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BlogWhen is the right time to expand into a new market: The CEO perspective
Start A Company, Hr +2
When Is The Right Time To Expand Into A New Market: The CEO Perspective

Judging the right moment as to when to expand your company is a big moment for a leader and a daunting decision to make. It is important for CEOs and business leaders to take all the different elements of your company into consideration.Weighing up the risks versus the opportunities at hand may seem overwhelming, but with the right tools and information, international expansion can massively help to grow your business. Here are some general rules that may help those considering when to expand into a new market.The generally accepted wisdom for founders with big home markets was to win your domestic market first before thinking about going international after that. However, the most aggressive founders are now thinking about growing sales globally from day one. This may be due to the opportunities presented in a foreign market, the product matching the need when there is a gap in the market, as well as the economic opportunities that exist abroad.Judging the right moment to go international is going to be a big moment for a leader and a daunting decision to make. You have to consider the timing, cost as well as resources, and HR challenges. Although you will have to take all these different elements of your company into consideration, there are some general rules we can look to start that might help tell you, you are on track.The 25% RuleThis one is fairly straightforward. When 25% or more of your business is coming from international markets, it’s time to scale outside your home country. This signals a significant interest that there is a potential gap in the foreign market and need for the services or products you are providing. Although it is important to do your due diligence and successfully conduct some market research, if your product is adapting well, it is probably a good time to consider the business expansion into that market.The Scale RuleThe Scale Rule can help founders to decide if they are ready or too early to scale by defining it. For this, we turn to Steven Carpenter, former Global Sales & Operations at Dropbox and exec at Accel.“I define scale as when your company has reached “product/market fit” in tandem with “business model fit.” It’s the moment when your customer acquisition growth rate is increasing while your acquisition costs are decreasing, AND the unit economics of the business are moving in your favour. You aren’t yet profitable but you understand your cost levers.”It is important to consider a properly planned growth strategy when considering this rule. If you are scaling at a time when the customer acquisition growth rate is increasing, you will need to ensure you have a strategic growth plan to help you achieve your success of continuing to scale.The Go-Fast RuleThe founders that follow the Go-fast rule know that they can sell internationally with minimal incremental cost and that if they were successful, they would increase their growth rate and demonstrate that their addressable market extends beyond their home country, the goal is to drive valuation.If your business can use its existing logistics or pass along new delivery costs to the customer to service in the new market then it can generally be a no-brainer to run an AdWords or Facebook campaign in your new market very early on and see what takes. You shouldn’t even need to localise your offering for these tests.If the proposition is going to fly internationally then some customers will convert even when the pricing isn’t a local currency. If you are in a position where you are going to need people on the ground to sell and deliver your product then you need to consider the scale rule.There is also an argument for expanding early that you can pre-empt copycats, American investors looking for ideas from European or Asian markets, etc., and vice versa.Thinking of going global? Here are some reasons why you definitely should!The model is working well enough ruleThere’s often no clear moment when your business model is ‘working’. So, you can ask yourself does it feel like the management team has moved its focus from continually fighting fires to optimisation? If you are still fighting fires it might be too early but if you aren’t then your business model is probably working well enough that you can handle the fires of an international office.Some considerations:Start-ups from countries with a population of less than 50 million go international twice as fast as start-ups from countries with a population of more than 50 million: 1.4 years as opposed to 2.8 years.Companies in countries with smaller populations and market share need to think internationally from an early stage. A founder in the U.S. or China can focus 100 percent on their home market and comfortably build a $billion business. That’s the upside for bigger countries.The downside is that they may only think about the international market at a late stage and may struggle to adapt their business accordingly. Whereas a founder in Sweden or Ireland knows from day one that their business needs to be international, if it is ever going to get really big, and builds accordingly.As a general rule, the return on investment (ROI) of expanding internationally is usually less than the ROI of expanding domestically. Typically, with a business that is going well in its home market, €1 invested in local growth will increase users and revenues by more than €1 invested abroad.Eventually, though, a company will reach saturation point in its home market and need to expand elsewhere, at which point this equation might switch around. But usually, it is cheaper to expand at home than abroad.While the advice may be to go international as early as you can - If possible, start by selling internationally from your home base.Market expansion strategySo you have decided that it is the right time for you to enter a new market. However, what options exist that may suit your need and help you to achieve this successful market entry?Depending on your business, as well as the priorities around timelines, cost and immigration, there are many solutions that may apply to you. Although it is always best to speak to an expert who can manage your case based on the individual needs and circumstances of your growth, there are some more popular options for you to consider.1. Set up an EntityRegistering an entity allows companies to hire staff if necessary, sell goods/services apply for business benefits, and many other options. The main Entity types in most countries include ;Limited Liability CompanySole Proprietorship;   Limited Partnership;  Corporation; and  Cooperative.   Branch officeDeciding on which entity is best suited to your need depends on your business objective and background. Register to Centuro Connect to discover details about the entity types, documents required, timelines, and the procedure of how to apply.  2. FranchiseAllow others in different locations to open up your business branches and operate them following your guidelines. They pay you a fee and a percentage of profits. However, they have more operations control within their local market.3. Direct ExportingMarket your goods and services within a region and export your goods and services from your home region.4. Partnerships Can take many forms including JVs or having a local partner to represent your firm and help generate business.Some countries require a local partner to have an ownership stake within a region.You may simply need a distributor to sell your goods. 5. Buy a CompanyYou immediately claim market share with an existing customer base.No incorporation or initial setup costs/laws to comply withHowever, expensive to buy and need to integrate into the company culture 6. LicensingGive ownership of your product to parties in different regions for them to sell on your behalf. Companies who are looking to fully scale into a new market should consider the benefits as well as limitations that licensing may offer their business growth.7. PEO / EORA professional employer organisation (PEO)can be defined as an outsourcing firm that provides services to small and medium-sized entities (SMEs). An ‘ Employer of Record’ (EOR)is a third-party contracted by a client company to take on the core compliance responsibilities of an employer, as specified under the law.If you liaise with a company offering PEO and EOR services you will be able to expand your company in a region without setting up an entity. This involves the "leasing" of employees. A resident firm will hire employees on your behalf, and cover payroll and other necessary HR requirements, whilst the employees work for you.  This enables you to test the market with staff but without the up-front capital of setting up a company.  This may be a suitable option for companies that want to hire a few employees in a foreign country but are not ready to set up an entity.It may never feel like the '' right time'' to expand into a new market, however, the benefits and opportunities it can provide well outweigh the risks. If you are looking to enter a new market but are not sure when or how to do so, explore Centuro Connect and contact one of our team.

Jun 21, 2022
BlogTalent & The Next Generation Workforce: An Executive Recruiters View
Start A Company, Hr +2
Talent & The Next Generation Workforce: An Executive Recruiters View

The challenges concerning talent and the future generation of the workforce continue, with organisations facing the raging war on talent, talent shortages, and are struggling to attract and retain talent. Job vacancies are at an all-time high, with employers having to incorporate better flexible working policies and focus on having to retain talent by prioritising career development and learning to keep the best talent.In the days leading up to the Centuro Global Expansion Conference in May, we met with four panellists who are experts to discuss the current Talent market, the drivers of change, and expected outcomes.The impactful reflections of the panel that arose from these conversations were highlighted throughout the conference, but the powerhouse team that represented the four different sides of the Talent space could have led an engaging and meaningful discussion for much longer than the session.In this article, we would like to reflect on the key takeaways from Imraan Arbee, founder of RB Partners Executive Search, to view the Talent space through the recruitment lens.This article is one of a four-part series, in which we highlight some of the key discussion takeaways that managers and HR teams can take on board to help tackle the talent crunch.Work-Life AlignmentIt goes without saying that the biggest shift towards work-life alignment occurred in 2020, as organisations turned to remote work at the start of the pandemic. Certainly, the evolution of technology in recent years enabled remote work to occur with an almost seamless transition from the majority of office work to the majority of remote work.After some initial growing pains and replicating of the office environment in the home space, many organisations adjusted to a more flexible approach to remote work. Output-led initiatives have become more common across industries, allowing employees to focus on finding the right balance between work and home life each day. One of our expert panelists, Imraan provided an example of a Nordic-based company that goes so far as to actively dissuade their employees from working outside of office hours, with the CEO leading the charge by scheduling lunch-time rock climbing breaks for himself.  HR leaders and teams will have to rethink their learning and development programmes to ensure that they are still engaging the workforce whilst upskilling them. Although workers demand more flexibility and better working environments, there is a high demand for more development and priority of the worker experience.DiversityOne of the challenges with creating a more diverse workplace, particularly in executive roles, for many companies is that to date, the talent pool from which candidates are chosen has not been very diverse itself.Remote work has allowed companies to access wider pools of talent and build diverse talent pipelines by supporting, for example, women in the workplace who have historically been unable to take on roles that required frequent time away from home. On an international level, remote work has also allowed organisations to gain a diversity of thought by accessing talent from different cultural backgrounds. But remote work only takes diversity so far: traditionally, leaders looked and sounded similar across businesses.Some companies found that their leaders might look the part, and sound the part, but the output wasn’t delivery-focused. The shift to output-led task delivery has helped companies identify high-performing individuals to achieve a greater amount of success alongside greater diversity.The future generationHow does Imraan view the changes in the talent space with the next-generation workforce? He poignantly reflected that his hope for the future generation(s) is that they will have the best of both worlds: they won’t have to work in the way that it was prescribed until 2020 and will have the flexibility that has come in recent years, but will have the work ethic of the environment that existed before and up to today.As organisations look to reshape their various policies around hiring and retaining talent, they will have to ensure that they manage to develop talent whilst balancing the new working environment.Stay tuned as we share more insights into the key discussion points of the talent crisis.

Jun 21, 2022
BlogHow Global Companies Can Reduce Their Carbon Footprint
Start A Company, Hr +2
How Global Companies Can Reduce Their Carbon Footprint

The 5th of June was World Environment Day, the United Nations Day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment. Organisations have a crucial role to play in protecting the environment and reducing their Carbon footprint. Climate change and reducing organizational impact should be at the top of all of our agendas.So how can companies begin to address the importance of the climate crisis? Mike Azlen, CEO of Carbon Cap Management explains in an exclusive interview, the importance of reducing emissions and the actions companies can take to improve supply chains and reduce their ecological footprint.1.      EducationBy bettering their understanding of the climate risks at hand, key stakeholders can learn about the challenges at hand and understand how they need to be addressed. Both Senior Managers, as well as employees, should be involved in understanding where we’re at. At a senior management level, it is important to know where your carbon footprint is, and what are you doing about it.2.      Take ActionOnce there’s a better understanding, companies can take action in reducing their impact.  The actions and steps needed will differ across various industries and companies, as the Carbon footprints and supply chain issues will vary.  3.      Customise approachCompanies will have to customize their approach as to how they deal with the challenges of climate change and how they reduce their Carbon footprint and impact.World Environment Day: Key takeaways on carbon emissionsTo do our part in spreading awareness about World Environment Day, we’ve recapped some key takeaways from the CarbonCap presentation by Mike Azlen at our Global Expansion Conference which took place on 25 May 2022 in London.1.      Globally, we’re emitting 40 billion tonnes of Carbon/year - about 150 million tonnes of emissions/day.2.      The amount of emissions for 1 passenger’s air travel from London to New York is about 2 tonnes of CO23.       At our current run rate, we have a mere 8 years before we reach the 1.5-degree increase threshold set by The Paris Agreement.“It is generally accepted that the best way to correct a market failure is to place a price on the externality that reflects its the true cost. In the case of climate change, this requires putting a price on a tonne of Carbon that reflects the net cost to society” - CarbonCap4.      There are 2 ways to put a price on Carbon5.      There are two markets today that contribute to off-setting Carbon6.      There is hope: the cap and trade system implemented in the US in the 1990s has reduced Carbon emissions by 81% todayThere are many actions companies can take to reduce their Carbon footprint. Expanding companies who are looking to enter new markets should consider the physical risks that climate change could pose for them depending on the locations they are considering as well as the regulatory environment and policies that may impact your expansion.The 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are often a good starting point for companies who are looking to improve their sustainability practices and reduce their Carbon footprint.Governments that offer incentives for green and climate-friendly initiativesCurrently, many countries offer sustainability incentives for companies that are investing in green and climate-friendly initiatives. The United Kingdom is an example of a country that provides incentives for this. The United Kingdom is a signatory of the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.The 2030 sustainable development agenda places emphasis on responsible business conduct to reduce the impacts of climate change. Sustainability within the business context is sometimes defined as the management of environmental, social, and governance issues and is considered to be extremely important in a wide range of areas, including new product development, reputation building, overall corporate strategy, and regulation, particularly environmental.UNSDG Agenda 2030 The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which includes the 17 related Sustainable development goals (SDGs) has been introduced in 2015, and the United Kingdom has been a member of this agreement which is aimed at creating a more sustainable future with improvements and focus on the environment, economy and social aspect of society. The UK is committed to ensuring that the SDGs are fully embedded into each Government department through various departmental planning processes. In 2019 the UK announced a Voluntary National Review which aims at reporting on how far the monarchy is progressing on delivering the 17 SDGs.  Government support   A large amount of funding is available for companies who invest or are involved in the green/sustainability sector. Most of the UK government grants are allocated towards SMEs across various sectors. This includes:The UK government has issued green grants for renewable energy businesses, sustainability grants, energy efficiency grants, sustainable innovation, and green jobs.  The grants are distributed across the various regions of the UK. Some grants include;  - the Low Carbon Revenue Grants in Warwickshire - the Business Energy Efficiency Program in Worcester County, Energy for business in Nottinghamshire - LCR Future Energy for SMEs in Liverpool and West of England Green Business Grants  A Circular Economy Investment Fund sponsored by Zero-Waste also exists, which is typically given to SMEs. In Wales, government-funded ‘’Eco grants’’ are given to businesses/projects who will acquire, restore, and enhance nature.  The Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland grants various funding and grants for businesses as well.  In November 2020, the UK government announced a stipend of GBP 134 million dedicated to funding Cleantech. This will be granted via the Sustainable Innovation Fund. This funding is aimed at assisting green growth projects to develop ern technologies thus creating jobs, reducing climate change, and driving productivity.  Discover what other countries offer incentives for green and climate-friendly initiatives by subscribing to Centuro Connect.In conclusion, it is clear that all companies have a role to play in reducing their carbon footprint and improving their sustainability practices. Education is an important tool in this, and receiving expert advice can help to achieve optimal outcomes in the actions taken.Contact us for more information, and sign up to Centuro Connect today.

