Top 10 places to set up a residency if you are online business owner
Having a successful online business gives you lots of flexibility. You don’t depend physically on a place where you’re at and you can spend a lot of your time traveling around. In my opinion, this is one of the biggest advantages of doing online business.
There is another annoying thing most of us have to endure, this is taxes.
At the end of the year your beloved country takes 10,20,30 and some cases even more than 50% of your income. Seems unfair, right?
Well, the good news is that you can just leave. You can choose a place that suits your needs better than your home country and simply relocate there.
Since we are in a similar situation like you, we did extensive research about places that welcome online entrepreneurs.
Here is our list of top 10 countries that you should consider if you are an online business owner:
The place that we have chosen for ourselves. Bulgaria is a country in Eastern Europe, it’s EU member and country that is developing rapidly. Corporate tax is very favorable and lots of our clients and friends have chosen Bulgaria for their residency. Corporate tax rates are only 10%, the country is quite cheap and your money will go very far.
For example, 1000 EUR per month will get you an amazing apartment. With 10k per month, you will live like a king here.
Sofia, which is the capital is very well connected with the rest of Europe and further. They have great flight connection, which is a big advantage for us since we travel a lot.
Montenegro is my country of origin. This is a tiny country at the Adriatic sea, with a population of 650 000 people. Even though it is not part of the EU yet it introduced the EURO as its official currency in 2002.
This country has very low tax rates of only 9%.
It is geographically beautiful and has lots to offer, especially during the summertime.
The main industry in the country is tourism and everything related to it. It also relies on foreign investments.
Montenegro is a very welcoming country for online entrepreneurs.
Life is quite cheap and a couple thousand euros a month will provide you with an outstanding lifestyle in this tiny country.
Portugal is an interesting country. It offers something that’s called non-habitual resident tax regime. This program was introduced by the government in 2009. to attract profitable industries and high earning individuals. If structured properly it gives you tax exemption for the first 10 years of living in Portugal.
Under this program, most income from a foreign source is exempt from Portuguese taxation for ten consecutive years, as is income that is taxable in another country.
Not to mention that this is a beautiful place to live since it offers sunshine and great weather for most of the year.
Georgia is a perfect blend of old and modern. This country was a Soviet member in the past and is currently in transition. You will see lots of new modern glass buildings right next to old communist style architecture.
They are very open for foreign business owners, and you will be able to set up a residency (even citizenship) quite easily.
It is super cheap to operate here, and you will be able to get employees for very appealing rates. Corporate tax rates are 15%.
Banking is developing fast and they have some interesting packages and opportunities for foreign business owners. This is a place that we often recommend for online business owners due to its openness and plenty of opportunities.
Very famous and popular among online business owners. Singapore is my most favorite place in the entire world. This is the city that I visited multiple times, and I am always happy to come back.
This is the modern, first world, English speaking country. You can feel it on every single step and see it on every corner. This is the country for the 22nd century.
If you make less than 300k per year, you will pay 8.5% in taxes. If you make more than you will have to give up 17% of your income due to taxes. Also, it’s important to note that Singapore does not impose any dividend or capital gains taxes
Singapore is one of the most appealing places in the world for doing business. Its unique location is giving you easy access to most of Asia. It is a very stable country with a very strong labor force.
However, costs of living in Singapore are extremely high. This is certainly one of the most expensive cities in the world.
In order to have a good lifestyle, you will need to spend way more than in any other country form our list. If you are not worried about money, then you might consider Singapore for setting up your residency.
- Hong Kong
Another popular place among online entrepreneurs. Hong Kong’s economy has been growing steadily for the past few decades.
For the first 300k that you earn, you will pay 8.5% taxes, similarly to Singapore.
Above this amount, you will pay 16.5%.
Hong Kong has something that’s called territorial tax system. This means that all the income that has been made outside of HK will not be taxable. However, what do they consider as income made outside of the country can be tricky sometimes.
In HK you will have access to the good labor force, however, expect to pay quite a lot for good talent.
There are no import duties in HK. People speak Chinese as well as English, so it can give you an edge of conquering the Chinese market. This place offers quite good banking, and tax write-offs are a no brainer (you could go as extreme as writing off clothes that you purchase as a business expense).
If you decide to get a residency in this Gulf country expect to pay NO TAXES. This is a massive advantage and a big reason for choosing the UAE.
It is quite easy to get a residency, and there is no audited financial requirement for companies.
Dubai and Abu Dhabi are modern cosmopolitan cities that offer a lot, however, it is not quite cheap to set up there. You can end up paying in excess of 10k, depending on which free zone are you in.
When it comes to costs of living, I would say that the UAE is somewhere in between. It is not as expensive as Singapore, but definitely not as cheap as Montenegro or Bulgaria.
Malaysia is a country that has multiple advantages if you are a business owner. First of all, this a modern English speaking (as well as Chinese) country. Kuala Lumpur is one of the most impressive cities in the world, that has outstanding architecture, great weather and lots of talent to choose from.
In Malaysia, you can potentially get away with 3% total tax if you are structured properly.
It is pretty easy to set up a residency in Malaysia. This country is a great gateway to China which is a massive market. Infrastructure is great, and wages are not very high. Overall, your costs of living, as well as business expenses in Malaysia, can be quite low
Have you ever met someone that doesn’t want to visit Thailand? This country is considered to be a paradise on Earth by many. I visited Thailand a couple of times and I definitely understand why.
This country offers a very appealing elite residency program.
You can end up with potentially zero tax in Thailand. I have lots of friends and clients that have chosen this country as their new home. Your costs of living can be quite low, but on the other hand, they can be quite high as well since this is a country of extremes.
If you can qualify for Panama’s Friendly Nations Visa program then setting up your residency can be quite easy and inexpensive.
This is a beautiful tropical country with a great location. It gives you good access to North and South America as well as Europe.
Panama offers territorial tax system, which means that all the income made outside of Panama is tax-free. This makes Panama great for online business owners. Another interesting advantage is that Panama doesn’t have a minimum stay requirement to maintain your residency (just like UAE), however, be careful about this. If you don’t spend enough time in Panama, your country of origin might not recognize you as a resident and you might still have to pay taxes to your home country.