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How can I start a business abroad? Checklist for small and medium-sized businesses

Inform yourself well

Before you start your project abroad, you should find out all about it. Only when you have gathered all the information can you come up with a reasonable project plan and make the right decisions.

  • Find out about the country in which you want to do business: cultural characteristics, political and economic situation, access regulations, business customs, foreign trade ...
  • Study the market: analyze the potential of your business model, your products or services in the target market and analyze the competition.
  • Inquire about applicable regulations: legal conditions, international agreements, taxes, trade restrictions, customs regulations ...

Seek support

There are numerous public or private organizations that offer companies preparatory courses, advisory material or other assistance in preparing for their work abroad (market research, support with relocation and on-site settlement).

For country-specific advice, you can contact one of the following organizations: embassies, consulates, the Federal Foreign Office.

Consider continuing education

If necessary, prepare for international business with further training: do a distance learning course (e.g. foreign trade and export management at the Chamber of Commerce) lien vers article The German export une fois en ligne, train yourself on the subject of "setting up a business abroad" or book intercultural coaching.

Choose the right company structure

The key to your business success abroad is knowing what your business goals are. Depending on the corporate structure that you choose (representation, branch, branch, joint venture), the taxes can be extremely different. The types of company differ from country to country. Take a close look at each option before making a decision!

Look for subsidy programs and the right insurance

Many countries offer subsidy programs to help companies expand internationally. Check whether your company is qualified for such a grant. You should also make sure you find a good insurance solution that will protect your company against economic and political risks.

Hire employees

Expansion often leads to changes in the employee structure. You can expand your workforce by hiring local employees or by posting employees from Germany. In this case, it is necessary that you prepare your employees for the assignment abroad, e.g. by offering them intercultural training or language courses.

Choosing the right insurance

When you set up a business abroad, your own insurance needs change fundamentally. You probably live mainly abroad and therefore need comprehensive insurance cover. Temporary travel health insurance that only covers emergencies and the most basic services is not enough. With a foreign health insurance from APRIL International you are fully insured - not only for emergencies, but for everyday life in the country where the company was founded. Regardless of whether it is a visit to the dentist, a check-up, starting a family or vaccinating your children - APRIL International covers your costs from the first euro.

Further bureaucratic steps

Depending on the project and the country in which you want to work, additional things may need to be done, such as opening a bank account, applying for visas and work permits, or registering your brand abroad.