Jun 10, 2022
BlogRyanair restricts South African travellers - A Legal Perspective
Start A Company, Hr +2
Ryanair Restricts South African Travellers - A Legal Perspective

Irish airline Ryanair has recently asked South Africans to prove their nationality by passing an Afrikaans language test on UK flights. South Africans have condemned the airline for making them take the test, calling it discriminatory.Ryanair defended the test, saying it weeds out those travelling on fraudulent South African passports and helps to reduce fraud.The airline has said those who do not pass the test will be refused travel and will receive a full refund for their tickets.Some reports say it applies to all Ryanair's European flights, while others state it applies to those South African passport holders who are travelling on UK and Ireland routes. In a statement to South Africa's Daily Maverick paper, Irish border authorities denied they require such tests. What are some of the legal perspectives that should be considered?Official languagesSouth Africa is a multilingual country, and Section 6 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act No. 108 of 1996) grants official language status to 11 languages, namely Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, and isiZulu.In addition, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet approved the Constitutional Eighteenth Amendment Bill for public comment a few days ago, which will recognise South African Sign Language as the twelfth official language of the country.Afrikaans is not the only official language in a diverse country such as South Africa. Many South Africans do not speak or understand Afrikaans. According to 2018 statistics, only around 12% of South Africans speak Afrikaans at home.Thus, any such a test is fundamentally misguided, and there is an apparent disconnect between the purported outcome and the means to achieving same.DiscriminationIn South Africa, discrimination is prohibited by the Constitution in terms of section 9 of the Bill of Rights and by the Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 4 of 2000, as amended (the “Act”).In terms of the Act: “discrimination means the behaviour or practice of forming of opinions about others not based on their individual merits, but rather their membership in a group with assumed characteristics."Most importantly, the discrimination includes:the actions; orthe inaction of such entities or associations:-and consists of those of its-·        members,·        elected directors or representatives,·        committees or managers,·        chairpersons,·        treasurers,·        caterers,·        staff and the like when exercising:o   any right,o   entitlement,o   function,o   or power in terms of their office or membership.The Act prohibits unfair discrimination in South Africa by the government and by private organisations and individuals. If these tests to '' identify fake passports'' were being conducted on South African soil, the airline would be in hot water.  Data PrivacyIn South Africa, the right to privacy and dignity is protected in terms of the common law and section 14 of the Constitution. In addition, data privacy is regulated by the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (“POPIA”), personal information is defined as including:"…means information relating to an identifiable, living, natural person, and where it is applicable and identifiable, existing juristic person, including, but not limited to— information relating to the race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, national, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental health, well-being, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language, and birth of the person...”POPIA regulates the processing of private information:“any operation or activity or any set of operations, whether or not by automatic means, concerning personal information, including—(a) The collection, receipt, recording, organisation, collation, storage, updating or modification, retrieval, alteration, consultation, or use;(b) Dissemination by means of transmission, distribution, or making available in any other form; or(c) Merging, linking, as well as blocking, degradation, erasure, or destruction of Information.”Therefore, the question is whether Ryanair had informed consent of the passengers it tested, regardless of the logical disconnect and on who’s soil it occurred. POPIA is the little sister of the GDPR, which applies on European soil and sets a similar and, in many instances, a higher standard than POPIA does.The fairness of the decision and administrative processAs a concluding remark, in South Africa, the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 3 of 2000 (“PAJA”) gives effect to the right to administrative action that is lawful, reasonable, and procedurally fair and to the right to written reasons for administrative action as contemplated in section 33 of the Constitution.An administrative act means any decision is taken or failure to take a decision. It extends to both the state and private organisations. It is a mechanism that holds decision-makers to account and allows for a process to establish whether the decision taken aligns with the purported outcome seeking to be achieved and whether it is substantially and procedurally fair.The airline would struggle to justify a decision that is flawed even on an elementary statistical analysis. A better mechanism to verify identity would potentially be to look at ways to verify between official sources or through the relevant border control process and not through flawed, arbitrary self-assessment.Is the Afrikaans test a UK visa requirement?It is also important to note that completing this test is not a UK government requirement. The UK authorities do not request that South Africans write a language test for identity verification. South African travellers who are entering the UK will need to provide proof of a legitimate passport and a valid visa.There are many visa types that apply to the United Kingdom, including Business Visas and Work Permits. Completing an Afrikaans language test is currently not a requirement to obtain any visa in the United Kingdom.Travellers should ensure they have a valid visa if they are planning to travel to the United Kingdom on a South African passport. If travellers are visiting the UK to attend or take part in an event related to work, the visa type will depend on a number of factors.  The two types of business visas that apply to the United Kingdom include:Permitted Paid Engagement Visa: this entails being paid by a UK company to come as an expert in your professionStandard Visitor Visa: this entails coming on a business trip and not being paid by a UK companyFor permanent residents and South Africans who are employed in the United Kingdom on a permanent basis, several work permits may apply. Please contact Centuro Global should you require more information on visa types and official documentation required.UPDATE: Ryanair has now revoked this policyContributors to this article include:Nicolene Schoeman-LouwSchoemanLaw Incwww.schoemanlaw.co.zaCape Town, South Africa

Jun 08, 2022
Blog2022 Conference Recap - The Global Expansion Conference
Start A Company, Hr +2
2022 Conference Recap - The Global Expansion Conference

With more than 200 participants from all over the world, 57 globally renowned speakers, and two successful days of networking, we are delighted to announce The Global Expansion Conference 2022 on 25-26 May in London was a great success!   For more than 2 years, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to adapt and innovate. In order to meet this “new normal,” our team co-created the event's agenda with some of the most influential global business leaders to ensure we address, debate, and make policy suggestions on the most pressing industry issues with a return to an in-person event format. The intention of the conference was to provide a comprehensive overview of The Future of International Business and help companies to prepare for the challenges they may face. Together with industry experts and top thought leaders, we successfully delivered multiple sessions that provided delegates with important takeaways and action points.   Let's Recap on GEC2022  The two-day conference was truly global in outlook and reach, providing access to thought-provoking sessions for delegates from across the globe.On Wednesday, the 25th of May, we kicked off with a one-of-a-kind opening presentation by our keynote speaker, Mike Azlen. His discussion focused on how companies can future-proof their business by investing in sustainable development and journey to Net-Zero.  Sessions then continued throughout the day and covered important topics including The Future of Leadership New Frontier Technologies, Investment & Fundraising Talent Recruitment & Well-being Diversity & Inclusion Doing Business in Saudi Arabia, and Tax Compliance in a Remote World.GEC2022 DAY 1 Recap   The first day concluded with the INT-X Awards 2022 Gala Dinner celebrating finalists and announcing the winners of the INT-X Awards 2022. Attendees enjoyed a three-course dinner with live entertainment. See Full INT-X Awards 2022 Winners Here. On the second day, sessions covered AI & Regulation, The Future of Marketing & Branding, Doing Business with China, Global Expansion, The Future of Work with Live Tech Presentations, and not to forget an impeccable presentation by our keynote speaker from R2 Factory at Rolls Royce, Caroline Gorski!   Caroline was full of life, and her talk described her passion for her work and talent. Many enjoyed her discussion about the importance of developing ecosystems for successful growth at Rolls-Royce.   Thank you to those who attended the Global Expansion Conference 2022. If you are interested in attending the Global Expansion Conference 2023, pre-register your interest here. Videos and Photos Photo highlights are now available to view and download here.Video highlights from the conference are now available here. (You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss any future content) Thanks again We are so grateful to our sponsors, speakers, delegates, and staff for making this conference possible. Whether you were able to come out this time or not, we hope to see you next year – or even sooner at one of our other events!     Want to get in early on the action? Pre-register here for access to the upcoming GEC2023. Learn more about GEC2022, The World's First Global Expansion Conference, here.     Powered by Centuro Global. Your trusted partner in Global ExpansionAbout Centuro Global Centuro Global is the first market network designed to help companies expand internationally via a SaaS platform. A dynamic combination of real-life, real-time advice and a broad digital knowledge base empowers company leadership and its people to take global growth into their own hands.The overarching aim of the platform is to allow businesses to expand into new territories in a seamless and compliant way while bringing down costs and breaking down barriers for less established companies. To learn more, please visit: Our Website or connect with us via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or check out our Media Center.

Jun 07, 2022
BlogHow British brands have helped to shape international business today
Start A Company, Hr +2
How British Brands Have Helped To Shape International Business Today

In June 2022, Her Majesty the Queen will become the first British monarch to celebrate a platinum Jubilee. She will be celebrating 70 years of service as The Queen of England. Many will be celebrating this momentous anniversary.We would like to acknowledge some of the major quintessentially British brands that have helped shape - and been shaped by – modern international business and expansion over the past 70 years. A summarized timeline can be found below.  1953: The coronation of Queen Elizabeth caused sales of gin (and all-things British) to soar in the US. The US remains one of the top consumers of Gordon’s to this day.1961: Jaguar premiers the new E-type model at the Geneva Motor Show. Today, Jaguar pledges that all modern cars will be fully electric by 2025.1972: Marks and Spencer opens its first international shop in Canada. The successful launch prompts further expansion into France and Belgium in 1975. 1980: British Airways' inaugural, direct flight from London to Beijing takes off.1982: Trading profits for Cadbury are reported to be greater outside of Britain than in the UK for the first time in history.1990’s: After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the BBC begins broadcasting in local languages across Central and Eastern Europe including: Croatian (1991), Ukrainian (1992), Albanian (1993), Kazakh (1995).2006: Online retail for Burberry opens first in the US. 2014: Fortnum and Mason open their first international retail storefront in Dubai. 2018: Twinings publishes the list of tea gardens used for production to create a system of ethical accountability.  There are thousands of successful international expansion stories for both companies entering the United Kingdom, as well as successful UK brands that have entered new foreign markets.It is expected that the next 70 years will continue along the trends established in the more recent decades, leaning on advancements in technology, emerging consumer markets, and ethical & sustainable business practices. Congratulations to Her Majesty the Queen on 70 years of service. We look forward to supporting the future of business expansion for both UK companies as well as companies entering the UK. Whether you are a UK brand looking to enter new foreign markets, or a company looking to enter the UK, we can support your expansion plans. Please contact us should you require any assistance.   About Centuro Global  Centuro Global is the world’s first market network designed to help companies expand internationally via a SaaS platform. A dynamic combination of real-life, real-time advice and a broad digital knowledge base empowers a company’s leadership and its people to take global growth into their own hands.The overarching aim of the platform is to allow businesses to expand into new territories in a seamless and compliant way while bringing down costs and breaking down barriers for less established companies.  To learn more, please visit: Our Website or connect with us via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or check out our Media Center.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Jun 02, 2022
BlogTop reasons to set up a business in Cyprus
Start A Company, Hr +2
Top Reasons To Set Up A Business In Cyprus

