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BlogGlobal immigration support for Ukraine | Blog
Start A Company, Hr +2
Global Immigration Support For Ukraine | Blog

We are actively monitoring the situation in Ukraine and will continue to update this post as more information becomes available. The purpose of this blog is to share helpful information with those fleeing Ukraine (Ukrainian and foreign nationals). We have included information from the Centuro Global Members, who are offering support to people on the ground as well as in surrounding countries. For immigration advice or support, please contact us. As the conflict in Ukraine continues to escalate, many nationals are fleeing the war for surrounding European nations and other countries abroad. The United Nations has estimated that over 2.3 Million refugees have already fled Ukraine since the crisis began on 24 February.The Ministry of Foreign affairs of Ukraine imposed Martial Law on 24 February 2022, meaning all Ukrainian Males aged between 18-60 are forbidden from leaving the country. The Czech Ministry of Defence has confirmed that even Ukrainian citizens residing abroad based on any type of residence permit, including second citizenship, must comply with the summon order to return to Ukraine to fight. A non-compliance with the order will be considered an act of treason.  We have summarized some helpful information and links relating to immigration concessions below:  Countries offering immigration concessions for Ukrainian and foreign nationals:   The European Union  Although Ukraine is not part of the European Union, the country has an Association Agreement with the EU. Ukrainian citizens are granted visa-free travel to the Schengen Area for a period of up to 90 days within any 180-day period. This means that Ukrainians can enter EU countries without a visa. Several European countries are preparing for an influx of Ukrainian refugees and have offered humanitarian help. The EU has also offered to accept Ukrainian refugees for up to three years, without asking them to apply for asylum.Further details are shared below for countries that have specified Visa Concessions for Ukrainians. If you have any questions and require immigration support, please get in touch with us.  Czech Republic  Our immigration partner Miroslav Mejtský in the Czech Republic has shared valuable immigration updates. The information can be accessed below.   What support is the Czech Republic providing  The Czech Republic is providing support for Ukrainian nationals looking to flee the country.  The Czech Embassy in Kyiv as well as the Consulate in L'viv has been closed today.  What does it mean? As the applications for the first long-term visas and residence permits must be submitted at the Embassy or Consulate of the Czech Republic, it will now not be possible for a Ukrainian citizen to submit a visa application to the Czech Republic and obtain a long-term residence there.  What if the Ukrainian national already submitted the application? If the application has already been submitted, the Immigration Authority shall continue the approval process, however, in case of the long-term visa applications, the long-term visas must be collected at the Embassy or Consulate where the application has been submitted. In case of the residence permits (e.g., Employee Card, Blue Card, Family Reunification), the residence permit can be collected at the Immigration Authority in the Czech Republic. Thanks to the visa-free regime for Ukrainian nationals holding biometric passports, long-term residence permit applicants can arrive (if possible) to the Czech Republic and wait for approval and collection of the residence permit on the territory of the Czech Republic.  As per the latest information, it will be possible to collect the long-term visas (once approved) at the designated Embassy of the Czech Republic during the time the diplomatic missions of the Czech Republic will be closed.  We were preparing our application to be filed, but the Embassy has closed, what shall we do now? As per the current legislation, it is not possible to file the first long-term visa and/or residence permit applications in the Czech Republic or at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in other countries than Ukraine (except the situation where the Ukrainian national holds a long-term residence permit in the other country).  However, we have thought about, prepared, and provided the government with two solutions for the situation within the scope of the current legislation:  A governmental program which will allow Ukrainian nationals without any residence permit to file their application in the Czech Republic,  Include Ukraine to the list of countries whose nationals can submit their application at any Embassy of the Czech Republic stipulated through a governmental decree no. 429/2010 Coll.  We have obtained information that the Immigration Authority is preparing a solution for this situation, and it can be recommended for Ukrainian nationals to arrive in the Czech Republic. Whilst the solution is not in place yet, the Immigration Authority ensured the solution will be in place until the 90 visa-free days will expire. Ukrainian nationals currently residing in the Czech Republic.  