I want to start an online business with sole 100% foreign ownership. As it's an online Marketing and Design business, the registration for me is just a legality and something that will support my credibility. All my operations will be conducted online.
I've read many articles about the best countries to start a business in, and I can see many recommendations going to New Zealand, Australia and Singapore. I've read a lot about each country but I also believe getting practical recommendations is essential.
Which country do you recommend for an online business model? In terms of ease of starting a business, laws, country stability, credibility, taxes and ease of business growth in terms of operations (such as office rental costs..etc)
Looking forward to hearing from you and even talking further about it after your answer.
I have registered over 20 companies in the last decade and from my experience I can tell you that every country serves a different purpose. I run a small gambling company that I have registered in Malta due to the legality of online gambling there. I have another company registered in Delaware, whilst my main company is registered in the Netherlands. If your business is only online I would advise you to register it in Europe or if you must in the United States in Delaware/Nevada. Credibility wise I would say that registering your company in Singapore or Malta or Costa Rica, will not benefit you much opposed to say Delaware or The Netherlands.
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This is highly contingent upon where you are based (and official tax resident) as you stated you will be the sole owner. Recommend you speak to a tax attorney for this regard.
Since you are a sole owner, an LLC might provide better liability/asset protection. One country to look at may be Nevis - which gives excellent asset protection and is 'tax-transparent'.
A LLC in a pro-business state in the USA (Wyoming, Delaware, Nevada) is another option which has a good reputation, and low cost to get up and running. However, longer term accounting and compliance can be more expensive than some other jurisdictions.
You mentioned supporting your credibility - in that regard Singapore and Hong Kong are two reputable jurisdictions with minimal red tap, with 0% effective taxation possible if no transactions take place in the jurisdiction*. This is a general overview and not legal or tax advice.
There is a very interesting trick you can use to define appropriate country/market for your business.
It's a content saturation method.
1) Firstly try to measure content saturation on different markets. There is a very high correlation between businesses and related content. It helps you to understand market size and level of competitiveness. More content - more market, higher saturation - higher competitiveness.
2) Then use google trends to define the fluctuations of demand on these markets. Choose options with higher growth and demand level.
3) When you define few winners, try to rely on Law, Tax environment to choose best option taking into account:
- how much you need to invest to start;
- how much you can earn after taxes and constant costs.