7 International Cities That Welcome New and Expanding Businesses
Increasingly, American businesses are moving overseas. Their motivations vary, as some companies make the move simply to change their environment, while others are looking to recruit specialized talent.
Then there are those select firms that move overseas to skirt America's high corporate tax rate. And, of course, some entrepreneurs make this choice to maintain their U.S. headquarters while opening up satellite offices overseas to tap new markets.
Whether you plan to start a new company entirely, move your entire operations or open a new office, here are seven destinations every entrepreneur must consider.
1. Bali, Indonesia
When entrepreneur Liza Jansen wanted to break from her normal routine and take a vacation without completely checking out of the office, she went to Bali for a month and took her work with her. There, she joined Hubud, the island’s first coworking space, where she realized she could build her business alongside other ambitious and creative professionals while reaping the benefits of a tropical paradise.
Best of all? She could save a ton of money. Writing for Quartz, Jansen noted that, “The average monthly living and working costs for digital nomads in Ubud [Bali] amount to $1,066, a stark contrast to San Francisco, where this currently stands at $4,854, or New York City, with average costs of $5,332 per month.”
2. Hong Kong
One of the main reasons businesses move to Hong Kong is its favorable corporate tax rate. Another is its strategic location close to Mainland China.
For consumer packaged goods businesses, a Hong Kong headquarters or office affords easy access to Shenzhen and Guangzhou, two of Mainland China’s most prosperous and sophisticated manufacturing hubs. Hong Kong-based companies can also leverage that location to enter the massive Chinese market.
Related: Africa: A New Business Frontier
3. Bangalore, India
Bangalore, according to the BBC, is India’s IT hub. For technology-first businesses, the city offers an abundance of talented engineers.
Companies like Microsoft, Sony and Amazon all have offices there. Popular tech startups find themselves the target of acquisition talks, too. In recent years, Yahoo acquired Bangalore-based Bookpad. Facebook bought Little Eye Labs. Brillio struck a deal with Marketelligent. Although it may seem intimidating to move halfway around the world to grow your business, doing so may well increase your chances of success.
4. Santiago, Chile
Since 2010, the Chilean government has continued to pour money into promising startups through its Startup Chile program. Each year, Startup Chile invites 240 to 320 companies to relocate to Santiago for a minimum of three to six months, with the hopes of building Latin America’s biggest innovation and entrepreneurship hub. So far, the experiment has paid off, as more than 1,000 startups have graduated from the program, with many remaining in Santiago and many more going on to raise additional capitalfor growth.
In the city, new businesses can find themselves immersed in a vibrant startup culture, where the national government continues to create incentives for fresh talent and visionaries to come and stay.
5. Toronto, Canada
For a place a little closer to home, Toronto is perfect. Just across the border, two hours from Buffalo, NY, and four hours from Detroit, Toronto can make you feel like you never left home, yet enjoy a much better cost of living and plenty of talented workers available for hire.
To make your transition easy, spaces like The Professional Centre offer fully furnished and maintained offices that enable you to move today and start working in your new office abroad tomorrow.
6. Berlin, Germany
In 2014, Berlin startups raised $2.2 billion from investors, reports The Guardian. That same year, London startups raised $1.5 billion. Indeed, Berlin is the go-to European hotspot for new businesses.
For founders, Berlin is a fully developed hub for creativity and entrepreneurship. There, companies can easily employ international workers, as local visas aren’t as difficult to acquire as the coveted H-1B in the United States.
7. Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel Aviv is home to a disproportionate amount of startup unicorns. For instance, Houzz, an interior design community, is valued at $2.3 billion. Gett, a ride-sharing startup rivaling Lyft and Uber, is worth $2 billion. Content recommendation platforms Outbrain and Taboola have each hit the prized $1 billion mark. More than 6,000 other startups call the city home, and for budding businesses, accelerators like 8200 EISP and The Junction are also there to welcome you.