Throughout the past 30 years, Cyprus has developed to become a high-quality centre for international business and investment. The past decade has witnessed a steady stream of companies choosing to set up their headquarters in Cyprus.Many industries have chosen to invest in Cyprus, with notable upsurges in the pharmaceutical, shipping, fossil fuel, investment, and renewable energy sectors. Many consider Cyprus a vacation island and do not immediately think of the business rewards.However, there are many benefits to setting up a business in Cyprus. For those wondering what the business attraction is, consider the following:  Cyprus Business Location Highlights  A modern stable democratic state with EU and Eurozone membership and a 'can-do' attitude.   Cyprus is considered to be recently independent, after gaining its independence in 1960. Historically, Cyrus was best known as being an island which was lacking in natural resources and predominantly dominated by agriculture and tourism.  However, the 2022 version of Cyrpus is better recognised as being a member of the European Union (since 2004) and Eurozone (since 2008). It is considered a modern and fully transparent international centre for business and finance, and home to one of the largest merchant shipping fleets in the world.  It also offers investors and companies an oasis of calm in what is known to be an otherwise turbulent region. When excluding the COVID-19 pandemic and Cyrpus's large tourist sector, the country recorded GDP growth of 4.5% in 2021.  A strategic geographical location The island is ideally located in between three continents and functions as a natural conduit for investment both into and out of the European Union.  Cyprus is also placed in a convenient time zone for conducting business worldwide.It falls into the Eastern European Timezone category, making it a favourable location for companies within the European Union. Cyprus holds historic ties with Eastern Europe. It manages positive relations with North Africa and the Middle East, and Cyprus enjoys good relations with its neighbours.  The island is served by two international airports, and modern seaports and is home to the third-largest merchant fleet in the European Union.Access to local and EU talent: Dynamic, young, affordable employees For non-resident companies, accessing local and international talent may seem daunting. However, there are numerous benefits to opening a company in Cyprus and hiring a local or foreign workforce. This includes the availability of relatively low-cost, talented, and multi-lingual skilled workers, who are keen to work and can do so across multiple economies and in many languages.Numerous major ICT businesses have established headquarters or a Cyprus company to conduct a variety of operations including sales and marketing, software development, and disaster recovery. Cyprus has also recently launched more liberal immigration policies, in a bid to attract more top talent to the island. This has helped to attract foreign direct investment and bring in foreign investors.This compares to many other European countries, which may be perceived as relatively restrictive with their immigration procedures.Attractive corporate and income tax regulations: offers over 65 dual taxation agreements  The current Cyprus corporation tax rate for resident companies is 12.5% on worldwide income. This will increase to 15% for MNE in line with OECD rules but any potential negative impacts are offset by government tax policies that favour high quality, sustainable businesses and business sectors such as multinationals, shipping, pharmaceutical, fintech, gaming, and digital marketing corporations.Cyprus provides an ideal environment for group holding and finance companies, offering a tax-free flow of dividends from Cyprus to non-tax resident entities under certain conditions while there is a full participation exemption and no tax on capital gains apart from gains derived from the direct and indirect sale of real estate in Cyprus.The network of double taxation agreements provides excellent safeguards vis-à-vis double, or no taxation, and unilateral relief is available for taxes paid overseas if no double taxation agreement applies. The EC Merger Directive has been fully adopted and therefore mergers and approved restructurings can be carried out with full exemption from any form of taxation in Cyprus.  Special income tax incentives are in place for new tax residents of Cyprus with up to 50% tax relief for high earners. Although Cyprus does not have the lowest corporate tax rates, they offer reasonable corporate tax incentives.Tax incentives for investment and innovation including a highly favourable IP Box regime  The Cyprus government is keen to build a cluster of  ICT, high technology, and innovative companies.  To this end, it operates a European Union-approved IP Box regime that utilises the ‘Nexus’ fraction approach. The Cyprus IP Box basically provides a tax exemption of up to 80% of profits for expenditure concerning research and development from qualifying intangible assets.The government has proposed changes to the scheme which if adopted will further enhance its attractiveness.  Natural persons can benefit from a 50% tax deduction for investing in certified innovative companies. The government intends to expand this to include corporate investors.  Attractive European Union approved sector-specific tax regimes Cyprus operates the first EU-approved shipping ‘tonnage tax’ scheme. This approval has recently been extended to 2029.  Under the scheme, subject to qualification, shipowners, ship managers and charters in qualifying shipping activities have the option to be taxed based on the tonnage of the vessel rather than on income or profit. This offers the owner the advantage of certainty.  The scheme has played an important part in the development of a shipping cluster in Cyprus which now includes the largest 3rd party ship management centre in Europe and the largest crew management centre in the world.  Special schemes also exist for the Insurance and Film sectors.  A legitimate, transparent business eco-system that includes a strong competitively priced professional service sector with English widely spoken as the established business language  Cyprus is primarily a common law jurisdiction with courts bound by the doctrine of precedent. This offers the parties with an intended commercial action the advantages of consistency, predictability, and efficiency.  Intellectual Property rights are well protected, and European Union laws are fully applicable. Most business activities are conducted in English, although some other languages may also be used given Cyprus's strategic location.English is widely spoken and will be approved as an official language for use in soon-to-be-established Commercial and Admiralty Courts. If you require any assistance with intellectual property rights or more advice, please do not hesitate to get in touch.Cyprus has a competitive international tax environment, which is fully compliant with international best practices and many foreign companies appreciate the standards of transparency and fairness.The EU Anti-Tax Avoidance Directives ATAD I and ATAD II are in force, and it is expected that the ATAD 3 provisions will take effect from 1 January 2024. Cyprus is also a signatory to the Multilateral Convention on Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting.New and updated double tax agreements are aligned with the latest OECD standards and, in compliance with the 4th and  5th Anti-Money Laundering Directives, the different UBO registers have been established.  There is a relatively low-cost, large, highly-skilled, and experienced professional services sector which is familiar with complex and multi-jurisdiction transactions.  The larger international accounting firms have bases in Cyprus and law firms such as Elias Neocleous & Co LLC frequently work in conjunction with the ‘Magic Circle’ of law firms.Low set up costs, low office rents, and competitive commercial real estate prices  A surge in interest in locating in Cyprus has spawned a large number of multi-use office and commercial developments in the two main business cities of Limassol and Nicosia. Office accommodation is readily available to suit all needs and budgets – often with a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean.  Outside of this, costs for establishing a business are low and a Business Facilitation Unit has been established to assist with the practicalities of moving a business to or starting up a business on the island.  A government that is consistently pro-business and pro foreign investment Since 1960, irrespective of political leanings, successive Cypriot governments have been keen to promote a business and tax environment that will encourage foreign investment in the country.  For the past decade, this has evolved into a desire to promote Cyprus as a sustainable business and trade centre.  Recent policy has focused on the introduction of new incentives targeted at the areas of high-technology, innovation, pharmaceuticals, shipping, and foreign interest-owned companies.  Many of these incentives were put in place at the start of 2022 the remainder are expected to follow in short order.  They include the establishment of a Business Facilitation Unit to assist with the relocation and establishment of businesses in Cyprus, changes to migration rules to facilitate the entry of skilled third-country nationals, and numerous individual and corporate tax incentives to encourage a ‘brain drain’ into the country.  In addition to all of above Cyprus is rated as one of the safest countries in the world to live in with excellent education and health facilities. It offers a more relaxed environment with good cuisine and a welcoming population. Is it any wonder that so many businesses are now choosing to make it their home?  Migration & Substance  2022 Government investment strategy facilitates the employment of third-country nationals (TCN) in targeted sectors and gives them family reunification rights.   It is now much easier for foreign interest companies, or foreign investors, to relocate key workers to Cyprus and establish economic substance on the island as required under ATAD3.  Digital Nomad Resident Visa Scheme   From March 2022 the government is allowing, subject to certain conditions, 500 visas to be issued to TCNs able to work remotely through telecommunications technology. The initial visa is for one year. Possibility of renewing for a further two years. They may be accompanied by family members who will not have the right to work in Cyprus. They become Cyprus tax residents after 183 days in any year unless they can prove tax residency elsewhere.  Capital Gains  Capital Gains Tax is only imposed on gains made from;  - The sale of immovable property in Cyprus, and  - The sale of shares of unlisted companies directly or indirectly owning immovable property in Cyprus.  Gains are taxed at 20%. An exemption exists for the sale of property originally purchased on an ‘arm’s length’ basis between 16 July 2015 and 31 December 2016.  Withholding Taxes (WHT)   There is no WHT on dividends, interest, and royalties paid to non-residents of Cyprus except in the case of royalties earned on rights used within Cyprus. WHT on royalties for rights used within Cyprus may be reduced or eliminated by double tax treaties entered into by Cyprus or by the EU Interest and Royalty Directive as enacted in the Cyprus tax legislation.From 31 December 2022, Cyprus will apply WHT on dividend, interest, and royalty payments to EU Blacklisted jurisdictions.  Incentives for expatriate workers   Persons considered to be Cyprus tax residents may benefit from a 50% deduction (expatriate relief) on personal income tax if they:   ·Were not a tax resident of Cyprus in the previous tax year; ·Were not a Cyprus tax resident for any three of the past five years prior to commencement of their employment in Cyprus; and ·Have annual gross emoluments ≥€ 100,000.  This relief is currently available for 10 years. The government intends to reduce the qualifying threshold in 2022 to ≥€ 55,000 with a retroactive effect. It is also proposed to extend the period of relief to 17 years for existing beneficiaries. Lower paid expatriates becoming tax-resident in Cyprus can claim an annual exemption equal to the lesser of €8,500 or 20% of their income from employment in Cyprus.The exemption commences 1 January following the year of employment. The exemption is available for a period of 5 years with the last eligible tax year being 2030.  There are many benefits to setting up a Cyprus company or moving some of your operations to Cyprus.  If companies wish to receive advice on legal support, business incorporation support or receive market entry advice, it is best to contact an expert. Experts will be able to advise on country-specific processes including how to do the following:- Open a bank account- How to action company registration or establish an entity such as a; limited liability company, private limited company, public limited companies- Advice on obtaining a physical address, registering your business name, action any relevant document submission, and much more.- Work with both local companies ( Cypriot company ) as well as provide access to an international network- Access a wide variety of markets that may have the right consumer base for your product or servicesIf you are interested in setting up a business in Cyprus, get in touch. Our experts are on hand to support you.  How to Get the International Expansion Ball Rolling Setting up a company in Cyprus is actually much simpler than many realise. Expanding internationally is a challenge, but when done correctly, it can be a streamlined process that enhances your business hugely.    Want to learn more about how to expand your business to Spain?    Sign up to the Centuro Connect platform today and start your global expansion journey to Cyprus and 100+ other countries! The Centuro Connect platform has details on tax, immigration, market entry points, HR, marketing, and real estate - plus contactable reliable experts to help you ace your expansion. This means that no matter what stage of the expansion journey you’re at, support is there if you face a challenge.  There’s no risk, no hidden costs, and no endless documentation to fill out. Just a wealth of guidance and support, here to aid you and your business throughout your international business expansion.            

May 13, 2022
BlogHow to acquire a Romanian company
Start A Company, Hr +2
How To Acquire A Romanian Company

If a company has made the decision to purchase an asset in Romania, whether it be a Romanian company, or simply shares in a Romanian company, it is crucial to factor in some key considerations. As many lawyers and general counsels will know, commercial decisions are made, and then implemented by lawyers.  Companies often ask themselves whether they should conduct specific research before acquiring a company, however often lean on the knowledge and expertise of their lawyers to solve any problems or issues they are facing.Although lawyers may help to solve many challenges, companies should have legal provisions in place to reduce their risk, and ultimately help to ensure their success. It is an imperfect world for many Romanian transactional lawyers and therefore potential purchasers in Romania need to be aware of certain issues which have been outlined below.What legal challenges can be expected? This article is intended to review some of the initial problems that organisations should consider from a legal and tax perspective. The first and second questions are:What type of transaction is your firm trying to conduct.  Is your organisation looking to make an asset purchase, or are you purchasing shares within a company?  For buyers who have no legal entities or presence in Romania at the time of the purchase, the transaction may raise some concerns. If a foreign company is looking to acquire a company in Romania, they will need to financially register themselves before the transaction can be compleated. This include:opening a bank accountsetting up an entityand establishing a legal entity Once a company is financially registered, they immediately have a permanent establishment in Romania. This means that tax authorities can now charge the purchaser as they are now a taxable, Romanian entity. All relevant assets can therefore be taxed. This often leads to a popular question; should companies set up or incorporated a business before they proceed with an acquisition?Registering an entity, such as limited liability companies, or private limited companies may help to simplify the incorporation procedure. Ultimately, a tax implication will apply to the purchaser as to whether they acquire a local company, or set up their own entity, they will need to complete legal formalities and confront taxes potentially payable.To prevent complications and foreign ownership restrictions, the simplest route for companies could be to incorporate a local company in Romania. Additionally, incorporating a company may allow for the acquirer to benefit from a number of tax exemptions, including a double tax treaty. Setting up a local entity also helps to tap into the local Romanian market, and can help to offer increased representative offices for your services or product within the region. Corporate entities with offerings in other EU member states often consider establishing Romanian companies.What tax challenges and exemptions apply Tax exemptions are often relevant to the corporate taxes companies need to pay. However, there are exemptions that apply to income payments between the parent company and the subsidiary.For example, dividends received from a Romanian company or paid to it, provided that a dual taxation agreement is in force, will not have to pay withholding tax if the company has at least 10% of the issued shares and has been established for at least one year.The same type of exemption applies if there is income from a valuation, revaluation sale, or transfer of shares of either a Romanian company or subsidiary in another jurisdiction provided the transaction is in relation to companies in states where Romania has a Treaty against Double Taxation.Other tax considerations that sometimes arise relate to the shared exchanges or mergers that assist in facilitating the acquisition.Shared exchanges do exist in some cases, however, mergers and demergers are more likely. In these cases, there are limited taxation issues. However, it is always advised to consult a specialist to fully understand the main transfer tax exemptions. The outcome may change on a case-by-case basis.Taxation of a target company in Romania Romania follows the more popular approach when it comes to the taxation of a target company during a transaction. Because the target company is a legal entity, the taxation applies within the trade registry of that location. more normal routes in relation to the taxation of the target company during any transaction.  The taxable position of the company will not be altered by the change of ownership of the shares of the company.  Cost of acquisition transactions The costs of the transaction will also need to be reviewed in relation to the taxes which might be payable as a result of the acquisition. For the acquisition of shares or social parts the only tax payable will be that charged by the Official Gazette for the publication of the shareholders’ resolution. These are not calculated on the value of the transaction and are minimal.However, if there are assets being transferred and these assets are real estate then there will be notary fees and land registration fees.  The notary fees are charged based on the value of the real estate. The minimum value is set by the Notary table of real estate values. Another matter that might be considered by the acquiring company is the question of the deductibility of interest on the funds used to finance the purchase.  Exemptions for independent taxpayers As a general rule, the interest will not be deductible and is generally applied to all companies and is related to the implementation of anti-tax avoidance directives. There is however an exemption relating to independent taxpayers permitting full deductibility of interest and foreign exchange losses.  The question of the availability of any tax exemption needs to be examined carefully in respect of any acquisition and the buyer's finance department or independent advisors need to consider this question.As matters in relation to taxation can arise after the closing of the purchase of a company or the assets it is also prudent for the acquiring company to consider there is a retention of part of the purchase consideration until such time as the total tax liability of the parties has been ascertained.  The question of any outstanding ability to mitigate tax liability will become apparent during the due diligence phase of the transaction and will therefore need to be covered in the transaction documents.  Depending on the nature of the retention any withholding may be treated as conditional payment of the purchase consideration and dealt with accordingly.Final considerations; Expertise matters When working with companies for these types of transactions, we have found that the matters are often resolved during the negotiation process and when the purchase has successfully been completed.  However, the key takeaway for any purchaser should that quality legal and tax advice should be a priority before commencing with an acquisition in Romania. We will help to ensure that the whole transaction is conducted with the minimum tax and legal liability for both parties as permitted by law. Contact Us!How to Get the Acquisition Ball Rolling Acquiring a company in Romania is actually much simpler than many realise. Doing internationally is a challenge, but when done correctly, it can be a streamlined process that enhances your business hugely.    Want to learn more about how to acquire a company in Romania?    Sign up to the Centuro Connect platform today and start your global expansion journey to Romania and 100+ other countries! The Centuro Connect platform has details on tax, immigration, market entry points, HR, marketing, and real estate - plus contactable reliable experts to help you ace your expansion. This means that no matter what stage of the expansion journey you’re at, support is there if you face a challenge.  There’s no risk, no hidden costs, and no endless documentation to fill out. Just a wealth of guidance and support, here to aid you and your business throughout your international business expansion.