I have/our employee has been summoned to the Ukrainian army, what shell be done? We were able to obtain information from the Czech Ministry of Defense, which requested confirmation from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, that in case Ukrainian national residing abroad based on any type of residence permit, even based on second citizenship, must comply with the summon order and non-compliance with the order will be considered as an act of treason.  I am/our employee is in the Czech Republic based on short-term visa/visa-free regime which will expire soon, what shall be done? Provided the permit to stay in the Czech Republic expires in less than 14 days, it will be necessary to visit the Immigration Authority where it will be possible to apply for a special kind of long-term visa on the basis of the undergoing conflict in Ukraine.  The ministry of The Interior/Immigration has launched a new website and helplines with information for Ukrainian nationals. The website and the helpline contacts can be found under this link.   Hungary   What support is Hungary providing?Hungary has announced that all those fleeing the war will have a ‘’ friendly place’’ to stay upon arrival in Hungary. Hungary will allow everyone in, including those without travel documents, as well as people with other nationalities that are travelling from Ukraine. However, relevant screening protocols will apply.  For those without travel documents  Entry to Hungary is permitted for those without travel documents. The rule is that all refugees must be helped. This also applies to third-country nationals who are travelling to Hungary from Ukraine.  Individuals will be screened upon arrival. More information can be found here.For those with valid travel documents  Those who have a valid biometric passport are legally eligible to stay in Hungary for a period of 90 days. For those needing to stay for longer than 90 days, various visa options are available. Currently, concessions are in place. No further information is available at this time to understand what processes are needed for those intending to stay for longer durations. Please contact us should you wish to understand what other visa categories may apply to you. It is likely that efforts for concessions will continue.  Suggested Supporting Documents  If possible, it is advised to carry the following documents:  Identification such as an ID Card or Passport  COVID-19 vaccination / recovery certificate (if applicable)  If possible, other important documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, property certificates, diplomas, and other documents related to education  The official press release statement can be accessed here.  For further information on visa options available, please contact us.   Poland  What Support is Poland Providing?     The Polish authorities have stated that Ukrainian citizens fleeing the Russian military aggression against Ukraine will be admitted to Poland. Currently, Ukrainian citizens do not need to register or worry about formalities concerning immigration options at reception points.   There are multiple reception points at various border crossings and entry points. At these reception areas, all persons fleeing Ukraine and seeking refuge in Poland will be provided with food, basic medical treatment, and legal assistance.    For Ukrainian citizens already in Poland who are worried about their visas coming to an end, Polish authorities have advised that all legal stays will be extended. More detailed information on the support Poland is providing, including where to locate reception points, can be accessed by following these links:  Link1, Link2, and, Link3Work Permits    The Polish Family and Social Policy Minister have directed the country’s labour offices to fast-track work permit procedures for Ukrainian nationals. To understand the long-term visa options that may apply to Ukrainian citizens looking to relocate to Poland permanently, please contact us to discuss visa applications.   Suggested supporting documents   Polish authorities have stated that everyone who is fleeing the conflict will be admitted to Poland, even those who do not hold valid documents.  If possible, it is advised to bring carry the following documents:  Identification such as an ID Card or Passport  COVID-19 vaccination / recovery certificate (if applicable)  If possible, other important documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, property certificates, diplomas, and other documents related to education    Important Information    The Polish authorities have advised Ukrainian citizens to go to the nearest reception point if they do not have a place to stay in Poland. These reception points will provide food and the necessary medical services if needed.  The locations for the reception points can be found here. Covid-19 Vaccine    For citizens entering Poland who has not yet been vaccinated, options to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Poland are available. Poland’s Health Minister has stated that Ukrainians can produce an ID document (if possible), which can be a permanent or temporary ID card or a passport, in order to receive their Covid-19 vaccine if they haven’t already.     Romania What Support is Romania providing? Romania will be also helping refugees with Hammond Partnership providing legal aid and assistance.  The contact point for Romania is Mihaela Lupu (mlupu@hplegal.ro).   