Picture this. You have successfully launched your business, and despite the normal ups and downs of being an entrepreneur, things are going pretty well.
Nevertheless, the idea of being able to save on taxes and other expenses that you could use to reinvest in your company is more than enticing.
So, you begin to investigate your options.
You discover that by taking your business offshore, you can legally save on taxes — and, of course, the idea appeals to you.
But then you discover something even better: not only can you take your business offshore, but there are more than a few countries around the world that will offer you a second residency in exchange for setting up your business in their jurisdiction.
We often discuss here the many benefits of having a second residence, so being offered residency for simply establishing your business in a country that is already more business-friendly than where you currently reside seems to be the ultimate win-win situation.
Before settling on any one country, it’s good to get a feel of the options that are available to you. That said, we have done some of the homework for you. The following is an introductory overview of five countries where business and global living go hand in hand.
Are you a wealthy investor or entrepreneur and would like to keep more of your money? Are you ready to go where you’re treated best, pay lower taxes, get higher returns, and enjoy more personal and business freedom?
The longer you stay in your country’s tax system, the more it costs you each day. Don’t bury your head in the sand. Nomad Capitalist combines 15 years of research experience to help you create your holistic strategy.
From billionaires and celebrities to everyday entrepreneurs, we’ve helped over 1,500 successful clients create their holistic Action Plans, grow their wealth, and increase their freedom. We can help you do the same. Apply today to become a client.
Argentina Residency for Entrepreneurs
Offering one of the fastest paths to citizenship in the world, Argentina is willing to naturalize almost anyone who wants to call the country home for at least two years. You will need to be physically present in Argentina for at least six months each year, as well as during the naturalization process.
In comparison with many European passports, an Argentine passport is not only faster to get (the minimum waiting period for citizenship in European countries is five years) but also just as powerful.
The Argentine passport is ranked 16th on the Nomad Passport Index and allows you to travel to 156 countries visa-free. This is especially beneficial for people with passports from countries with fewer travel privileges and US citizens who wish to give up their citizenship.
Additionally, Argentine nationals can travel to other Mercosur Members and Associated States without needing a visa or passport.
But, besides, it’s a quick and powerful passport. Why would you want to set up your business or get a second residency in Argentina?
For starters, the country has a thriving tech sector that foments entrepreneurs’ ability to connect with other start-up founders in the region. Plus, Argentina is the third-largest economy in South America. It has the third-highest rate of university students in Latin America, providing businesses with a highly skilled, fresh, creative, and innovative workforce at a lower cost.
Perhaps the biggest draw, however, is Argentina’s incredible culture.
The cultural metropolis of Buenos Aires has come to be known as “the Paris of the South”, and for good reason. The city boasts more than 100 galleries, 300-plus theaters (including one that National Geographic ranked as the third-best opera house in the world), a multitude of museums, European architecture, modern gastronomy, and a diverse population of foreigners and porteños (residents of BA).
The city offers a low-cost upscale living ratio in chic neighborhoods like Recoleta, Palermo, and Puerto Madero, a flat that could be compared to a Parisian loft — one that would go for $3,500 in a place like San Francisco — for less than $700 a month.
Even better, these upscale residential and commercial districts are lined with parks, galleries, boutiques, and tasteful dining.
If you’re looking for a place that is rich in culture where you can run your business, Argentina might be the perfect place for you. In fact, if you have an online business that generates any kind of income, becoming a citizen of Argentina is especially streamlined.
You can enjoy all that the country has to offer while simultaneously building your business and obtaining residency and an eventual second passport.
The Benefits Of a Spanish Entrepreneur Visa
We have spoken in detail about the Spanish entrepreneur visa and whether or not it is a good idea. Our recommendation was that if you plan on spending six months or less per year in
Spain, you should seek out a different residency option and simply live in Spain as a tourist for the 183 days you are allowed yearly. If, however, you are dead set on living in Spain year-round, there are a few positives we should highlight.
The good news is that anyone willing to start a new Spanish company will enjoy a tax rate of only 15% for their first two years in business. After that, rates will be 25%, with various other caveats. While these types of rates don’t make Spain a tax haven, they are still lower than corporate taxes in the US.
However, The real benefit of residency in Spain is that it allows you to spend a full year in Europe instead of the six months you are allotted as a tourist. If the idea of living and traveling throughout Europe year-round sounds like a dream come true, that is what residency in Spain will get you.
European Residency For Entrepreneurs In Belgium
If your heart is still set on living in Europe, but Spain’s taxes and long timeline toward citizenship are making you think twice, Belgium is another option for anyone interested in Europe.
It has always been relatively easy to obtain citizenship in Belgium. Until 2012, it was possible to obtain Belgian nationality after a mere three years of living there. Now, it takes at least five years, but that’s still a very reasonable timeline for a relatively well-managed country with one of the best passports on earth.
Residency in Belgium can be obtained by anyone willing to start a business and hire at least one part-time employee or simply by demonstrating “significant means” to support themselves.