May 13, 2022
BlogThe Remarkable Netflix Global Expansion Journey
Start A Company, Hr +2
The Remarkable Netflix Global Expansion Journey

Netflix is a prime example of a company that has successfully expanded its operations internationally. Starting out in just one country, the United States, Netflix has expanded into over 190 countries in just seven years!Despite the current challenges Netflix is facing concerning new subscribers, the company managed to successfully expand globally due to careful planning and execution. This article will explore three key areas that helped the streaming service achieve success, namely:1. Market choice;2. The Role of Data and Localisation; and3. How the company overcame Challenges.So let's get started!1. How Netflix Carefully Chose Its International Markets When entering into new countries, Netflix initially chose its next markets based on similarities, in order to limit potential cultural and geographical challenges.Canada One of the countries Netflix first considered for its global expansion was Canada. This was because the market was very similar to the United States in terms of culture, language and geography. This made it easier for the company to expand into Canada and tailor its content offerings to suit this new market.Netflix officially launched into the Canadian market in September 2010, kickstarting its first foray into international markets. Pricing was an important consideration in order to win market share and the initial subscription fee was priced at $7.99 per month, which Netflix CEO Reed Hastings referred to as "the lowest, most aggressive price we've ever had anywhere in the world." This was a key initiative as part of Netflix's business model to attract users quickly.Even with the low price tag, Canadian content availability was extremely limited. According to Canadian Business Online, in the United States by 2012 there were 10,625 distinct Netflix titles, whereas in Canada there were only 2,647.However, despite the initial relative lack of content, it took the company less than a year to attract one million subscribers, which is roughly three percent of Canada's population. This was an impressive feat!The choice of Canada proved to be a great success for Netflix. It exemplifies how choosing a similar market to your home country can be a relatively easy first step in your international expansion plans.Latin America & the CaribbeanOnce it had expanded into Canada, the next logical step in the Netflix global expansion journey was to expand into Latin America and the Caribbean due to the region's geographical proximity to the United States.At this point in time, the business had around 23 million subscribers across the United States and Canada. Successful expansion into the Latin American market would provide Netflix access to over 600 million potential new subscribers.On announcing its international expansion into the region, Netflix's share price surged by 8% taking it to record levels.From there, in September 2011, the firm began its expansion to 43 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean, with content available in Spanish, English, and Portuguese. Brazil was the first country in Latin America to go live with the service on September 5th. The streaming service was priced at around $9.10 making it more expensive than in North America.Following Brazil, Netflix continued its expansion in Latin America, and the company launched in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico in the subsequent days before expanding into a further 38 countries in the subsequent weeks. The company partnered with the likes of CBS, Miramax, and Showtime to share local content in the region.However, there were challenges in Netflix's global expansion into Latin America and the Caribbean. The lack of high-speed internet compared to the US and Canada proved to be an initial setback.For example, in Brazil, only 20% of the population had an internet speed greater than 500 kB/s a second in 2011. This proved to be an issue as Netflix required speeds of 800 kB/s a second in order to stream its content.A second major challenge was that the banking system in Latin America was not used to monthly recurring payments for a service, and given that this was the first streaming service to launch in the region, with no competitors, there was a reasonable degree of initial apprehension around the concept.Nonetheless, whilst this did hinder rapid growth, there was enough uptake to consider the expansion into the region a success.Europe Following the above-mentioned successes with global expansion, Netflix then turned to Europe in 2012. The expansion into the United Kingdom was a great success and by 2014 one in ten British households were subscribed to Netflix.Netflix developed a great strategy in relation to its international expansion based on its choice of content in new regions. "They start with a tiny offer that doesn't cost them much money and lowers their risk. Then they collect very specific information about what people enjoy, and programming and investment around consumer behavior are organized," according to Christof Baron, CEO of the world marketing firm Mindshare.In the UK, they started with content from the BBC, Channel 4, and ITV to gain initial traction and then started to review the type of content people actually enjoyed.2. The Role of Data and Localisation in Expanding Internationally Tailored Thumbnails Netflix has great attention to detail and even considered how viewers from different geographies would react to different imagery on the thumbnail of images.People are far more likely to view something if the thumbnail shows something that appeals to them. The old saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words and in Netflix's case, the more you watch, the more likely you are to keep your subscription.  Based on this, Netflix very cleverly generates many possible thumbnails for each piece of content. The Netflix algorithm then looks at your viewing habits to match up the most relevant thumbnail.If you watch a lot of romantic comedies, Netflix will show you a Stranger Things thumbnail with Winona Ryder and David Harbour to capture your interest. If you watch more comedy content, then the Netflix algorithm will instead show you a Stranger Things thumbnail with the kids dressed up as Ghostbusters.Personalization algorithms Netflix used data to carefully select its next markets and to tailor content based on the regions they were targeting.Netflix personalization algorithms enabled the company to understand global user behaviour and preferences. This allowed them to create a content strategy that was tailored to each individual market, which was key to their success.When entering Asia, the company learned that Asian audiences were more likely to watch shows with subtitles rather than dubbed versions. In contrast, Latin American audiences preferred dubbed content. This data proved invaluable in Netflix's international strategy for localising content.Language Considerations To ensure that its content was accessible to as many people as possible, Netflix also translated its content into local languages and introduced subtitles and dubbing. Viewers in different countries could now enjoy Netflix's wide range of content.In English-speaking countries, Netflix aims to localize foreign titles via English subtitles, while in other important markets, such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Japan, the company opts to subtitle or dub content based on local content preferences.In India, Netflix offers content in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, and Bengali.In China, it offers content in Mandarin and Cantonese.By localising its content, Netflix has been able to achieve global growth and become one of the most popular streaming services in the world.Original Content Not only does Netflix localise content but it also makes original content based on local preferences.  When expanding into Japan, Netflix saw that Japanese users were watching a lot of anime. In response, Netflix created an original anime series called "Devilman Crybaby" which was extremely popular.  More recently, Netflix began to take this strategy of making local content and tweaking it in a way to help its content simultaneously go global. For example, when the Korean movie Parasite made history by becoming the first non-English language movie to win the Oscar for Best Picture in 2020, Netflix took real notice. K-Pop was globally successful and on reviewing its data to see what sort of content global audiences were interacting well with, Netflix noticed a lot of success with Hunger Games.Netflix took this analysis and created content in the form of the Korean show Squid Game, resulting in mass international success. In fact, Squid Game became the most-watched show in the history of Netflix within a mere 6 weeks of launching.3. Challenges in entering new markets Despite the phenomenal global success discussed above, Netflix's expansion was not trouble-free and it faced a number of challenges when entering new markets. We have already touched upon some of the issues it faced in Latin America in relation to internet speed and the novelty factor. but what other challenges did it face?Legal Issues In Australia, Netflix fell into hot water with local laws. TV Stations in Australia rejected Netflix's classification as a technology company rather than a broadcaster as this allowed it to avoid having to comply with certain local regulations. In response, the Australian government considered introducing a law forcing streaming companies such as Netflix to invest in the local market.Censorship Issues Netflix also faced censorship challenges in markets including China, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia. Based on values held in different regions, certain content relating to the consumption of drugs, alcohol, or of a sexual nature would have to be adapted or removed completely in order to satisfy local societal values and rules.Netflix is currently not available in China but continues to explore options for entering the market.Despite these challenges, Netflix has been able to achieve global growth and become one of the most popular streaming services in the world. As of the beginning of the second quarter of 2022, Netflix has around 222 million international subscribers in over 190 countries making the business a fantastic success.Lessons from Netflix's Global Expansion Journey  The Netflix global expansion journey into over 190 international markets is a phenomenal success. This growth would not have been possible without Netflix's careful planning and execution. So what are the key lessons that expanding companies seeking to have similar success on a global scale can take from this?- You can't be in every country at once - start with those countries whose markets are most closely aligned to yours to ensure minimal cultural, language and regulatory complexity.- Test the market initially and gather data to help you make decisions before fully committing and going all in.- Even the most successful companies can face setbacks - don't be disheartened by any challenges.- Localisation is key to success in new markets - if you don't adapt your product, service, or offering to local markets you have little to no chance of success.Ultimately, by understanding the needs and preferences of its target market, Netflix was able to create a service that people loved. And by making their content accessible to as many people as possible, they were able to rapidly conquer foreign markets.Get started with your global expansionIf you are an expanding business looking to enter new markets, then sign up to Centuro Connect now. Our platform provides companies with information on how to expand into over 170 countries, setting out how to hire and relocate staff, local laws to consider, entity setup options and requirements, and a whole host more.Build your international expansion strategy, connect with local experts and track and manage your expansion in one single place.Sign up now to truly simplify your global expansion plans. 

May 05, 2022
BlogExpanding into Spain: Everything You Need to Know
Start A Company, Hr +2
Expanding Into Spain: Everything You Need To Know

Growing a successful business requires hard work and dedication. Once it takes off in your home country, the opportunities for wider success become even more clear. If you are wanting to reach a larger audience with your products and services, Spain may be the ideal location to grow your business.  Spain makes the top three list of excellent countries to establish a business in Europe. The Spanish market is categorised as a high-income economy because it is the 14th largest globally. As the 4th largest country in Europe, Spain has a very competitive economy with close ties with European and Latin American nations, a convenient location occupying Africa and Europe, and has a growing interest in constant research and technology.  How to expand your business into Spain In most cases, expanding a business to a foreign country can be pretty daunting. More so if you lack adequate information on some issues such as the country's business structures, legal processes, and regulations, to aid the smooth running of your business. Along with a structured business plan, our useful resources should ensure you get a successful foothold in the Spanish market.Setting Up an Entity in Spain The country of Spain is an ideal place to set up a business as an expat.  There are different business structures in Spain. A popular setup option in Spain is the Limited Liability Company (Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada/SL) which many small and mid-sized companies in Spain utilize.  Steps you must take to set things in motion include:Get Your NIE Number  Getting an NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero) number is a vital step toward setting up in Spain. It is an identification number given to non-Spanish citizens, enabling them to conduct activities legally. It is a straightforward process, taking a few days for EU citizens to acquire and a slightly longer time for non-EU citizens.Next Up, Registering Your Company  The next thing to do is to register your company's name with the Registro Mercantil Central (RMC). This registration process confirms that the name you have decided for your own company doesn't already belong to an existing company. It isn't time-consuming and can be done online.  Receive Your Bank Certificate  Opening a bank account should be your next move in setting up a company in Spain. It will prompt the receipt of a bank certificate. Also, you may need to deposit a sum in the account. It is 3,000 euros for a limited liability company.  More Registrations The registrations may appear never-ending for a new company, but going through with them is necessary. You can choose to get all the registration out of the way by applying for social security considerations simultaneously. For this registration, you will need all the documents you have acquired so far and TA 0521, which you can get at a local security office. You will need to register for a tax identification number (CIF) online or at the Tax Agency. Filling the Seats of the Shareholders and Directors  As a business owner, the last move will be establishing the shareholders and deciding on the directors. You will need to determine how many people will hold shares and their percentage in your new business. To fill the position of the director, you could pick two different people or a single person (Spanish resident) to have both corporate and operating functions.  What Is the Corporate Tax Structure in Spain?  Corporate tax in Spain is no joke, and defaulting on payment will attract strict penalties. The Spanish financial year is the same as a typical calendar year, and residents are taxed on their global earnings, while non-residents enjoy having only their Spanish income taxed. Another thing non-residents enjoy is a flat rate of 24%. As for residents, their taxes are charged progressively.  Taxes in Spain are a lot covering state and regional ones. As an expatriate, there are biases in your favour. It is standard for an expat who becomes a resident to pay income tax. However, under the special tax regime otherwise known as Beckham's Law by the Spanish government, you can be treated as a non-resident for five years, excluding the year you move.The downside is that as expats taking advantage of the special tax regime, you don't get to enjoy the full benefits a typical non-resident would. The exemptions in the non-residents' income tax are unavailable to you. What Visas Are Available to Those Wishing to Relocate?  You can apply for a Spanish visa tailored to suit the activities you want to conduct in Spain from the variety of available long and short-term visas.Let us get it down; you don't have to bother with this if you are an EU/EEA national because you won't need a visa, only a national identity number NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero) if you decide to stay for more than three months. However, if you don't belong to the EU/EEA region but wish to relocate to Spain, you need a D-type visa and other documents.  Work Visa  If you will be relocating for business purposes, a work visa is the correct choice. It is granted by Work and Immigration Offices available in the various regions. However, before you apply for a work visa, if it is a must, you have a work permit. Employees can't apply for a work visa; the process will have to be handled by their employer. The exception to this is if you are self-employed.The lifespan of a work visa is a year. However, it can be renewed for an additional five years, after which you can get permanent residency.Student Visa  You can only apply for a student visa if you have received an offer from a school in Spain. The lifespan of this visa is as long as the study program. During your stay in Spain, you have the freedom to work and indulge in other activities.Non-lucrative Residence Visa  This visa is perfect for those who are financially capable of not having to indulge in any lucrative activity for as long as they remain in Spain. No form of work is allowed even remote jobs. It is the perfect visa for retirees.Family Visas Your family can apply to join you in Spain if you have been a resident of Spain for a minimum of one year. They are also free to work without a work permit for the duration they'll be there.   Other available visas include a golden visa if you'd like to make investments and the digital nomads and remote workers visa, which hasn't been passed into law.   Ease of Entry into the Spanish Market: Good Options for Expanding Companies  Spain bounced back from its recession in 2007 and has had steady growth since then. It is an excellent place to set up your business, but it could be daunting for foreign companies if you go in without a plan. There are specific initiatives you could take to ease your market entry.Arrange for Physical Meetings   It is crucial to know the preferences of the market you will be going into if you wish to expand abroad. When it comes to Spaniards, they value physical meetings; it could be what could change their status from potential investors to investors, especially if you plan to operate locally. Also, it is essential to know that even at these physical meetings, Spaniards are typically formal, so formal attire is recommended.  Take Advantage of the Recession Spain has come a long way since the recession. They have recovered, but not entirely. Due to the downturn, they faced over a decade ago; many skilled people are without a job. To ease your expansion into Spain, take advantage of the talent pool and recruit highly skilled workers.  Understand Spain's Diversity  Under the umbrella of Spain are 17 autonomous communities. Every community has its strong suits and distinct identities, with Barcelona and Madrid as the major economic hubs. So, spreading your business across all the districts is advisable, beginning with the famed business hubs.  Prepare Yourself for Delayed Payments In Spain, credit is regular in the markets. Customers can make purchases on credit, and you have to be able to accept this, too, if you want to stand toe-to-toe with your competitors. Sometimes, it takes up to three months before payments are made.  Be a Problem Solver  Be prepared because it won't be easy to make customers out of Spaniards, except your products are unique and solve a problem. After all, they are conservative buyers. They stick to who companies they trust. Final WordsDeciding to do business in Spain will have you beaming in the long run if you do the due diligence on your part and employ the services, advice, and support of experts. Don't struggle with the entire process on your own; we are happy to help. Get in contact with us today!How to Get the International Expansion Ball Rolling Setting up a company in Spain is actually much simpler than many realise. Expanding internationally is a challenge, but when done correctly, it can be a streamlined process that enhances your business hugely.    Want to learn more about how to expand your business to Spain?    Sign up to the Centuro Connect platform today and start your global expansion journey to Spain and 100+ other countries! The Centuro Connect platform has details on tax, immigration, market entry points, HR, marketing, and real estate - plus contactable reliable experts to help you ace your expansion. This means that no matter what stage of the expansion journey you’re at, support is there if you face a challenge.  There’s no risk, no hidden costs, and no endless documentation to fill out. Just a wealth of guidance and support, here to aid you and your business throughout your international business expansion.                        