Slovakia    What support is Slovakia providing?   Slovakia has announced that they will support the arrival of Ukrainian nationals fleeing the war. Ukraine has a visa-free entry regime with its neighbouring countries, meaning that refugees or persons fleeing war can pass the border. Slovakian authorities have stated that everyone who is fleeing the conflict will be admitted to Slovakia, even those who do not hold valid documents. The entry process will, however, change, depending on what documents the persons have on hand.  For more information, visit the official website.For those without valid travel documents  Those entering Slovakia without valid travel documents, (such as a valid biometric passport or ID card) can apply for temporary refuge or asylum within the territory of the Slovak Republic. A temporary refuge or asylum visa is granted at the border crossing or at the local police department. Those who require asylum or temporary refuge will be hosted by the Slovak Republic at three asylum facilities. Once asylum or temporary refuge has been granted, candidates may take up work without a work permit.  More information can be found here.For those with valid travel documents  Those who have a valid biometric passport are legally eligible to stay in the territory of the Slovak Republic for a period of 90 days. For those needing to stay for longer than 90 days, various visa options are available. These include any form of legal residence (such as temporary residence permits or family reunification visas).Please contact us should you wish to understand what other visa categories may apply to you. It is likely that efforts for concessions will continue.  Suggested Supporting Documents  If possible, it is advised to carry the following documents:  Identification such as an ID Card or Passport  COVID-19 vaccination / recovery certificate (if applicable)  If possible, other important documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, property certificates, diplomas, and other documents related to education  Important Information    Border Crossings    Authorities are taking steps to provide effective assistance at all border crossings. Border crossing locations can be found here: https://ua.gov.sk/en.html  Slovak firefighters have built temporary emergency camps for Ukrainian refugees and have increased the capacity of asylum facilities. CONTINUED HERE   

Mar 02, 2022
BlogGlobal immigration support for Ukraine (Continued)
Start A Company, Hr +2
Global Immigration Support For Ukraine (Continued)

Countries across the EU and world continue to update their policies and are adding additional visa concessions for Ukrainians affected by the conflict. Countries such as Italy, Germany are offering free accommodation and transport to Ukrainian Passport holders. The Deutsche Bahn announced it here.Canada  What support is Canada providing?  Canada has announced visa concessions for Ukrainians. The government is working hard to allow Ukrainians working, studying, and living in Canada to stay there. This work includes developing new measures to support Ukrainian nationals in Canada.   For Ukrainian nationals already in Canada   Canada is looking to support Ukrainian citizens already in Canada. The government has announced the following measures that they are working on urgently processing new and replacement passports and travel documents for citizens and permanent residents of Canada in Ukraine so they can return to Canada at any time. This includes immediate family members who will come with them.  Prioritizing applications from people who currently live in Ukraine for  permanent residence  proof of citizenship  temporary residence  citizenship grant for adoption  Adding new ways to make sure people who contact us get answers as fast as possible  Extending temporary public policy that lets some visitors in Canada, including Ukrainians, apply for a work permit from within Canada. This means people who get a job offer can stay in Canada and start working while their work permit application is processed.  Useful information for those already in Canada:  Extend or renew your status as a  visitor  worker  student  You may be able to apply for a work permit as a temporary resident    For Ukrainian nationals outside of Canada   Family visa   Canada offers immigration options that let Canadian citizens and permanent residents sponsor eligible family members to come to Canada. Applications will be prioritized for a family member who is a Ukrainian national outside Canada and one of the following family members:  your spouse or common-law or conjugal partner  your dependent child (including adopted children)  Suggested Supporting Documents   If possible, it is advised to carry the following documents:  Identification such as an ID Card or Passport  COVID-19 vaccination / recovery certificate (if applicable)  If possible, other important documents such as; birth certificates, marriage certificates, property certificates, diplomas, and other documents related to education  Important information   Commercial routes out of Ukraine remain closed and extremely limited. The Ukrainian Air Space remains closed, citing high risk to safety. Russia has also closed its airspace for civilian flights on its western border.  