Even though the vast majority of expats will move overseas for retirement or employment opportunities, we are seeing more and more expat entrepreneurs looking to create and open their own businesses in overseas countries. While there are obvious pitfalls with regards to starting a new business, let alone starting a new business in a foreign land, it seems that more and more people are now more than happy to give it a go.
There are many business opportunities for those looking at this particular avenue and we have listed some of the more popular below.
Over the last few years it seems that everybody believes that property is the ultimate investment market and many people believe they can use the “power” of their former homeland currency to take advantage of up-and-coming property hotspots. However, there is no doubt that investment in property does carry a degree of risk, as many people have seen with regards to the Greek debacle over the last few months, and it is fairly naive to believe you can literally sell up in your former homeland, buy property in a “hotspot” then sit back and watch the money come in.
This is not to say that overseas property investment is a nonstarter, but you do need to do your homework and you do need to be aware that whatever the market is indicating at the time this can change very quickly as many have seen. There are also a number of additional risks to take into account when looking towards property purchases which include local taxes, the local property market, currency issues and political problems. Very often the reason why property is “deemed inexpensive” in an up-and-coming country is because of a lack of infrastructure, both physical and political, which can in many cases come back to haunt you.
On the upside we have seen many people move overseas and build up a substantial property portfolio with countries such as Dubai, even after the recent downfall, showing a significant increase in property values over the last decade. There are two types of overseas property investor, those willing to take the greater risk for the potential greater rewards at a very early stage (often called earlybird buyers) and those who would prefer to see the market develop before investing their money. In many ways the earlybird buyers will to a large extent feed the secondary buyers who come in after the foundations have been set.
Even if you have experience of property markets around the world, investment risks and other elements associated with an investment in property, you should always take local advice on finances, taxes and property purchase and properly sale procedures. Even if you find that the systems and procedures in place are very similar to that of your former homeland at least you are aware of the situation before you make any major investments.
Putting this on a few forums just to hear thoughts/advice from you pros! Ive decided to set up a business in Portugal with two friends. We are looking at setting up an eco villa/complex where guests would come holiday. We have a few unique selling points of which one is the eco slant and the rest I dont want to divulge at this point We have literally began research a week ago and come July when all our current work ontracts are finished are ready to spend all our time on the project.
More and more people from the UK, and indeed other countries around the world, seem more than happy to move to new countries and become involved in the hospitality industry. Hospitality takes in a variety of different business opportunities including bars, restaurants and even hotels. So is hospitality really an up-and-coming sector in which expat entrepreneurs should become involved?
The truth is that the hospitality industry will always follow tourists therefore if you are looking to choose a country which is “up-and-coming” there is every chance that the hospitality industry will grow in due course. However, whether you’re able to position yourself, both in the country and in the particular market, to take advantage of a potential boom time is a whole different situation to consider. There is no simple formula to make money from the hospitality business because much of it depends upon which country you’re moving to and which area. It is also worth noting that tourism trends can and do change on a regular basis therefore a popular area, where you may have bought a bar, restaurant or hotel, may not be as popular in the future.
The onslaught of the Internet has opened up a vast array of new markets around the world, bringing new countries to the forefront, and many people are more than happy to venture into pastures new. When you take into account the potential cost of a bar, restaurant or hotel (unlikely to be any less than £100,000 at a bare minimum) it is a large investment and a large financial risk to take. If you do go down this particular avenue and you do invest your life savings then quite frankly you “will need to make it work”. Interestingly, a number of expat entrepreneurs have made significant money in the hospitality industry by targeting expats overseas and helping to create “expat enclaves”. These can very often become the central social point for expats in a particular region and in effect can become a self fulfilling prophecy, and a potentially successful business venture.
However, it is not always that easy!
I am new in this forum so please forgive me should I ask silly questions. We are a married couple living in Italy and have decided to move to Costa Del Sol to buy a small bar and run it on our own.
The Internet continues to impact upon every aspect of life, business and everyday living around the world and this is very visible in the expat community. With more and more people now working “online” all they literally need is a computer and an Internet connection and they can work anywhere around the world. Even though there will be taxes to take into consideration, if you’re able to improve your standard of living and obtain more value for money then the potential to literary work anywhere around the world has certain attractions.
When we look at online businesses these can be anything from employment agencies to financial websites, from journalism to fashion and everything else in between. The truth is that the online arena is still very much in its infancy despite the fact that many people would have you believe it has now reached saturation point. New businesses, new websites and new services are appearing on an almost daily basis on the Internet. So is it worth the risk?
If you have a ready-made business and you’re looking to move overseas then there is very little difference in working from home, i.e. your former homeland, or indeed moving overseas. The common factors for your business are a telephone, Internet connection and you. Assuming you can maintain your client base and your income then you could effectively still be working from your former homeland. The cost base for Internet based businesses is often significantly lower than that of more traditional businesses which may well require premises, staff and other costly add-ons. If the worst does come to the worst with regards to your online business you should be able to reduce your potential liabilities to somewhere near zero therefore reducing the risk of losing everything if your business goes down.
There is no doubt that the Internet will become more and more prominent in the lives, both social and working, of expats moving overseas. This is an area of business which can only grow in the future and if you’re able to offer a service or information then you could literally work from anywhere.
I am an U.S. citizen and would like to start an online business while I am living here in Italy. I am here on a student visa which allows me to work only “20 hours” a week, which I already do.
When moving to a new country you’re more than likely to come across a new culture, new practices and a whole new way of life. This new life could bring you in to contact with a variety of items and services which are perhaps commonplace in your new-found homeland but uncommon in other countries. This has led to a major increase in the number of people looking to build and maintain import/export businesses which can take in anything from building styles and interior decorating to artefacts and memorabilia.
However, creating an import/export business is not as easy as many people would have you believe because there are many hidden costs in this particular sector. There may well be taxes in your new homeland and your former homeland, when importing and exporting, which could in some cases make your business impractical. However, if you’re able to become an expert in a particular field, and you are able to export overseas, then there is every chance that you could take advantage of the local culture and local practices to set up yourself a very lucrative business.
One example of this would be potentially Egyptian artefacts which for many years were never seen outside of Egypt but have now become commonplace in countries around the world. It is the potential to “obtain something different” which will give your home and potentially your office a very different look which has caught the eye of many people. This is perhaps where the “first to market” philosophy in the business arena is vital because there is the opportunity, assuming you manage your business correctly, that you could make significant money before the market reaches saturation point. As and when the marketers reaches saturation point it may well be an idea to look elsewhere for a new venture.
Import / Export or Temporary Plates. There is a very fine line between these two as I understand it.
Holiday homes and vacations
Holiday homes and overseas vacations have become enormous markets over the last few years and while there are more than enough people covering this particular area there may well be niche markets for expats looking to sell back to their former homeland. The truth is that any expat should be well aware of what they themselves were looking for before they moved to their new homeland therefore they should be well aware of what the vast majority of their previous country’s inhabitants might like to see.
There is also the chance that some of your former compatriots may well wish to deal with somebody speaking the same language and with experience from both sides of the coin. As a consequence, your unique selling point with regards to holiday homes and vacations in your new homeland may well be your understanding of your former homeland as well as the ability to speak the same language. It is also highly likely that you will have built up a new social network and various business contacts in the region which can prove invaluable in many situations.
Whenever we discuss expats moving overseas we always recommend taking advice from those who have been there and done it, so what better group of people to approach for holidays and vacations than those who made the move themselves?
The ability to create your very own niche market does have obvious attractions and in many cases it is when people overextend their finances and their business that they begin to suffer. As a consequence, if you have a niche holiday home/vacation business then perhaps look towards the niche markets without overextending yourself in one particular area. You also need to be fully aware of planning changes, changes in tourism trends, taxation and other issues which many people may not be aware of. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
In a nut shell I am very interested in purchasing a holiday home in Kissimmee, as you can pick up some amazing deals at the moment. I want to use it for me and my family for maybe 2 months of the year maximum and then rent it out as and when for the time we are not there.
While the vast majority of people in the UK, and other countries around the world, will generally move overseas for retirement and employment positions already in place, we are seeing more and more entrepreneurs moving to pastures new. There is no doubt there are major opportunities for those with entrepreneurial spirit and entrepreneurial skills but they also need to be aware that they are not moving to a like for like situation. Regulations will be different, taxation will be different and there will be a whole host of other issues to take into consideration.
For those who work online, the Internet has opened up a whole new area of the business arena which will literally allow them to transfer their “home” overseas. All that you need is a computer, telephone and Internet connection and you can literally work from anywhere around the world. However, one negative point with regards to online businesses is the fact that Internet access and the quality of Internet services is not always the same around the world. If you depend upon the Internet to transact your business then you need to be in a situation where you have a reliable and affordable Internet service in place. Otherwise, if you don’t have a connection then you literally don’t have a business!