Apr 22, 2022
Blog
Start A Company, Hr +2
When Is The Right Time To Expand Into A New Market: The CEO Perspective

Judging the right moment as to when to expand your company is a big moment for a leader and a daunting decision to make. It is important for CEOs and business leaders to take all the different elements of your company into consideration.Weighing up the risks versus the opportunities at hand may seem overwhelming, but with the right tools and information, international expansion can massively help to grow your business. Here are some general rules that may help those considering when to expand into a new market.The generally accepted wisdom for founders with big home markets was to win your domestic market first before thinking about going international after that. However, the most aggressive founders are now thinking about growing sales globally from day one. This may be due to the opportunities presented in a foreign market, the product matching the need when there is a gap in the market, as well as the economic opportunities that exist abroad.Judging the right moment to go international is going to be a big moment for a leader and a daunting decision to make. You have to consider the timing, cost as well as resources, and HR challenges. Although you will have to take all these different elements of your company into consideration, there are some general rules we can look to start that might help tell you, you are on track.The 25% RuleThis one is fairly straightforward. When 25% or more of your business is coming from international markets, it’s time to scale outside your home country. This signals a significant interest that there is a potential gap in the foreign market and need for the services or products you are providing. Although it is important to do your due diligence and successfully conduct some market research, if your product is adapting well, it is probably a good time to consider the business expansion into that market.The Scale RuleThe Scale Rule can help founders to decide if they are ready or too early to scale by defining it. For this, we turn to Steven Carpenter, former Global Sales & Operations at Dropbox and exec at Accel.“I define scale as when your company has reached “product/market fit” in tandem with “business model fit.” It’s the moment when your customer acquisition growth rate is increasing while your acquisition costs are decreasing, AND the unit economics of the business are moving in your favour. You aren’t yet profitable but you understand your cost levers.”It is important to consider a properly planned growth strategy when considering this rule. If you are scaling at a time when the customer acquisition growth rate is increasing, you will need to ensure you have a strategic growth plan to help you achieve your success of continuing to scale.The Go-Fast RuleThe founders that follow the Go-fast rule know that they can sell internationally with minimal incremental cost and that if they were successful, they would increase their growth rate and demonstrate that their addressable market extends beyond their home country, the goal is to drive valuation.If your business can use its existing logistics or pass along new delivery costs to the customer to service in the new market then it can generally be a no-brainer to run an AdWords or Facebook campaign in your new market very early on and see what takes. You shouldn’t even need to localise your offering for these tests.If the proposition is going to fly internationally then some customers will convert even when the pricing isn’t a local currency. If you are in a position where you are going to need people on the ground to sell and deliver your product then you need to consider the scale rule.There is also an argument for expanding early that you can pre-empt copycats, American investors looking for ideas from European or Asian markets, etc., and vice versa.Thinking of going global? Here are some reasons why you definitely should!The model is working well enough ruleThere’s often no clear moment when your business model is ‘working’. So, you can ask yourself does it feel like the management team has moved its focus from continually fighting fires to optimisation? If you are still fighting fires it might be too early but if you aren’t then your business model is probably working well enough that you can handle the fires of an international office.Some considerations:Start-ups from countries with a population of less than 50 million go international twice as fast as start-ups from countries with a population of more than 50 million: 1.4 years as opposed to 2.8 years.Companies in countries with smaller populations and market share need to think internationally from an early stage. A founder in the U.S. or China can focus 100 percent on their home market and comfortably build a $billion business. That’s the upside for bigger countries.The downside is that they may only think about the international market at a late stage and may struggle to adapt their business accordingly. Whereas a founder in Sweden or Ireland knows from day one that their business needs to be international, if it is ever going to get really big, and builds accordingly.As a general rule, the return on investment (ROI) of expanding internationally is usually less than the ROI of expanding domestically. Typically, with a business that is going well in its home market, €1 invested in local growth will increase users and revenues by more than €1 invested abroad.Eventually, though, a company will reach saturation point in its home market and need to expand elsewhere, at which point this equation might switch around. But usually, it is cheaper to expand at home than abroad.While the advice may be to go international as early as you can - If possible, start by selling internationally from your home base.Market expansion strategySo you have decided that it is the right time for you to enter a new market. However, what options exist that may suit your need and help you to achieve this successful market entry?Depending on your business, as well as the priorities around timelines, cost and immigration, there are many solutions that may apply to you. Although it is always best to speak to an expert who can manage your case based on the individual needs and circumstances of your growth, there are some more popular options for you to consider.1. Set up an EntityRegistering an entity allows companies to hire staff if necessary, sell goods/services apply for business benefits, and many other options. The main Entity types in most countries include ;Limited Liability CompanySole Proprietorship;   Limited Partnership;  Corporation; and  Cooperative.   Branch officeDeciding on which entity is best suited to your need depends on your business objective and background. Register to Centuro Connect to discover details about the entity types, documents required, timelines, and the procedure of how to apply.  2. FranchiseAllow others in different locations to open up your business branches and operate them following your guidelines. They pay you a fee and a percentage of profits. However, they have more operations control within their local market.3. Direct ExportingMarket your goods and services within a region and export your goods and services from your home region.4. Partnerships Can take many forms including JVs or having a local partner to represent your firm and help generate business.Some countries require a local partner to have an ownership stake within a region.You may simply need a distributor to sell your goods. 5. Buy a CompanyYou immediately claim market share with an existing customer base.No incorporation or initial setup costs/laws to comply withHowever, expensive to buy and need to integrate into the company culture 6. LicensingGive ownership of your product to parties in different regions for them to sell on your behalf. Companies who are looking to fully scale into a new market should consider the benefits as well as limitations that licensing may offer their business growth.7. PEO / EORA professional employer organisation (PEO)can be defined as an outsourcing firm that provides services to small and medium-sized entities (SMEs). An ‘ Employer of Record’ (EOR)is a third-party contracted by a client company to take on the core compliance responsibilities of an employer, as specified under the law.If you liaise with a company offering PEO and EOR services you will be able to expand your company in a region without setting up an entity. This involves the "leasing" of employees. A resident firm will hire employees on your behalf, and cover payroll and other necessary HR requirements, whilst the employees work for you.  This enables you to test the market with staff but without the up-front capital of setting up a company.  This may be a suitable option for companies that want to hire a few employees in a foreign country but are not ready to set up an entity.It may never feel like the '' right time'' to expand into a new market, however, the benefits and opportunities it can provide well outweigh the risks. If you are looking to enter a new market but are not sure when or how to do so, explore Centuro Connect and contact one of our team.

Jun 21, 2022
Blog
Start A Company, Hr +2
Talent & The Next Generation Workforce: An Executive Recruiters View

The challenges concerning talent and the future generation of the workforce continue, with organisations facing the raging war on talent, talent shortages, and are struggling to attract and retain talent. Job vacancies are at an all-time high, with employers having to incorporate better flexible working policies and focus on having to retain talent by prioritising career development and learning to keep the best talent.In the days leading up to the Centuro Global Expansion Conference in May, we met with four panellists who are experts to discuss the current Talent market, the drivers of change, and expected outcomes.The impactful reflections of the panel that arose from these conversations were highlighted throughout the conference, but the powerhouse team that represented the four different sides of the Talent space could have led an engaging and meaningful discussion for much longer than the session.In this article, we would like to reflect on the key takeaways from Imraan Arbee, founder of RB Partners Executive Search, to view the Talent space through the recruitment lens.This article is one of a four-part series, in which we highlight some of the key discussion takeaways that managers and HR teams can take on board to help tackle the talent crunch.Work-Life AlignmentIt goes without saying that the biggest shift towards work-life alignment occurred in 2020, as organisations turned to remote work at the start of the pandemic. Certainly, the evolution of technology in recent years enabled remote work to occur with an almost seamless transition from the majority of office work to the majority of remote work.After some initial growing pains and replicating of the office environment in the home space, many organisations adjusted to a more flexible approach to remote work. Output-led initiatives have become more common across industries, allowing employees to focus on finding the right balance between work and home life each day. One of our expert panelists, Imraan provided an example of a Nordic-based company that goes so far as to actively dissuade their employees from working outside of office hours, with the CEO leading the charge by scheduling lunch-time rock climbing breaks for himself.  HR leaders and teams will have to rethink their learning and development programmes to ensure that they are still engaging the workforce whilst upskilling them. Although workers demand more flexibility and better working environments, there is a high demand for more development and priority of the worker experience.DiversityOne of the challenges with creating a more diverse workplace, particularly in executive roles, for many companies is that to date, the talent pool from which candidates are chosen has not been very diverse itself.Remote work has allowed companies to access wider pools of talent and build diverse talent pipelines by supporting, for example, women in the workplace who have historically been unable to take on roles that required frequent time away from home. On an international level, remote work has also allowed organisations to gain a diversity of thought by accessing talent from different cultural backgrounds. But remote work only takes diversity so far: traditionally, leaders looked and sounded similar across businesses.Some companies found that their leaders might look the part, and sound the part, but the output wasn’t delivery-focused. The shift to output-led task delivery has helped companies identify high-performing individuals to achieve a greater amount of success alongside greater diversity.The future generationHow does Imraan view the changes in the talent space with the next-generation workforce? He poignantly reflected that his hope for the future generation(s) is that they will have the best of both worlds: they won’t have to work in the way that it was prescribed until 2020 and will have the flexibility that has come in recent years, but will have the work ethic of the environment that existed before and up to today.As organisations look to reshape their various policies around hiring and retaining talent, they will have to ensure that they manage to develop talent whilst balancing the new working environment.Stay tuned as we share more insights into the key discussion points of the talent crisis.

Jun 21, 2022
Blog
Start A Company, Hr +2
How Global Companies Can Reduce Their Carbon Footprint

The 5th of June was World Environment Day, the United Nations Day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment. Organisations have a crucial role to play in protecting the environment and reducing their Carbon footprint. Climate change and reducing organizational impact should be at the top of all of our agendas.So how can companies begin to address the importance of the climate crisis? Mike Azlen, CEO of Carbon Cap Management explains in an exclusive interview, the importance of reducing emissions and the actions companies can take to improve supply chains and reduce their ecological footprint.1.      EducationBy bettering their understanding of the climate risks at hand, key stakeholders can learn about the challenges at hand and understand how they need to be addressed. Both Senior Managers, as well as employees, should be involved in understanding where we’re at. At a senior management level, it is important to know where your carbon footprint is, and what are you doing about it.2.      Take ActionOnce there’s a better understanding, companies can take action in reducing their impact.  The actions and steps needed will differ across various industries and companies, as the Carbon footprints and supply chain issues will vary.  3.      Customise approachCompanies will have to customize their approach as to how they deal with the challenges of climate change and how they reduce their Carbon footprint and impact.World Environment Day: Key takeaways on carbon emissionsTo do our part in spreading awareness about World Environment Day, we’ve recapped some key takeaways from the CarbonCap presentation by Mike Azlen at our Global Expansion Conference which took place on 25 May 2022 in London.1.      Globally, we’re emitting 40 billion tonnes of Carbon/year - about 150 million tonnes of emissions/day.2.      The amount of emissions for 1 passenger’s air travel from London to New York is about 2 tonnes of CO23.       At our current run rate, we have a mere 8 years before we reach the 1.5-degree increase threshold set by The Paris Agreement.“It is generally accepted that the best way to correct a market failure is to place a price on the externality that reflects its the true cost. In the case of climate change, this requires putting a price on a tonne of Carbon that reflects the net cost to society” - CarbonCap4.      There are 2 ways to put a price on Carbon5.      There are two markets today that contribute to off-setting Carbon6.      There is hope: the cap and trade system implemented in the US in the 1990s has reduced Carbon emissions by 81% todayThere are many actions companies can take to reduce their Carbon footprint. Expanding companies who are looking to enter new markets should consider the physical risks that climate change could pose for them depending on the locations they are considering as well as the regulatory environment and policies that may impact your expansion.The 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are often a good starting point for companies who are looking to improve their sustainability practices and reduce their Carbon footprint.Governments that offer incentives for green and climate-friendly initiativesCurrently, many countries offer sustainability incentives for companies that are investing in green and climate-friendly initiatives. The United Kingdom is an example of a country that provides incentives for this. The United Kingdom is a signatory of the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.The 2030 sustainable development agenda places emphasis on responsible business conduct to reduce the impacts of climate change. Sustainability within the business context is sometimes defined as the management of environmental, social, and governance issues and is considered to be extremely important in a wide range of areas, including new product development, reputation building, overall corporate strategy, and regulation, particularly environmental.UNSDG Agenda 2030 The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which includes the 17 related Sustainable development goals (SDGs) has been introduced in 2015, and the United Kingdom has been a member of this agreement which is aimed at creating a more sustainable future with improvements and focus on the environment, economy and social aspect of society. The UK is committed to ensuring that the SDGs are fully embedded into each Government department through various departmental planning processes. In 2019 the UK announced a Voluntary National Review which aims at reporting on how far the monarchy is progressing on delivering the 17 SDGs.  Government support   A large amount of funding is available for companies who invest or are involved in the green/sustainability sector. Most of the UK government grants are allocated towards SMEs across various sectors. This includes:The UK government has issued green grants for renewable energy businesses, sustainability grants, energy efficiency grants, sustainable innovation, and green jobs.  The grants are distributed across the various regions of the UK. Some grants include;  - the Low Carbon Revenue Grants in Warwickshire - the Business Energy Efficiency Program in Worcester County, Energy for business in Nottinghamshire - LCR Future Energy for SMEs in Liverpool and West of England Green Business Grants  A Circular Economy Investment Fund sponsored by Zero-Waste also exists, which is typically given to SMEs. In Wales, government-funded ‘’Eco grants’’ are given to businesses/projects who will acquire, restore, and enhance nature.  The Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland grants various funding and grants for businesses as well.  In November 2020, the UK government announced a stipend of GBP 134 million dedicated to funding Cleantech. This will be granted via the Sustainable Innovation Fund. This funding is aimed at assisting green growth projects to develop ern technologies thus creating jobs, reducing climate change, and driving productivity.  Discover what other countries offer incentives for green and climate-friendly initiatives by subscribing to Centuro Connect.In conclusion, it is clear that all companies have a role to play in reducing their carbon footprint and improving their sustainability practices. Education is an important tool in this, and receiving expert advice can help to achieve optimal outcomes in the actions taken.Contact us for more information, and sign up to Centuro Connect today.

