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Doing Business Abroad

Posted on: 15th Jan 2015

One of the easiest (and most expensive) ways to live and work in a foreign country is to start your own business, which, in some countries, is virtually the only way that many foreigners can obtain a residence permit. The amount a business investor needs to invest varies considerably, e.g. from a few thousand to a million dollars or more (many countries 'sell' residence permits to wealthy investors). Businesses that create jobs are welcomed with open arms, particularly in areas with high unemployment, and a business licence may be conditional on the employment of a number of local citizens.

            Most people find doing business in a foreign country exceedingly frustrating and the bureaucracy associated with starting a business, even in many western countries, is often onerous. The red tape can be almost impenetrable, especially if you don't speak the local language, as you will be inundated with official documents and must be able to understand them. It's only when you come up against the full force of foreign bureaucracy that you understand what it really means to be a foreigner! It's difficult not to believe that the authorities' sole purpose in life is to obstruct business (in fact it's to protect their own jobs). Patience and tolerance are the watchwords when dealing with foreign bureaucrats and will also do wonders for your blood pressure!

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