisor. Major UK banks should be able to share contacts to help your business establish itself without a hitch.
It’s time to look beyond the traditional tech start-up cities of Berlin, Copenhagen and Dublin, and see where the next promising location could be for start-ups. In the next instalment of the EU Hotspots series, we look at Lisbon.