Jun 10, 2022
Blog
Start A Company, Hr +2
Ryanair Restricts South African Travellers - A Legal Perspective

Irish airline Ryanair has recently asked South Africans to prove their nationality by passing an Afrikaans language test on UK flights. South Africans have condemned the airline for making them take the test, calling it discriminatory.Ryanair defended the test, saying it weeds out those travelling on fraudulent South African passports and helps to reduce fraud.The airline has said those who do not pass the test will be refused travel and will receive a full refund for their tickets.Some reports say it applies to all Ryanair's European flights, while others state it applies to those South African passport holders who are travelling on UK and Ireland routes. In a statement to South Africa's Daily Maverick paper, Irish border authorities denied they require such tests. What are some of the legal perspectives that should be considered?Official languagesSouth Africa is a multilingual country, and Section 6 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act No. 108 of 1996) grants official language status to 11 languages, namely Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, and isiZulu.In addition, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet approved the Constitutional Eighteenth Amendment Bill for public comment a few days ago, which will recognise South African Sign Language as the twelfth official language of the country.Afrikaans is not the only official language in a diverse country such as South Africa. Many South Africans do not speak or understand Afrikaans. According to 2018 statistics, only around 12% of South Africans speak Afrikaans at home.Thus, any such a test is fundamentally misguided, and there is an apparent disconnect between the purported outcome and the means to achieving same.DiscriminationIn South Africa, discrimination is prohibited by the Constitution in terms of section 9 of the Bill of Rights and by the Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 4 of 2000, as amended (the “Act”).In terms of the Act: “discrimination means the behaviour or practice of forming of opinions about others not based on their individual merits, but rather their membership in a group with assumed characteristics."Most importantly, the discrimination includes:the actions; orthe inaction of such entities or associations:-and consists of those of its-·        members,·        elected directors or representatives,·        committees or managers,·        chairpersons,·        treasurers,·        caterers,·        staff and the like when exercising:o   any right,o   entitlement,o   function,o   or power in terms of their office or membership.The Act prohibits unfair discrimination in South Africa by the government and by private organisations and individuals. If these tests to '' identify fake passports'' were being conducted on South African soil, the airline would be in hot water.  Data PrivacyIn South Africa, the right to privacy and dignity is protected in terms of the common law and section 14 of the Constitution. In addition, data privacy is regulated by the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (“POPIA”), personal information is defined as including:"…means information relating to an identifiable, living, natural person, and where it is applicable and identifiable, existing juristic person, including, but not limited to— information relating to the race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, national, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental health, well-being, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language, and birth of the person...”POPIA regulates the processing of private information:“any operation or activity or any set of operations, whether or not by automatic means, concerning personal information, including—(a) The collection, receipt, recording, organisation, collation, storage, updating or modification, retrieval, alteration, consultation, or use;(b) Dissemination by means of transmission, distribution, or making available in any other form; or(c) Merging, linking, as well as blocking, degradation, erasure, or destruction of Information.”Therefore, the question is whether Ryanair had informed consent of the passengers it tested, regardless of the logical disconnect and on who’s soil it occurred. POPIA is the little sister of the GDPR, which applies on European soil and sets a similar and, in many instances, a higher standard than POPIA does.The fairness of the decision and administrative processAs a concluding remark, in South Africa, the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 3 of 2000 (“PAJA”) gives effect to the right to administrative action that is lawful, reasonable, and procedurally fair and to the right to written reasons for administrative action as contemplated in section 33 of the Constitution.An administrative act means any decision is taken or failure to take a decision. It extends to both the state and private organisations. It is a mechanism that holds decision-makers to account and allows for a process to establish whether the decision taken aligns with the purported outcome seeking to be achieved and whether it is substantially and procedurally fair.The airline would struggle to justify a decision that is flawed even on an elementary statistical analysis. A better mechanism to verify identity would potentially be to look at ways to verify between official sources or through the relevant border control process and not through flawed, arbitrary self-assessment.Is the Afrikaans test a UK visa requirement?It is also important to note that completing this test is not a UK government requirement. The UK authorities do not request that South Africans write a language test for identity verification. South African travellers who are entering the UK will need to provide proof of a legitimate passport and a valid visa.There are many visa types that apply to the United Kingdom, including Business Visas and Work Permits. Completing an Afrikaans language test is currently not a requirement to obtain any visa in the United Kingdom.Travellers should ensure they have a valid visa if they are planning to travel to the United Kingdom on a South African passport. If travellers are visiting the UK to attend or take part in an event related to work, the visa type will depend on a number of factors.  The two types of business visas that apply to the United Kingdom include:Permitted Paid Engagement Visa: this entails being paid by a UK company to come as an expert in your professionStandard Visitor Visa: this entails coming on a business trip and not being paid by a UK companyFor permanent residents and South Africans who are employed in the United Kingdom on a permanent basis, several work permits may apply. Please contact Centuro Global should you require more information on visa types and official documentation required.UPDATE: Ryanair has now revoked this policyContributors to this article include:Nicolene Schoeman-LouwSchoemanLaw Incwww.schoemanlaw.co.zaCape Town, South Africa

Jun 08, 2022
Blog
Start A Company, Hr +2
2022 Conference Recap - The Global Expansion Conference

With more than 200 participants from all over the world, 57 globally renowned speakers, and two successful days of networking, we are delighted to announce The Global Expansion Conference 2022 on 25-26 May in London was a great success!   For more than 2 years, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to adapt and innovate. In order to meet this “new normal,” our team co-created the event's agenda with some of the most influential global business leaders to ensure we address, debate, and make policy suggestions on the most pressing industry issues with a return to an in-person event format. The intention of the conference was to provide a comprehensive overview of The Future of International Business and help companies to prepare for the challenges they may face. Together with industry experts and top thought leaders, we successfully delivered multiple sessions that provided delegates with important takeaways and action points.   Let's Recap on GEC2022  The two-day conference was truly global in outlook and reach, providing access to thought-provoking sessions for delegates from across the globe.On Wednesday, the 25th of May, we kicked off with a one-of-a-kind opening presentation by our keynote speaker, Mike Azlen. His discussion focused on how companies can future-proof their business by investing in sustainable development and journey to Net-Zero.  Sessions then continued throughout the day and covered important topics including The Future of Leadership New Frontier Technologies, Investment & Fundraising Talent Recruitment & Well-being Diversity & Inclusion Doing Business in Saudi Arabia, and Tax Compliance in a Remote World.GEC2022 DAY 1 Recap   The first day concluded with the INT-X Awards 2022 Gala Dinner celebrating finalists and announcing the winners of the INT-X Awards 2022. Attendees enjoyed a three-course dinner with live entertainment. See Full INT-X Awards 2022 Winners Here. On the second day, sessions covered AI & Regulation, The Future of Marketing & Branding, Doing Business with China, Global Expansion, The Future of Work with Live Tech Presentations, and not to forget an impeccable presentation by our keynote speaker from R2 Factory at Rolls Royce, Caroline Gorski!   Caroline was full of life, and her talk described her passion for her work and talent. Many enjoyed her discussion about the importance of developing ecosystems for successful growth at Rolls-Royce.   Thank you to those who attended the Global Expansion Conference 2022. If you are interested in attending the Global Expansion Conference 2023, pre-register your interest here. Videos and Photos Photo highlights are now available to view and download here.Video highlights from the conference are now available here. (You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss any future content) Thanks again We are so grateful to our sponsors, speakers, delegates, and staff for making this conference possible. Whether you were able to come out this time or not, we hope to see you next year – or even sooner at one of our other events!     Want to get in early on the action? Pre-register here for access to the upcoming GEC2023. Learn more about GEC2022, The World's First Global Expansion Conference, here.     Powered by Centuro Global. Your trusted partner in Global ExpansionAbout Centuro Global Centuro Global is the first market network designed to help companies expand internationally via a SaaS platform. A dynamic combination of real-life, real-time advice and a broad digital knowledge base empowers company leadership and its people to take global growth into their own hands.The overarching aim of the platform is to allow businesses to expand into new territories in a seamless and compliant way while bringing down costs and breaking down barriers for less established companies. To learn more, please visit: Our Website or connect with us via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or check out our Media Center.

Jun 07, 2022
Blog
Start A Company, Hr +2
How British Brands Have Helped To Shape International Business Today

In June 2022, Her Majesty the Queen will become the first British monarch to celebrate a platinum Jubilee. She will be celebrating 70 years of service as The Queen of England. Many will be celebrating this momentous anniversary.We would like to acknowledge some of the major quintessentially British brands that have helped shape - and been shaped by – modern international business and expansion over the past 70 years. A summarized timeline can be found below.  1953: The coronation of Queen Elizabeth caused sales of gin (and all-things British) to soar in the US. The US remains one of the top consumers of Gordon’s to this day.1961: Jaguar premiers the new E-type model at the Geneva Motor Show. Today, Jaguar pledges that all modern cars will be fully electric by 2025.1972: Marks and Spencer opens its first international shop in Canada. The successful launch prompts further expansion into France and Belgium in 1975. 1980: British Airways' inaugural, direct flight from London to Beijing takes off.1982: Trading profits for Cadbury are reported to be greater outside of Britain than in the UK for the first time in history.1990’s: After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the BBC begins broadcasting in local languages across Central and Eastern Europe including: Croatian (1991), Ukrainian (1992), Albanian (1993), Kazakh (1995).2006: Online retail for Burberry opens first in the US. 2014: Fortnum and Mason open their first international retail storefront in Dubai. 2018: Twinings publishes the list of tea gardens used for production to create a system of ethical accountability.  There are thousands of successful international expansion stories for both companies entering the United Kingdom, as well as successful UK brands that have entered new foreign markets.It is expected that the next 70 years will continue along the trends established in the more recent decades, leaning on advancements in technology, emerging consumer markets, and ethical & sustainable business practices. Congratulations to Her Majesty the Queen on 70 years of service. We look forward to supporting the future of business expansion for both UK companies as well as companies entering the UK. Whether you are a UK brand looking to enter new foreign markets, or a company looking to enter the UK, we can support your expansion plans. Please contact us should you require any assistance.   About Centuro Global  Centuro Global is the world’s first market network designed to help companies expand internationally via a SaaS platform. A dynamic combination of real-life, real-time advice and a broad digital knowledge base empowers a company’s leadership and its people to take global growth into their own hands.The overarching aim of the platform is to allow businesses to expand into new territories in a seamless and compliant way while bringing down costs and breaking down barriers for less established companies.  To learn more, please visit: Our Website or connect with us via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or check out our Media Center.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Jun 02, 2022
Blog
Start A Company, Hr +2
Top Reasons To Set Up A Business In Cyprus

Throughout the past 30 years, Cyprus has developed to become a high-quality centre for international business and investment. The past decade has witnessed a steady stream of companies choosing to set up their headquarters in Cyprus.Many industries have chosen to invest in Cyprus, with notable upsurges in the pharmaceutical, shipping, fossil fuel, investment, and renewable energy sectors. Many consider Cyprus a vacation island and do not immediately think of the business rewards.However, there are many benefits to setting up a business in Cyprus. For those wondering what the business attraction is, consider the following:  Cyprus Business Location Highlights  A modern stable democratic state with EU and Eurozone membership and a 'can-do' attitude.   Cyprus is considered to be recently independent, after gaining its independence in 1960. Historically, Cyrus was best known as being an island which was lacking in natural resources and predominantly dominated by agriculture and tourism.  However, the 2022 version of Cyrpus is better recognised as being a member of the European Union (since 2004) and Eurozone (since 2008). It is considered a modern and fully transparent international centre for business and finance, and home to one of the largest merchant shipping fleets in the world.  It also offers investors and companies an oasis of calm in what is known to be an otherwise turbulent region. When excluding the COVID-19 pandemic and Cyrpus's large tourist sector, the country recorded GDP growth of 4.5% in 2021.  A strategic geographical location The island is ideally located in between three continents and functions as a natural conduit for investment both into and out of the European Union.  Cyprus is also placed in a convenient time zone for conducting business worldwide.It falls into the Eastern European Timezone category, making it a favourable location for companies within the European Union. Cyprus holds historic ties with Eastern Europe. It manages positive relations with North Africa and the Middle East, and Cyprus enjoys good relations with its neighbours.  The island is served by two international airports, and modern seaports and is home to the third-largest merchant fleet in the European Union.Access to local and EU talent: Dynamic, young, affordable employees For non-resident companies, accessing local and international talent may seem daunting. However, there are numerous benefits to opening a company in Cyprus and hiring a local or foreign workforce. This includes the availability of relatively low-cost, talented, and multi-lingual skilled workers, who are keen to work and can do so across multiple economies and in many languages.Numerous major ICT businesses have established headquarters or a Cyprus company to conduct a variety of operations including sales and marketing, software development, and disaster recovery. Cyprus has also recently launched more liberal immigration policies, in a bid to attract more top talent to the island. This has helped to attract foreign direct investment and bring in foreign investors.This compares to many other European countries, which may be perceived as relatively restrictive with their immigration procedures.Attractive corporate and income tax regulations: offers over 65 dual taxation agreements  The current Cyprus corporation tax rate for resident companies is 12.5% on worldwide income. This will increase to 15% for MNE in line with OECD rules but any potential negative impacts are offset by government tax policies that favour high quality, sustainable businesses and business sectors such as multinationals, shipping, pharmaceutical, fintech, gaming, and digital marketing corporations.Cyprus provides an ideal environment for group holding and finance companies, offering a tax-free flow of dividends from Cyprus to non-tax resident entities under certain conditions while there is a full participation exemption and no tax on capital gains apart from gains derived from the direct and indirect sale of real estate in Cyprus.The network of double taxation agreements provides excellent safeguards vis-à-vis double, or no taxation, and unilateral relief is available for taxes paid overseas if no double taxation agreement applies. The EC Merger Directive has been fully adopted and therefore mergers and approved restructurings can be carried out with full exemption from any form of taxation in Cyprus.  Special income tax incentives are in place for new tax residents of Cyprus with up to 50% tax relief for high earners. Although Cyprus does not have the lowest corporate tax rates, they offer reasonable corporate tax incentives.Tax incentives for investment and innovation including a highly favourable IP Box regime  The Cyprus government is keen to build a cluster of  ICT, high technology, and innovative companies.  To this end, it operates a European Union-approved IP Box regime that utilises the ‘Nexus’ fraction approach. The Cyprus IP Box basically provides a tax exemption of up to 80% of profits for expenditure concerning research and development from qualifying intangible assets.The government has proposed changes to the scheme which if adopted will further enhance its attractiveness.  Natural persons can benefit from a 50% tax deduction for investing in certified innovative companies. The government intends to expand this to include corporate investors.  Attractive European Union approved sector-specific tax regimes Cyprus operates the first EU-approved shipping ‘tonnage tax’ scheme. This approval has recently been extended to 2029.  Under the scheme, subject to qualification, shipowners, ship managers and charters in qualifying shipping activities have the option to be taxed based on the tonnage of the vessel rather than on income or profit. This offers the owner the advantage of certainty.  The scheme has played an important part in the development of a shipping cluster in Cyprus which now includes the largest 3rd party ship management centre in Europe and the largest crew management centre in the world.  Special schemes also exist for the Insurance and Film sectors.  A legitimate, transparent business eco-system that includes a strong competitively priced professional service sector with English widely spoken as the established business language  Cyprus is primarily a common law jurisdiction with courts bound by the doctrine of precedent. This offers the parties with an intended commercial action the advantages of consistency, predictability, and efficiency.  Intellectual Property rights are well protected, and European Union laws are fully applicable. Most business activities are conducted in English, although some other languages may also be used given Cyprus's strategic location.English is widely spoken and will be approved as an official language for use in soon-to-be-established Commercial and Admiralty Courts. If you require any assistance with intellectual property rights or more advice, please do not hesitate to get in touch.Cyprus has a competitive international tax environment, which is fully compliant with international best practices and many foreign companies appreciate the standards of transparency and fairness.The EU Anti-Tax Avoidance Directives ATAD I and ATAD II are in force, and it is expected that the ATAD 3 provisions will take effect from 1 January 2024. Cyprus is also a signatory to the Multilateral Convention on Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting.New and updated double tax agreements are aligned with the latest OECD standards and, in compliance with the 4th and  5th Anti-Money Laundering Directives, the different UBO registers have been established.  There is a relatively low-cost, large, highly-skilled, and experienced professional services sector which is familiar with complex and multi-jurisdiction transactions.  The larger international accounting firms have bases in Cyprus and law firms such as Elias Neocleous & Co LLC frequently work in conjunction with the ‘Magic Circle’ of law firms.Low set up costs, low office rents, and competitive commercial real estate prices  A surge in interest in locating in Cyprus has spawned a large number of multi-use office and commercial developments in the two main business cities of Limassol and Nicosia. Office accommodation is readily available to suit all needs and budgets – often with a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean.  Outside of this, costs for establishing a business are low and a Business Facilitation Unit has been established to assist with the practicalities of moving a business to or starting up a business on the island.  A government that is consistently pro-business and pro foreign investment Since 1960, irrespective of political leanings, successive Cypriot governments have been keen to promote a business and tax environment that will encourage foreign investment in the country.  For the past decade, this has evolved into a desire to promote Cyprus as a sustainable business and trade centre.  Recent policy has focused on the introduction of new incentives targeted at the areas of high-technology, innovation, pharmaceuticals, shipping, and foreign interest-owned companies.  Many of these incentives were put in place at the start of 2022 the remainder are expected to follow in short order.  They include the establishment of a Business Facilitation Unit to assist with the relocation and establishment of businesses in Cyprus, changes to migration rules to facilitate the entry of skilled third-country nationals, and numerous individual and corporate tax incentives to encourage a ‘brain drain’ into the country.  In addition to all of above Cyprus is rated as one of the safest countries in the world to live in with excellent education and health facilities. It offers a more relaxed environment with good cuisine and a welcoming population. Is it any wonder that so many businesses are now choosing to make it their home?  Migration & Substance  2022 Government investment strategy facilitates the employment of third-country nationals (TCN) in targeted sectors and gives them family reunification rights.   It is now much easier for foreign interest companies, or foreign investors, to relocate key workers to Cyprus and establish economic substance on the island as required under ATAD3.  Digital Nomad Resident Visa Scheme   From March 2022 the government is allowing, subject to certain conditions, 500 visas to be issued to TCNs able to work remotely through telecommunications technology. The initial visa is for one year. Possibility of renewing for a further two years. They may be accompanied by family members who will not have the right to work in Cyprus. They become Cyprus tax residents after 183 days in any year unless they can prove tax residency elsewhere.  Capital Gains  Capital Gains Tax is only imposed on gains made from;  - The sale of immovable property in Cyprus, and  - The sale of shares of unlisted companies directly or indirectly owning immovable property in Cyprus.  Gains are taxed at 20%. An exemption exists for the sale of property originally purchased on an ‘arm’s length’ basis between 16 July 2015 and 31 December 2016.  Withholding Taxes (WHT)   There is no WHT on dividends, interest, and royalties paid to non-residents of Cyprus except in the case of royalties earned on rights used within Cyprus. WHT on royalties for rights used within Cyprus may be reduced or eliminated by double tax treaties entered into by Cyprus or by the EU Interest and Royalty Directive as enacted in the Cyprus tax legislation.From 31 December 2022, Cyprus will apply WHT on dividend, interest, and royalty payments to EU Blacklisted jurisdictions.  Incentives for expatriate workers   Persons considered to be Cyprus tax residents may benefit from a 50% deduction (expatriate relief) on personal income tax if they:   ·Were not a tax resident of Cyprus in the previous tax year; ·Were not a Cyprus tax resident for any three of the past five years prior to commencement of their employment in Cyprus; and ·Have annual gross emoluments ≥€ 100,000.  This relief is currently available for 10 years. The government intends to reduce the qualifying threshold in 2022 to ≥€ 55,000 with a retroactive effect. It is also proposed to extend the period of relief to 17 years for existing beneficiaries. Lower paid expatriates becoming tax-resident in Cyprus can claim an annual exemption equal to the lesser of €8,500 or 20% of their income from employment in Cyprus.The exemption commences 1 January following the year of employment. The exemption is available for a period of 5 years with the last eligible tax year being 2030.  There are many benefits to setting up a Cyprus company or moving some of your operations to Cyprus.  If companies wish to receive advice on legal support, business incorporation support or receive market entry advice, it is best to contact an expert. Experts will be able to advise on country-specific processes including how to do the following:- Open a bank account- How to action company registration or establish an entity such as a; limited liability company, private limited company, public limited companies- Advice on obtaining a physical address, registering your business name, action any relevant document submission, and much more.- Work with both local companies ( Cypriot company ) as well as provide access to an international network- Access a wide variety of markets that may have the right consumer base for your product or servicesIf you are interested in setting up a business in Cyprus, get in touch. Our experts are on hand to support you.  How to Get the International Expansion Ball Rolling Setting up a company in Cyprus is actually much simpler than many realise. Expanding internationally is a challenge, but when done correctly, it can be a streamlined process that enhances your business hugely.    Want to learn more about how to expand your business to Spain?    Sign up to the Centuro Connect platform today and start your global expansion journey to Cyprus and 100+ other countries! The Centuro Connect platform has details on tax, immigration, market entry points, HR, marketing, and real estate - plus contactable reliable experts to help you ace your expansion. This means that no matter what stage of the expansion journey you’re at, support is there if you face a challenge.  There’s no risk, no hidden costs, and no endless documentation to fill out. Just a wealth of guidance and support, here to aid you and your business throughout your international business expansion.            

May 13, 2022
Blog
Start A Company, Hr +2
How To Acquire A Romanian Company

If a company has made the decision to purchase an asset in Romania, whether it be a Romanian company, or simply shares in a Romanian company, it is crucial to factor in some key considerations. As many lawyers and general counsels will know, commercial decisions are made, and then implemented by lawyers.  Companies often ask themselves whether they should conduct specific research before acquiring a company, however often lean on the knowledge and expertise of their lawyers to solve any problems or issues they are facing.Although lawyers may help to solve many challenges, companies should have legal provisions in place to reduce their risk, and ultimately help to ensure their success. It is an imperfect world for many Romanian transactional lawyers and therefore potential purchasers in Romania need to be aware of certain issues which have been outlined below.What legal challenges can be expected? This article is intended to review some of the initial problems that organisations should consider from a legal and tax perspective. The first and second questions are:What type of transaction is your firm trying to conduct.  Is your organisation looking to make an asset purchase, or are you purchasing shares within a company?  For buyers who have no legal entities or presence in Romania at the time of the purchase, the transaction may raise some concerns. If a foreign company is looking to acquire a company in Romania, they will need to financially register themselves before the transaction can be compleated. This include:opening a bank accountsetting up an entityand establishing a legal entity Once a company is financially registered, they immediately have a permanent establishment in Romania. This means that tax authorities can now charge the purchaser as they are now a taxable, Romanian entity. All relevant assets can therefore be taxed. This often leads to a popular question; should companies set up or incorporated a business before they proceed with an acquisition?Registering an entity, such as limited liability companies, or private limited companies may help to simplify the incorporation procedure. Ultimately, a tax implication will apply to the purchaser as to whether they acquire a local company, or set up their own entity, they will need to complete legal formalities and confront taxes potentially payable.To prevent complications and foreign ownership restrictions, the simplest route for companies could be to incorporate a local company in Romania. Additionally, incorporating a company may allow for the acquirer to benefit from a number of tax exemptions, including a double tax treaty. Setting up a local entity also helps to tap into the local Romanian market, and can help to offer increased representative offices for your services or product within the region. Corporate entities with offerings in other EU member states often consider establishing Romanian companies.What tax challenges and exemptions apply Tax exemptions are often relevant to the corporate taxes companies need to pay. However, there are exemptions that apply to income payments between the parent company and the subsidiary.For example, dividends received from a Romanian company or paid to it, provided that a dual taxation agreement is in force, will not have to pay withholding tax if the company has at least 10% of the issued shares and has been established for at least one year.The same type of exemption applies if there is income from a valuation, revaluation sale, or transfer of shares of either a Romanian company or subsidiary in another jurisdiction provided the transaction is in relation to companies in states where Romania has a Treaty against Double Taxation.Other tax considerations that sometimes arise relate to the shared exchanges or mergers that assist in facilitating the acquisition.Shared exchanges do exist in some cases, however, mergers and demergers are more likely. In these cases, there are limited taxation issues. However, it is always advised to consult a specialist to fully understand the main transfer tax exemptions. The outcome may change on a case-by-case basis.Taxation of a target company in Romania Romania follows the more popular approach when it comes to the taxation of a target company during a transaction. Because the target company is a legal entity, the taxation applies within the trade registry of that location. more normal routes in relation to the taxation of the target company during any transaction.  The taxable position of the company will not be altered by the change of ownership of the shares of the company.  Cost of acquisition transactions The costs of the transaction will also need to be reviewed in relation to the taxes which might be payable as a result of the acquisition. For the acquisition of shares or social parts the only tax payable will be that charged by the Official Gazette for the publication of the shareholders’ resolution. These are not calculated on the value of the transaction and are minimal.However, if there are assets being transferred and these assets are real estate then there will be notary fees and land registration fees.  The notary fees are charged based on the value of the real estate. The minimum value is set by the Notary table of real estate values. Another matter that might be considered by the acquiring company is the question of the deductibility of interest on the funds used to finance the purchase.  Exemptions for independent taxpayers As a general rule, the interest will not be deductible and is generally applied to all companies and is related to the implementation of anti-tax avoidance directives. There is however an exemption relating to independent taxpayers permitting full deductibility of interest and foreign exchange losses.  The question of the availability of any tax exemption needs to be examined carefully in respect of any acquisition and the buyer's finance department or independent advisors need to consider this question.As matters in relation to taxation can arise after the closing of the purchase of a company or the assets it is also prudent for the acquiring company to consider there is a retention of part of the purchase consideration until such time as the total tax liability of the parties has been ascertained.  The question of any outstanding ability to mitigate tax liability will become apparent during the due diligence phase of the transaction and will therefore need to be covered in the transaction documents.  Depending on the nature of the retention any withholding may be treated as conditional payment of the purchase consideration and dealt with accordingly.Final considerations; Expertise matters When working with companies for these types of transactions, we have found that the matters are often resolved during the negotiation process and when the purchase has successfully been completed.  However, the key takeaway for any purchaser should that quality legal and tax advice should be a priority before commencing with an acquisition in Romania. We will help to ensure that the whole transaction is conducted with the minimum tax and legal liability for both parties as permitted by law. Contact Us!How to Get the Acquisition Ball Rolling Acquiring a company in Romania is actually much simpler than many realise. Doing internationally is a challenge, but when done correctly, it can be a streamlined process that enhances your business hugely.    Want to learn more about how to acquire a company in Romania?    Sign up to the Centuro Connect platform today and start your global expansion journey to Romania and 100+ other countries! The Centuro Connect platform has details on tax, immigration, market entry points, HR, marketing, and real estate - plus contactable reliable experts to help you ace your expansion. This means that no matter what stage of the expansion journey you’re at, support is there if you face a challenge.  There’s no risk, no hidden costs, and no endless documentation to fill out. Just a wealth of guidance and support, here to aid you and your business throughout your international business expansion.

