Andrew Henderson

Andrew Henderson

Founder of Nomad Capitalist and the world’s most sought-after expert on global citizenship.


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Andrew Henderson wrote the #1 best-selling book that redefines life as a diversified,
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5 Developed EU Residences for Serious Entrepreneurs

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Over the years, we’ve had plenty of established entrepreneurs looking to expand their businesses or develop their passport plan B by getting an EU residence. Tax reduction remains a major reason for moving to another country. Yet, some entrepreneurs prefer to pay some tax in order to have access to better talent and a higher quality of life, such as that offered in EU countries. There’s nothing wrong with either approach. By reducing your taxes, you have extra income to invest in various ventures. On the other hand, if you’re looking for talent, free movement across various countries, and benefit from a legal and social system that supports entrepreneurship at the cost of having to pay some taxes, then that’s a great deal too. It depends on what you’re looking for and what offer seems more appealing. And that’s exactly what we’re here for. At Nomad Capitalist, we’re here to ensure that you get the best deal possible. Whether you’re eying one EU country in particular or are looking for ways to get EU citizenship in the future, we’re here to guide you through the process. Get in touch today to work with the world’s most sought-after experts on legal offshore tax strategies, investment immigration, and global citizenship.
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Starting a Business in the EU as a Serious Entrepreneur 

What makes Nomad Capitalist different from other companies in the industry is that we’ve got personal experience with different investment opportunities all over the world. So, our team understands what it takes to add businesses in different countries, get second residence permits which lead to second citizenship, and more. Now, for starting businesses, we understand that every country has different regulations. Some countries just want foreigners to set up any kind of business so that there’s employment for locals. However, some countries aren’t that foreigner-friendly. There’s no doubt that there’s increased employment due to more businesses set up, but they’re more particular about the kind of businesses that come in. For example, if you own a chain of restaurants, you won’t be able to start a business in some developed countries in Western Europe. If you were to go to the UAE or the Caymans with any sort of business, you could easily do this. But developed countries aren’t that easy to get into. In fact, there are some parts of the European Union, and this is especially true for English-speaking countries, where even a company like Nomad Capitalist wouldn’t be able to establish itself due to the restrictive nature of the visa application process of the host country. So, in this blog post, we’re going to tell you all about several countries where you can start a business and obtain an EU residence permit.

5 Best EU Residence Permit Programs for Serious Entrepreneurs 

Establishing a business in an EU country is one of the best ways to get EU residence. If you play your cards right and are willing to put in five years or more, depending on your chosen country, you can even become an EU national. With this in mind, let’s look at some of the best EU residence permit programs out there for more established entrepreneurs looking to expand their horizons.

United Kingdom

United Kingdom Developed Residence for Serious Entrepreneurs

United Kingdom Developed Residence for Serious Entrepreneurs

On the top of our list is the United Kingdom. Many American entrepreneurs prefer getting a residence permit in the UK due to the similarities in lifestyle. This is especially true from a second passport perspective if you want UK citizenship. In the past, the UK had something called the Tier One visa, which had three routes for investors, innovators, and start-ups. Now, the UK has tightened its rules and has created the Start-Up and Innovator Visas. So, what are the requirements for these new programs?

Visa Eligibility Requirements

  • Vote of Approval: Your business needs to be supported by some educational institution or some other organization known for supporting entrepreneurs and get their vote of approval. Involvement of Local Bodies: Local organizations supporting your business must be involved in it.
  • Innovative Ideas: The UK standard is for you to have a business that isn’t present anywhere else in the market and is very innovative with massive growth potential.
What we’ve learned from people we work with and who live there, the United Kingdom is essentially looking for the next Facebook or the next BioNTech. They essentially want a business they can point to and say, “Aren’t we glad they’re here?” So, with standards like this, you can’t bring in a company that makes a million pounds a year. You’ll need to prove that you have immense market potential in addition to that.


Ireland Developed Residence for Serious Entrepreneurs

Ireland Developed Residence for Serious Entrepreneurs

Following the UK’s lead, we have Ireland with a similar approach. However, in Ireland you won’t need to go through a local organization or get a vote of approval. Ireland has some great tax incentives for companies, and the Ireland Golden Visa program is available to you as well.  Ireland looks for very innovative businesses with high profitability and, most importantly, a lot of growth.  They don’t care about how much profit you’re making because they don’t plan to tax you a lot for it. But they do want a business that will definitely stand out and do great. The best way to secure a residence permit for entrepreneurs in Ireland is to go through the Ireland Immigrant Investor Program (IIP). The IIP gives you the opportunity to invest €1,000,000 into an enterprise. This could very well be your own business, but you’re going to have to ensure that your business plan is great. You need to show them that you can bring in high-paying jobs, that your idea is unique, and it’s something you’ve put thought into, and it has long-term growth potential. Granted, the easier route would be to simply invest in another enterprise, but we’ve found that most businesses on the list are lacking. It would be better to just start your own business or utilize the option to donate to a charitable organization to get your EU residence permit.