The cost of setting up a business as an entrepreneur in Belgium is still cheap (around €12,500), or potentially even less if you have a business partner to go in with you. And, while income tax in Belgium is high, capital gains taxes are zero.
Other benefits of residency or citizenship in Belgium are that the country allows dual citizenship and that Belgium only requires that you spend a few months per year there, so long as you spend at least some of your time elsewhere in Europe.
A Belgian passport has all the benefits of a Spanish passport in Europe, allowing freedom of movement throughout Europe’s Schengen Area. And for travel outside of Europe, Belgians are considered about as low-risk as they come.
The quality of life in Belgium is very high, and the country has a welcoming attitude towards other nationalities. Brussels is an international city and is at the heart of European business.
Universities in Belgium are very internationally oriented, and students can follow courses in English.
All of this makes Belgium a prime location for anyone looking for a great place to live and do business in Europe.
Colombia’s Entrepreneur Visa Program
One place you may have never considered is Colombia. While many still associate Colombia with its dark past battling drug lords, making that mistake now could lead you to miss out on one of South America’s strongest markets and most vibrant cultures.
Anyone looking to start a business can get the added benefit of a second residency in Colombia with as little as $25,000 in capital that you can spend immediately on your company.
If you have been planning on starting a company or were already planning on investing 20k in your current company, you can deposit that money into a Colombian bank account and then use it to build your business there and qualify for residency.
Once residency is obtained, Colombia only requires that you visit the country at least once each year in order to keep your residency active. If you meet that condition and a basic Spanish requirement, the timeline to naturalization is just five years.
A Colombian passport is much better than it used to be and will grant you visa-free access to nearly 137 countries. Besides having unlimited access to all of Central and South America, a Colombian passport will allow you visa-free access to all 27 countries in Europe’s Schengen Area (something US passport holders may not have in the future). Colombian passports also grant access to traditionally difficult countries like Russia.
Even better, Colombia also allows dual citizenship, meaning you will not have to renounce your current citizenship to become a citizen.
What makes Colombia really stand out as a destination for entrepreneurs, however, is its business culture. Colombia’s consistent economic stability over the past few years has been noticed by foreign investors and expats worldwide.
In 2022, Colombia experienced significant economic growth with a GDP increase of 7.5%, which was higher than the average global rate, creating numerous opportunities for individuals and businesses looking to expand. The World Bank has ranked it as one of the best economies in Latin America based on the short amount of time it takes to start a business there, and back in 2012, Medellín was named the ‘World’s Most Innovative City’ by Citi and the Wall Street Journal.
The start-up scene in Colombia has been moving forward at an impressive pace, partly thanks to the large number of engineering and computer science graduates and post-graduates in the country that affords entrepreneurs access to one of the largest skilled labor workforces in Latin America.
Colombia’s taxes and great incentives further benefit this growing technology ecosystem, making it a significant competitor for offshore operations.
And then, of course, there is Colombia’s vibrant culture, beautiful people, breathtaking nature, good weather, great cost of living, organic and diverse food, Amazon jungles, modern skyscrapers, pristine coastline, numerous museums, historic neighborhoods, modern shopping malls, sophisticated restaurants, and electric nightlife scene.
Irish Residency For High-Potential Entrepreneurs
Our final suggestion is for those of you who already have a business and likely fit the definition of an advanced entrepreneur with a larger corporation. Due to its attractive 12.5% corporate tax, Ireland is home to pretty much any large company you can think of: Microsoft, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Dell, Boston Scientific, HP, and hundreds of others . . . they all set up in Ireland.
So, if you’re looking for a low-tax jurisdiction for your business, this is it.
The Start-up Entrepreneur Programme lets people from outside the EEA who have a creative business idea and at least €50,000 in funding to start a business in Ireland. Giving you access to very low corporate tax, the right to live in a great jurisdiction, access to all of Europe, qualify for residency, and be on track to get an Irish passport in five years.
Ireland is a great place to live and has one of the world’s best and most respected passports, 4th on the Nomad Passport Index, offering visa-free travel to more than 173 countries, including the United States and Canada, and freedom of movement around Europe.
If you are interested in obtaining an Irish passport but don’t have a large company to get your foot in the door, Ireland has a very open policy of granting citizenship to those whose family tree includes ancestors from Ireland.
Like Italy, Ireland offers citizenship by descent to anyone who can prove they have a parent or grandparent who is Irish. If you take that route (which is usually much cheaper and faster), you can choose to live in Ireland as much or as little as you want.
And for anyone who might worry about getting lonely living abroad, an English-speaking country like Ireland is the perfect solution. Plus, the Irish have a well-earned reputation for being some of the most friendly people in the world.
With friendly people, business-friendly policies, some of the lowest corporate taxes in Europe, a straightforward residency and citizenship plan, and one of the highest levels of economic freedom in the world, Ireland is a place any entrepreneur should have on their list when considering taking themselves and their business offshore.
If you’re ready to set up a business in a foreign country in exchange for a second residency and want our help, apply to become a client to see if you qualify.
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