May 13, 2022
Blog
Start A Company, Hr +2
The Remarkable Netflix Global Expansion Journey

Netflix is a prime example of a company that has successfully expanded its operations internationally. Starting out in just one country, the United States, Netflix has expanded into over 190 countries in just seven years!Despite the current challenges Netflix is facing concerning new subscribers, the company managed to successfully expand globally due to careful planning and execution. This article will explore three key areas that helped the streaming service achieve success, namely:1. Market choice;2. The Role of Data and Localisation; and3. How the company overcame Challenges.So let's get started!1. How Netflix Carefully Chose Its International Markets When entering into new countries, Netflix initially chose its next markets based on similarities, in order to limit potential cultural and geographical challenges.Canada One of the countries Netflix first considered for its global expansion was Canada. This was because the market was very similar to the United States in terms of culture, language and geography. This made it easier for the company to expand into Canada and tailor its content offerings to suit this new market.Netflix officially launched into the Canadian market in September 2010, kickstarting its first foray into international markets. Pricing was an important consideration in order to win market share and the initial subscription fee was priced at $7.99 per month, which Netflix CEO Reed Hastings referred to as "the lowest, most aggressive price we've ever had anywhere in the world." This was a key initiative as part of Netflix's business model to attract users quickly.Even with the low price tag, Canadian content availability was extremely limited. According to Canadian Business Online, in the United States by 2012 there were 10,625 distinct Netflix titles, whereas in Canada there were only 2,647.However, despite the initial relative lack of content, it took the company less than a year to attract one million subscribers, which is roughly three percent of Canada's population. This was an impressive feat!The choice of Canada proved to be a great success for Netflix. It exemplifies how choosing a similar market to your home country can be a relatively easy first step in your international expansion plans.Latin America & the CaribbeanOnce it had expanded into Canada, the next logical step in the Netflix global expansion journey was to expand into Latin America and the Caribbean due to the region's geographical proximity to the United States.At this point in time, the business had around 23 million subscribers across the United States and Canada. Successful expansion into the Latin American market would provide Netflix access to over 600 million potential new subscribers.On announcing its international expansion into the region, Netflix's share price surged by 8% taking it to record levels.From there, in September 2011, the firm began its expansion to 43 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean, with content available in Spanish, English, and Portuguese. Brazil was the first country in Latin America to go live with the service on September 5th. The streaming service was priced at around $9.10 making it more expensive than in North America.Following Brazil, Netflix continued its expansion in Latin America, and the company launched in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico in the subsequent days before expanding into a further 38 countries in the subsequent weeks. The company partnered with the likes of CBS, Miramax, and Showtime to share local content in the region.However, there were challenges in Netflix's global expansion into Latin America and the Caribbean. The lack of high-speed internet compared to the US and Canada proved to be an initial setback.For example, in Brazil, only 20% of the population had an internet speed greater than 500 kB/s a second in 2011. This proved to be an issue as Netflix required speeds of 800 kB/s a second in order to stream its content.A second major challenge was that the banking system in Latin America was not used to monthly recurring payments for a service, and given that this was the first streaming service to launch in the region, with no competitors, there was a reasonable degree of initial apprehension around the concept.Nonetheless, whilst this did hinder rapid growth, there was enough uptake to consider the expansion into the region a success.Europe Following the above-mentioned successes with global expansion, Netflix then turned to Europe in 2012. The expansion into the United Kingdom was a great success and by 2014 one in ten British households were subscribed to Netflix.Netflix developed a great strategy in relation to its international expansion based on its choice of content in new regions. "They start with a tiny offer that doesn't cost them much money and lowers their risk. Then they collect very specific information about what people enjoy, and programming and investment around consumer behavior are organized," according to Christof Baron, CEO of the world marketing firm Mindshare.In the UK, they started with content from the BBC, Channel 4, and ITV to gain initial traction and then started to review the type of content people actually enjoyed.2. The Role of Data and Localisation in Expanding Internationally Tailored Thumbnails Netflix has great attention to detail and even considered how viewers from different geographies would react to different imagery on the thumbnail of images.People are far more likely to view something if the thumbnail shows something that appeals to them. The old saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words and in Netflix's case, the more you watch, the more likely you are to keep your subscription.  Based on this, Netflix very cleverly generates many possible thumbnails for each piece of content. The Netflix algorithm then looks at your viewing habits to match up the most relevant thumbnail.If you watch a lot of romantic comedies, Netflix will show you a Stranger Things thumbnail with Winona Ryder and David Harbour to capture your interest. If you watch more comedy content, then the Netflix algorithm will instead show you a Stranger Things thumbnail with the kids dressed up as Ghostbusters.Personalization algorithms Netflix used data to carefully select its next markets and to tailor content based on the regions they were targeting.Netflix personalization algorithms enabled the company to understand global user behaviour and preferences. This allowed them to create a content strategy that was tailored to each individual market, which was key to their success.When entering Asia, the company learned that Asian audiences were more likely to watch shows with subtitles rather than dubbed versions. In contrast, Latin American audiences preferred dubbed content. This data proved invaluable in Netflix's international strategy for localising content.Language Considerations To ensure that its content was accessible to as many people as possible, Netflix also translated its content into local languages and introduced subtitles and dubbing. Viewers in different countries could now enjoy Netflix's wide range of content.In English-speaking countries, Netflix aims to localize foreign titles via English subtitles, while in other important markets, such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Japan, the company opts to subtitle or dub content based on local content preferences.In India, Netflix offers content in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, and Bengali.In China, it offers content in Mandarin and Cantonese.By localising its content, Netflix has been able to achieve global growth and become one of the most popular streaming services in the world.Original Content Not only does Netflix localise content but it also makes original content based on local preferences.  When expanding into Japan, Netflix saw that Japanese users were watching a lot of anime. In response, Netflix created an original anime series called "Devilman Crybaby" which was extremely popular.  More recently, Netflix began to take this strategy of making local content and tweaking it in a way to help its content simultaneously go global. For example, when the Korean movie Parasite made history by becoming the first non-English language movie to win the Oscar for Best Picture in 2020, Netflix took real notice. K-Pop was globally successful and on reviewing its data to see what sort of content global audiences were interacting well with, Netflix noticed a lot of success with Hunger Games.Netflix took this analysis and created content in the form of the Korean show Squid Game, resulting in mass international success. In fact, Squid Game became the most-watched show in the history of Netflix within a mere 6 weeks of launching.3. Challenges in entering new markets Despite the phenomenal global success discussed above, Netflix's expansion was not trouble-free and it faced a number of challenges when entering new markets. We have already touched upon some of the issues it faced in Latin America in relation to internet speed and the novelty factor. but what other challenges did it face?Legal Issues In Australia, Netflix fell into hot water with local laws. TV Stations in Australia rejected Netflix's classification as a technology company rather than a broadcaster as this allowed it to avoid having to comply with certain local regulations. In response, the Australian government considered introducing a law forcing streaming companies such as Netflix to invest in the local market.Censorship Issues Netflix also faced censorship challenges in markets including China, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia. Based on values held in different regions, certain content relating to the consumption of drugs, alcohol, or of a sexual nature would have to be adapted or removed completely in order to satisfy local societal values and rules.Netflix is currently not available in China but continues to explore options for entering the market.Despite these challenges, Netflix has been able to achieve global growth and become one of the most popular streaming services in the world. As of the beginning of the second quarter of 2022, Netflix has around 222 million international subscribers in over 190 countries making the business a fantastic success.Lessons from Netflix's Global Expansion Journey  The Netflix global expansion journey into over 190 international markets is a phenomenal success. This growth would not have been possible without Netflix's careful planning and execution. So what are the key lessons that expanding companies seeking to have similar success on a global scale can take from this?- You can't be in every country at once - start with those countries whose markets are most closely aligned to yours to ensure minimal cultural, language and regulatory complexity.- Test the market initially and gather data to help you make decisions before fully committing and going all in.- Even the most successful companies can face setbacks - don't be disheartened by any challenges.- Localisation is key to success in new markets - if you don't adapt your product, service, or offering to local markets you have little to no chance of success.Ultimately, by understanding the needs and preferences of its target market, Netflix was able to create a service that people loved. And by making their content accessible to as many people as possible, they were able to rapidly conquer foreign markets.Get started with your global expansionIf you are an expanding business looking to enter new markets, then sign up to Centuro Connect now. Our platform provides companies with information on how to expand into over 170 countries, setting out how to hire and relocate staff, local laws to consider, entity setup options and requirements, and a whole host more.Build your international expansion strategy, connect with local experts and track and manage your expansion in one single place.Sign up now to truly simplify your global expansion plans. 

May 05, 2022
Blog
Start A Company, Hr +2
Expanding Into Spain: Everything You Need To Know

Growing a successful business requires hard work and dedication. Once it takes off in your home country, the opportunities for wider success become even more clear. If you are wanting to reach a larger audience with your products and services, Spain may be the ideal location to grow your business.  Spain makes the top three list of excellent countries to establish a business in Europe. The Spanish market is categorised as a high-income economy because it is the 14th largest globally. As the 4th largest country in Europe, Spain has a very competitive economy with close ties with European and Latin American nations, a convenient location occupying Africa and Europe, and has a growing interest in constant research and technology.  How to expand your business into Spain In most cases, expanding a business to a foreign country can be pretty daunting. More so if you lack adequate information on some issues such as the country's business structures, legal processes, and regulations, to aid the smooth running of your business. Along with a structured business plan, our useful resources should ensure you get a successful foothold in the Spanish market.Setting Up an Entity in Spain The country of Spain is an ideal place to set up a business as an expat.  There are different business structures in Spain. A popular setup option in Spain is the Limited Liability Company (Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada/SL) which many small and mid-sized companies in Spain utilize.  Steps you must take to set things in motion include:Get Your NIE Number  Getting an NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero) number is a vital step toward setting up in Spain. It is an identification number given to non-Spanish citizens, enabling them to conduct activities legally. It is a straightforward process, taking a few days for EU citizens to acquire and a slightly longer time for non-EU citizens.Next Up, Registering Your Company  The next thing to do is to register your company's name with the Registro Mercantil Central (RMC). This registration process confirms that the name you have decided for your own company doesn't already belong to an existing company. It isn't time-consuming and can be done online.  Receive Your Bank Certificate  Opening a bank account should be your next move in setting up a company in Spain. It will prompt the receipt of a bank certificate. Also, you may need to deposit a sum in the account. It is 3,000 euros for a limited liability company.  More Registrations The registrations may appear never-ending for a new company, but going through with them is necessary. You can choose to get all the registration out of the way by applying for social security considerations simultaneously. For this registration, you will need all the documents you have acquired so far and TA 0521, which you can get at a local security office. You will need to register for a tax identification number (CIF) online or at the Tax Agency. Filling the Seats of the Shareholders and Directors  As a business owner, the last move will be establishing the shareholders and deciding on the directors. You will need to determine how many people will hold shares and their percentage in your new business. To fill the position of the director, you could pick two different people or a single person (Spanish resident) to have both corporate and operating functions.  What Is the Corporate Tax Structure in Spain?  Corporate tax in Spain is no joke, and defaulting on payment will attract strict penalties. The Spanish financial year is the same as a typical calendar year, and residents are taxed on their global earnings, while non-residents enjoy having only their Spanish income taxed. Another thing non-residents enjoy is a flat rate of 24%. As for residents, their taxes are charged progressively.  Taxes in Spain are a lot covering state and regional ones. As an expatriate, there are biases in your favour. It is standard for an expat who becomes a resident to pay income tax. However, under the special tax regime otherwise known as Beckham's Law by the Spanish government, you can be treated as a non-resident for five years, excluding the year you move.The downside is that as expats taking advantage of the special tax regime, you don't get to enjoy the full benefits a typical non-resident would. The exemptions in the non-residents' income tax are unavailable to you. What Visas Are Available to Those Wishing to Relocate?  You can apply for a Spanish visa tailored to suit the activities you want to conduct in Spain from the variety of available long and short-term visas.Let us get it down; you don't have to bother with this if you are an EU/EEA national because you won't need a visa, only a national identity number NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero) if you decide to stay for more than three months. However, if you don't belong to the EU/EEA region but wish to relocate to Spain, you need a D-type visa and other documents.  Work Visa  If you will be relocating for business purposes, a work visa is the correct choice. It is granted by Work and Immigration Offices available in the various regions. However, before you apply for a work visa, if it is a must, you have a work permit. Employees can't apply for a work visa; the process will have to be handled by their employer. The exception to this is if you are self-employed.The lifespan of a work visa is a year. However, it can be renewed for an additional five years, after which you can get permanent residency.Student Visa  You can only apply for a student visa if you have received an offer from a school in Spain. The lifespan of this visa is as long as the study program. During your stay in Spain, you have the freedom to work and indulge in other activities.Non-lucrative Residence Visa  This visa is perfect for those who are financially capable of not having to indulge in any lucrative activity for as long as they remain in Spain. No form of work is allowed even remote jobs. It is the perfect visa for retirees.Family Visas Your family can apply to join you in Spain if you have been a resident of Spain for a minimum of one year. They are also free to work without a work permit for the duration they'll be there.   Other available visas include a golden visa if you'd like to make investments and the digital nomads and remote workers visa, which hasn't been passed into law.   Ease of Entry into the Spanish Market: Good Options for Expanding Companies  Spain bounced back from its recession in 2007 and has had steady growth since then. It is an excellent place to set up your business, but it could be daunting for foreign companies if you go in without a plan. There are specific initiatives you could take to ease your market entry.Arrange for Physical Meetings   It is crucial to know the preferences of the market you will be going into if you wish to expand abroad. When it comes to Spaniards, they value physical meetings; it could be what could change their status from potential investors to investors, especially if you plan to operate locally. Also, it is essential to know that even at these physical meetings, Spaniards are typically formal, so formal attire is recommended.  Take Advantage of the Recession Spain has come a long way since the recession. They have recovered, but not entirely. Due to the downturn, they faced over a decade ago; many skilled people are without a job. To ease your expansion into Spain, take advantage of the talent pool and recruit highly skilled workers.  Understand Spain's Diversity  Under the umbrella of Spain are 17 autonomous communities. Every community has its strong suits and distinct identities, with Barcelona and Madrid as the major economic hubs. So, spreading your business across all the districts is advisable, beginning with the famed business hubs.  Prepare Yourself for Delayed Payments In Spain, credit is regular in the markets. Customers can make purchases on credit, and you have to be able to accept this, too, if you want to stand toe-to-toe with your competitors. Sometimes, it takes up to three months before payments are made.  Be a Problem Solver  Be prepared because it won't be easy to make customers out of Spaniards, except your products are unique and solve a problem. After all, they are conservative buyers. They stick to who companies they trust. Final WordsDeciding to do business in Spain will have you beaming in the long run if you do the due diligence on your part and employ the services, advice, and support of experts. Don't struggle with the entire process on your own; we are happy to help. Get in contact with us today!How to Get the International Expansion Ball Rolling Setting up a company in Spain is actually much simpler than many realise. Expanding internationally is a challenge, but when done correctly, it can be a streamlined process that enhances your business hugely.    Want to learn more about how to expand your business to Spain?    Sign up to the Centuro Connect platform today and start your global expansion journey to Spain and 100+ other countries! The Centuro Connect platform has details on tax, immigration, market entry points, HR, marketing, and real estate - plus contactable reliable experts to help you ace your expansion. This means that no matter what stage of the expansion journey you’re at, support is there if you face a challenge.  There’s no risk, no hidden costs, and no endless documentation to fill out. Just a wealth of guidance and support, here to aid you and your business throughout your international business expansion.                        

Apr 22, 2022