France Developed Residence for Serious Entrepreneurs

France Developed Residence for Serious Entrepreneurs

Next up on our list is France. France has a “talent passport,” which is generally more flexible than the UK and Ireland. As we move towards mainland Europe, you will find that there are plenty of more straightforward options available. The most renowned program is obviously the Golden Visa program offered to investors and entrepreneurs. Many EU countries like the Netherlands are part of the Golden Visa program.  As it is the case with the Netherlands, you could use such an EU residence program as an eventual pathway towards a Dutch passport. This will, obviously, take at least five years but it’s something worth looking into if you plan on staying in Europe for long. However, it is worth noting that France is not part of the Golden Visa program. Granted, the French government could introduce one tomorrow, but it’s unlikely because we haven’t seen much interest in moving to France. After all, you don’t really hear someone say, “I want to start a business in France.” It’s just not something that happens often. But they have something for you if you’re interested.

What Do You Need to Obtain a Residence Permit in France?

Generally, France isn’t as concerned with the innovation aspect of business as the UK and Ireland. They just want you to contribute €300,000 and basically prove that your business will bring in jobs. France is most concerned about creating jobs. They don’t have the best taxes, but since France is an EU member state, there’s a lot you can do if you obtain a residence permit there and, by extension, in the EU.


Belgium Developed Residence for Serious Entrepreneurs

Belgium Developed Residence for Serious Entrepreneurs

Another great EU residence program to consider is Belgium’s. Belgium has a very interesting residence permit program. First of all, there’s no hard limit to how little or how much your business has to make. Belgium is more concerned about businesses that will work in Belgium. Most people assume that because the European Parliament is in Belgium, the country is extremely globalized, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Belgium likes to keep things local, and the presence of the European Commission does little to change that. So, if you have a business idea and you think it will benefit the Belgian economy, no matter how big or small it is, you can essentially get a residence permit there. This means that there are plenty of opportunities for everyone. Some people we work with are third country nationals which makes getting an American or even UK entrepreneur visa difficult. But if you’ve got the capital and you’re interested in starting a business in an EU country, Belgium will work for you. In fact, you can get a permanent residence permit very easily, leading to eventual EU citizenship. The Belgian residence permit program is probably one of the easier EU residence permit programs. 


Portugal Developed Residence for Serious Entrepreneurs

Portugal Developed Residence for Serious Entrepreneurs

Lastly, we have Portugal. Now, you’ve probably heard about the Portugal Golden Visa program. But what you probably haven’t heard about is the route we’re going to talk about. To obtain the Portuguese Golden Visa, you need to hire ten Portuguese citizens living in the host country. And that’s it. Of course, the question is: would you want to hire people in Portugal? It honestly depends. But then again, Portugal is in a great geographical location, so you could hire Portuguese citizens; it all depends on your business. You can even hire EU citizens living in Portugal, and you’ve got yourself an EU residence permit. 

Are the EU Residence Permit Programs Worth It?

Each of these EU residence permit programs has something to offer. Some offer automatically renewable residence permits as long as you have a valid passport and a functional business. Others have the option of obtaining a permanent residence permit in the long run.  Ireland and even Belgium have great tax incentives too. If you stay in these countries for at least five years, you may even be granted citizenship, or at the very least, a permanent residence permit.   So, on paper, these EU residence permits are great. All you need to do is make sure that you’ve got a legitimate business plan, and you can easily have your pick of these programs. To learn more, contact our team at Nomad Capitalist today so that you can start a business and live in an EU country in the near future.

Other Residences and Citizenship Opportunities Available 

There is no doubt that EU countries and their long-term residence programs are coveted by nearly every serious entrepreneur out there.  However, if your business doesn’t qualify for EU residence programs, there are still many countries in the world that would happily give you a residence card. Countries like the United Arab Emirates are very entrepreneur-friendly. Several countries in Southeast Asia like Thailand have opened their doors to entrepreneurs. There’s the Bulgarian citizenship by investment program available if you’re looking for close proximity to Europe. Even South Korea has entered the game with its own South Korean residence and citizenship program.  Puerto Rico has plenty of tax incentives for foreign investors too. So, if you feel like your company wouldn’t be welcome in an EU country for any number of reasons, don’t think that it’s the end. In some countries around the world, you can even get an instant residence permit or citizenship for just investing in their economy. Who knows? Perhaps starting businesses elsewhere can lead to you eventually obtaining an EU residence permit. The opportunities are abundant. You just need to know where to find them.  So, if you want to learn more about the opportunities you can avail yourself of, contact Nomad Capitalist today. We specialize in seven and eight-figure entrepreneurs to go where they’re treated best. After all, there’s no point in moving to a new country if you’re not going to be treated any better than in your current one. From legal tax reductions to establishing offshore strategies, getting residence permits, and more, Nomad Capitalist is here to help you elevate your lifestyle. Contact us today to learn more about the opportunities you can benefit from.


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