How Easy Is It to Move a Business Overseas?

As the full implications of Brexit start to become clear, increasing numbers of U.K. businesses are looking at the possibility of moving overseas. While the prospect of access to new markets is always appealing, moving your business out of the business environment in which it grew and prospered is a serious undertaking. The networks that you have spent years building cannot be replaced overnight and you need to have full confidence that your business can cope with the drop in revenue that a move overseas will initially create.

The local culture

Will your business fit into the local culture? Is what you are selling going to be attractive to a local market? The research here is crucial. Be sure that you are moving your business to an environment where it will flourish. Even something as apparently straightforward as your brand name could prove problematic. Ensure that there aren’t any negative connotations associated with your brand name in the local language. Be aware of any local legal requirements regarding company names, in Germany, for example, businesses must include a suffix which indicates their structure, within any business name.

National and local business laws

You will need the services of a trustworthy bilingual business lawyer and accountant in order to ensure that there are no nasty surprises further down the line. Business law is a headache when it’s in your own language, when it’s in a foreign language, you need experts you can trust.


Will you take key members of staff with you? If you don’t you may risk losing the company ethos that you have worked so hard to create. Savings on labour costs may well be a key factor in your decision as to where to relocate, but are you confident that you will be able to recruit the particular skills that you will need?

Office space/premises

This is another area where there is opportunity to make significant savings on outlay.  The cost of London office space is higher than anywhere in Europe, where, according to Statista, the average annual prime office rent per square metre, per month, is 1513 euros, however, costs vary dramatically throughout Europe. In Portugal, the average cost of office rental drops to an astonishing 288 euros per square metre per month, but you can even find a lot of spaces much cheaper than that if you look around online.


The countries of Europe are falling over themselves to attract the right kind of business, so it’s worth exploring the offers on the table, which range from tax breaks and grants to targeted help with setting up and settling in.

Half-way houses

If complete relocation feels like a step too far, you might consider opening a company branch. This will give you an initial presence on which to build and only the activities associated with the branch will be liable to local income and corporate tax. Forming an overseas subsidiary of your business is a step further. It is a separate business entity and as such has more credibility, it is likely to secure more investment and be more attractive to potential partners.

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Mark Meets
Mark Meets
MarkMeets Media is British-based online news magazine covering showbiz, music, tv and movies
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