Best European Countries for Business
Are you considering expanding your UK business into Europe, but unsure of which best countries to start with? We’ve broken down three of the best countries you should be considering as part of your global expansion process – France, Germany, and Denmark. Our selection criteria based on a range of benefits includes key market information and quality of life.
Which country is best for you will be dependent on your sector. If you’d like more information about expanding into over 170+ international markets you can sign up to Centuro Connect for detailed global expansion strategies.
It can be easy to overlook the UK’s closest neighbour for opportunities further afield, but France has one of the largest economies in the world. They also have world-leading electronics, manufacturing, health, education, and finance sectors, making it one of the best countries for business in those industries.
The country has a population of 67 million and has access to the EU single market. There is a well-educated workforce, with 34% of 25-64-year-olds holding a degree, making it a good job market.
“France is a top-ranked country in regards to its quality of roads, railways, ports, and other infrastructure.”
In regards to residing in France, there are notable benefits to be had from both a corporate and social standpoint. For example, residents’ work/social-life balance is essential. The Labour Code forbids work on a Sunday, and overtime has an impressive 25% bonus. Whilst these are essentially employee benefits, they give business owners insight as to the approach to a balanced work-life in France. With a good balance of work and social life comes higher levels of productivity from your workforce.
In addition to the above, government policy is favourable to entrepreneurs. President Emmanuel Macron once stated that he wanted to make France “the start-up nation”. As a result, there is considerably less red tape to fight through when setting up in France, as you may encounter in other nations. For example, there is such a thing as a French Tech Visa. This acts as a fast-track way to residency for foreign tech talent.
Germany is home to a highly educated and multinational workforce – a key factor to consider when expanding abroad and recruiting locals. In fact, business is the most studied degree in Germany, closely followed by social sciences and engineering. Additionally, The nation’s second most-spoken language is English, spoken by over 56% of residents. Communications are a big factor to consider when going global, particularly if you don’t speak the local language yourself.
“Germany’s corporation tax is only 15%.”
Setting up in Germany also requires less backing than many other locations in Europe. One notable benefit is that only one director and one shareholder are required to set up a company in the country.
In terms of the marketability of your services or products, Germany’s population is 82 million. This makes it the biggest market in all of Western Europe. Logistically, the country is also well situated in central Europe. This allows excellent access to surrounding countries and, in turn, their markets too.
There is a growing belief that as the UK leaves the European Union business owners will choose Germany instead. Germany will likely take advantage of this and as a result, there could be good incentives to expand here. For this reason, we’d recommend keeping a close eye on Germany and what it can offer your business.
Denmark has not only a strong economy but has also been listed as one of the best countries in the world for cross-border trade. This makes it ideally suited to support international businesses. It is well connected to the other countries in this article, positioned north of Germany & France, and is also well connected for international supply due to its long coastline.
In terms of relocating you, your family, and your employees, the country has some of the highest living standards in the world. It is also recognised as having the second-highest levels of gender equality in all of Europe, second only to Sweden.
“There is no need to immigrate or relocate to Denmark when setting up a business there. Local law allows business owners to do this remotely, which can significantly simplify your international expansion strategy.”
Getting started here is quick, taking only 3.5 days to register a company. It is 3rd on the rankings of the easiest countries to do business in the world – which incidentally makes it the best in Europe.
Whilst commonly overlooked, Denmark is one of the best-kept secrets when it comes to expanding your business overseas from the UK.
If you would like to know more about any of the countries on this list, why not take a look at our new AI-powered Centuro Connect platform? It has detailed timelines and strategies for your global business expansion from our leading team of expansion experts.
If you need help finding connections in the country you would like to expand into, the platform helps you liaise with approved partners to help you on your journey.
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