Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5
Subscribe

Starting an International Business? Consider These 3 Countries

These three countries are a great place to start your international endeavors.

By
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When you start a business, the first question that comes to mind is probably where you'll be located. You might have some ideas about your industry or what type of business you want to start. But where should you set up shop if you're considering expanding across borders and doing international business? Here are three ideal countries for starting a global business based on their ability to accommodate new businesses, lack of stress on the pocketbook and friendly atmosphere for foreigners who want to start something new.

Related: 3 Steps to a Successful International Expansion

1. Singapore

Singapore is a great place to start a business because it's small and incredibly favorable to industry. The country has fewer than 6 million people. This means you won't get lost in the crowd or be overwhelmed by many other businesses trying to do what you're doing.

The crime rate in Singapore is low, which is ideal for starting a business there. You can feel secure knowing that your physical safety will not be threatened while running your company out of this country.

Singapore's economy is strong and is growing yearly as more companies move there to take advantage of its tax-friendly policies and banking regulations. These business-advantageous banking regulations make it easy for foreign investors to do business within the borders of this small nation-state without fear that their money will disappear into an abyss somewhere along the way (or be stolen).

The government of Singapore is enthusiastic towards foreign investors and has a reputation for being fair and honest. The country's leadership is committed to maintaining this reputation, so (ideally!) you won't have to worry about crooked politicians or corrupt bureaucrats taking advantage of your business to line their pockets.

Singapore has a low tax rate, one of the world's lowest, making it an attractive destination for foreign investors. You won't have to pay high taxes on your profits, making it easy to turn a profit and grow your business without worrying about how much money you're losing to the government.

The country has a low cost of living, and it's easy for expatriates who move there to find housing, food, transportation and other necessities at affordable prices. In short, you'll be able to save a lot of money by living in Singapore using domestic products, which can be a quarter cheaper than imports. And because of strict pro-environmental policies and high-quality assurance standards, domestic product is generally in excellent form.

Related: Interested in Starting a Business Overseas? Keep These 5 Things in Mind

2. Sweden

Sweden, with its strong economy and low crime rate, is a great place to start a business. Sweden is one of the securest places to live due to its police force, which is regarded as one of the best in the world. Sweden's been ranked the world's most innovative country when it comes to business since 2013 by Forbes and has been named the best place in Europe to start a new business by The Economist.

Sweden may be the right choice if you're considering starting an international company in Europe. The Swedish government takes care of its citizens — there is universal healthcare and free public education. This means you don't have to worry about paying high taxes or providing healthcare for your employees when they get sick.

The banking regulations are also reasonably secure — Sweden has no debt crisis like those seen in the US or Greece. Sweden's GDP growth was 2% higher than expected during 2018, making it one of few countries still experiencing economic growth after 2008 based on a 10-year analytical comparison.

Sweden has a strong manufacturing sector and is home to many tech companies like Spotify, which makes it an ideal place for startups. The country also has a rich history of innovation — it was the first country to introduce banknotes in Europe in 1661.

3. New Zealand

New Zealand is a great place to start a business because of its autonomy in having built a strong economy. The country's economy is ranked in the top 10 economies in the world, so there are good opportunities for your business to grow. New Zealand has no minimum wage law, meaning wages can be negotiated between you and your staff, giving flexibility when paying employees. You also won't have any restrictions on how much profit you want to make or how much tax you pay — this gives you more freedom as a business owner.

As well as having flexible employment laws and an excellent economy, New Zealand has one of the lowest crime rates in the world — meaning it's one of the safest countries to live or set up a business.

The country has a high standard of living and low costs. Like Sweden, the government provides free education and healthcare for citizens and residents, so starting a business is easy without worrying about health insurance or paying for your children's schooling.

There are many reasons why these countries are great places specifically to start a business. They offer a great environment in which to start and grow your business, as well as provide support for businesses of all sizes. So whether you're looking to expand your business internationally or want to start something new altogether, consider one of these countries as an option.

Related: How to Take Your Company Global

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks