When starting a business, careful planning, a supportive environment, and access to resources are essential.

With ongoing globalization, certain countries have become top choices for entrepreneurs aiming to start and expand their ventures. These countries are distinguished by their strong economic frameworks, favorable governmental policies, advanced infrastructure, and vibrant markets.

This article will delve into some of the best countries to start a business, emphasizing the distinctive advantages each one presents to entrepreneurs.

Choosing the Perfect Business-Friendly Country

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Similarly, Singapore is celebrated for its strategic location in Asia, ease of doing business, and strong legal protections for intellectual property.

In Europe, Germany and the United Kingdom are prominent hubs for entrepreneurs. Germany’s strong industrial base, skilled workforce, and access to the European Union market make it an attractive destination.

Despite Brexit, the United Kingdom continues to offer a favorable business climate with its financial services expertise and vibrant tech scene. Emerging markets such as Canada and Australia are also gaining traction, offering a high quality of life, access to global markets, and supportive immigration policies that attract international talent.

Each of these countries presents unique opportunities and advantages, making them ideal choices for starting a business in today’s competitive global landscape.

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Best European Countries to Start a Business

1. Georgia

best countries construction permits set up legal system best countriesGeorgia has become a top destination for entrepreneurs looking to start a business in Europe.

The country offers a simplified tax system, low operational costs, and a strategic location bridging Europe and Asia.

The Georgian government has implemented numerous reforms to create a favorable business climate, making it easy to register and operate a business.

With its business-friendly environment and government support, Georgia is an excellent choice for business expansion, even though its political stability is uncertain.

2. Portugal

portugalPortugal boasts a highly skilled workforce, supported by a strong emphasis on education and innovation, making it a significant asset for businesses. The government has implemented various incentives and support programs, including tax benefits and funding opportunities, to encourage entrepreneurship and investment.

In addition, Portugal’s robust infrastructure, which includes advanced telecommunications and transportation networks, facilitates efficient business operations. The country’s high quality of life, characterized by a pleasant climate, rich culture, and affordable living costs, also makes it an appealing place for entrepreneurs to live and work.

Portugal’s Golden Visa program also provides residency options for business owners and investors. The country’s robust economy, along with tax incentives and a skilled workforce, makes it a prime choice for international expansion.

3. Cyprus

cyprus seaCyprus is renowned for its favorable tax regime, which makes it a popular choice for international companies. The country offers various tax incentives and has numerous free trade agreements, providing access to a wide range of markets.

The well-educated, multilingual workforce is another significant asset, supported by a robust education system and strong emphasis on professional skills. Additionally, Cyprus provides various incentives and support programs for startups and foreign investors, including grants, funding opportunities, and business incubators. This includes a hugely popular Golden Visa scheme.

Cyprus’s tax system enables businesses to optimize their tax liabilities, making it an attractive option for reducing taxes and diversifying wealth. Additionally, the country provides strong protection for intellectual property, ensuring that businesses can safeguard their innovations and competitive advantages.

4. Greece

live in greeceGreece is making significant strides in improving its business environment.

The country offers various incentives to attract foreign investment and has been working on simplifying its regulatory framework.

With its rich cultural heritage and strategic location in Southeast Europe, Greece is an attractive destination for businesses looking to tap into new markets.

When considering Greece as a business destination, it’s essential to identify your business goals and how they align with the country’s key industries.

Whether you are looking to tap into the tourism, shipping, or technology sectors, Greece offers diverse business expansion opportunities through the Greek Golden Visa program.

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5. Malta

Malta residence by investmentMalta offers a stable economic environment and is well-regarded for its business-friendly policies. The country has a highly skilled labor force, excellent infrastructure, and convenient access to European and African markets.

Malta’s appealing tax benefits and strategic location in the Mediterranean make it an ideal choice for both startups and established businesses. Additionally, Malta boasts one of the most competitive tax regimes in the European Union, with various incentives, including tax credits and grants, aimed at fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. Malta’s Residency by Investment visa is a sought-after commodity.

The country’s legal and regulatory framework is robust and transparent, providing a secure foundation for expanding businesses or starting a new business.

Malta’s advanced infrastructure, particularly in telecommunications and transportation, supports efficient business activities. The island’s high quality of life, featuring a warm climate, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant social scene, enhances its attractiveness as a business hub.

Furthermore, Malta offers a dynamic and supportive environment for startups, with numerous incubators, accelerators, and funding programs available to help new businesses thrive. The multilingual workforce in Malta, proficient in English and other key languages, is another significant advantage for international businesses.

The government’s proactive approach to creating a conducive business environment, along with its strategic location at the crossroads of major international trade routes, makes Malta a compelling destination for entrepreneurs and established companies alike.

Starting a Business in the United States

While the United States isn’t in Europe, it is known as a top destination for starting a business if you want to reach the European markets due to several compelling factors. Its large and diverse market offers vast opportunities across various industries, providing a robust customer base for new ventures.

The country’s strong legal and regulatory framework ensures business protections and intellectual property rights, fostering a secure environment for innovation and growth. The US is home to a highly developed financial system, offering entrepreneurs access to a wide range of funding options, including venture capital, angel investors, and government grants. A popular option is the EB-5 visa, also known as the Investor Green Card.

Its entrepreneurial culture, characterized by a willingness to take risks and embrace new ideas, encourages innovation and supports a thriving startup ecosystem.

Additionally, the US has a world-class infrastructure and a highly skilled and diverse workforce, driven by prestigious educational institutions and research centers that contribute to continuous technological advancements.

The country also offers significant networking opportunities through numerous industry conferences, trade shows, and professional associations, facilitating connections and business growth.

Overall, the combination of a large market, strong legal protections, ample funding opportunities, and a culture of innovation makes the United States an excellent place to start a new business or focus on a global business expansion.

Other Business-Friendly Countries

Several other countries are renowned for their business-friendly environments, offering a range of benefits that attract entrepreneurs and established companies alike.

Singapore: Singapore is renowned for its business-friendly environment, with efficient regulations, appealing corporate tax rates, and a prime location in Southeast Asia. The country boasts advanced infrastructure, robust intellectual property protection, and access to a highly skilled workforce, making it an ideal destination for businesses.

Switzerland: Switzerland boasts political stability, a high quality of life, and a robust financial services sector, which attracts numerous businesses. The country offers competitive tax rates, a highly skilled multilingual workforce, and a strong legal framework that supports business operations.

Netherlands: The Netherlands is renowned for its strategic location in Europe, excellent logistics and infrastructure, and pro-business policies. The country offers a competitive tax regime, including numerous tax treaties and incentives for foreign investors. Its innovation-driven economy and access to European markets make it an attractive destination for businesses.

Canada: Canada offers a stable economic environment, competitive corporate tax rates, and various incentives for research and development. It also has a strong legal framework, advanced infrastructure, and access to North American markets, making it an attractive destination for businesses. For this, Canada’s Start-Up visa is an excellent choice.

Ireland: Ireland’s low corporate tax rate, favorable business environment, and access to the European market make it a top destination for multinational corporations. The country’s highly educated workforce and supportive government policies further enhance its attractiveness for business. The country also has a Golden Visa program, giving you residency in as little as a few months.

How Can Global Citizen Solutions Help You?

Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique migration consultancy firm with years of experience delivering bespoke residence and citizenship by investment solutions for international families. With offices worldwide and an experienced, hands-on team, we have helped hundreds of clients worldwide acquire citizenship, residence visas, or homes while diversifying their portfolios with robust investments. 

We guide you from start to finish, taking you beyond your citizenship or residency by investment application. 

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Countries to Start a Business

Which is the best country in Europe for Canadian businesses looking to expand internationally?

For any Canadian business, growth into European markets, countries like the Netherlands and Germany are excellent options.

These countries offer robust infrastructure, strong economic stability, and strategic locations within Europe, making them ideal for international expansion. Both countries also provide easy access to other European Union markets and have favorable trade relations with Canada.

How does a country's reputation impact the decision to start a business there?

A country’s reputation significantly impacts the decision to start a business. Countries with stable political environments, strong economies, and favorable business climates are more attractive to entrepreneurs.

For instance, Switzerland and Germany are known for their strong economies and skilled labor forces, making them popular choices. Conversely, countries with internal strife or poor economic conditions may deter potential investors.

What are the easiest countries to start a business in Europe?

According to the World Bank, some of the easiest countries to start a business in Europe include Denmark, the United Kingdom, and Estonia. These countries have streamlined business registration processes, favorable tax systems, and supportive government policies that facilitate new business operations.

How important are natural resources and gross domestic product (GDP) when choosing a country to start a business?

Natural resources and gross domestic product (GDP) are important factors to consider when choosing a country to start a business.

Countries with abundant natural resources, such as Norway, can offer opportunities in various sectors like energy and raw materials. Additionally, a high GDP indicates a strong economy, which can provide a stable environment for business growth and attract foreign investment.

Are there any specific challenges when starting a business in rural areas compared to urban centers in European countries?

Starting a business in rural areas can present unique challenges compared to urban centers. Rural areas might have limited access to high-tech infrastructure and a smaller skilled workforce.

However, they can offer lower operational costs and access to natural resources. Countries like France and Spain have initiatives to support businesses in rural areas, providing access to grants and subsidies to encourage economic development outside major cities.