To get access to Canada, individuals will likely have to travel via another country. All options should be safely considered and planned. Ireland  What support is Ireland providing?  Ireland has announced that they have lifted the visa requirements between Ukraine and Ireland. This is to support the swift exit of both the Ukrainian family members of Irish citizens and the family members of people from Ukraine who are residents in Ireland. This applies to all visa requirements, meaning Ukrainians can travel to Ireland visa-free. This also applies to Ukrainians already in Ireland who might need to have their visas temporarily extended. All Ukrainians who are currently on work, student, or visitor Visa in Ireland will have their visas temporarily extended or be provided with the opportunity to pursue other visa categories.  For more information, visit here. Suggested Supporting Documents If possible, it is advised to carry the following documents:  Identification such as an ID Card or Passport  COVID-19 vaccination / recovery certificate (if applicable)  If possible, other important documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, property certificates, diplomas, and other documents related to education  Important information  Commercial routes out of Ukraine remain closed and extremely limited. The Ukrainian Air Space remains closed, citing high risk to safety. Russia has also closed its airspace for civilian flights on its western border.  To get access to Ireland, applicants will likely have to travel via another country. All options should be safely considered and planned.  For more information visit here. United Kingdom   What support is the UK Government providing?The United Kingdom has announced visa concessions to support Ukrainians. These concessions mainly apply to Ukrainian citizens already in the UK. However, additional concessions, such as for those applying for a Family Migration Route visa, also apply.  For Ukrainian nationals already in the UK   A Ukrainian citizen in the UK now has the right to have their UK visa temporarily extended. All Ukrainians who are currently working, studying, or visiting the UK will have their visas temporarily extended or be provided with the opportunity to pursue other visa categories. More information can be found here.For Ukrainian nationals outside of the UK   Family migration visa   Ukrainians can apply for a Family Migration visa for free if they are family members of British nationals who usually live in Ukraine.  The criteria for what is defined as a British family member is as follows:  a spouse or civil partner  an unmarried partner (you must have been living together in a relationship for at least 2 years)  your parents if you are under the age of 18  your child under the age of 18  an adult relative you provide care for who lives with you due to a medical condition  The UK government has advised that the UKVI should be contacted before making an application. Candidates will be required to provide information about themselves and their family members.  Applications for this visa must be submitted at a UK Visa Application Centre (VAC). The VAC in Kyiv is now closed. For those still in Ukraine, applications can be made at the temporary location in L'viv. Alternatively, applications can be submitted at a VAC in a nearby country. These currently operate in: Poland  Romania  Hungary  Moldova  All other visa applicants will be unable to apply through a VAC in Ukraine. For more information on the various visa concessions offered by the UK government, visit here.Suggested Supporting Documents  If possible, it is advised to carry the following documents:  Identification such as an ID Card or Passport  COVID-19 vaccination / recovery certificate (if applicable)  If possible, other important documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, property certificates, diplomas, and other documents related to education  Important information  Commercial routes out of Ukraine remain closed and extremely limited. The Ukrainian Air Space remains closed, citing high risk to safety. Russia has also closed its airspace for civilian flights on its western border.  To get access to the UK, individuals will likely have to travel via another country. All options should be safely considered and planned.Globalaw lawyers Help Ukrainian Refugees and Asylum SeekersTo help deal with the huge influx of Ukrainian refugees, the law firms of Globalaw, the international law network are joining forces to advise refugees how to best and most efficiently legalize their stay and complete all underlying formalities.  Watch this space for information on the opening of help desks in Globalaw member firms.  In Poland, with over 120,000 refugees already while 1 million expected, DeBenedetti Majewski SzczeÅ›niak has already started over the past weekend.  The contact points for Poland are Magdalena MaÅ‚ocha and Anna Stasiewicz.If you require further immigration advice on visas that may be required, please do not hesitate to contact us.    

Mar 01, 2022
BlogUK introduces new visas for start-up founders, tech talent and entrepreneurs
Start A Company, Hr +2
UK Introduces New Visas For Start-up Founders, Tech Talent And Entrepreneurs

The UK government has proposed the introduction of three different visas in order to assist fast-growth companies to recruit workers overseas, attract graduates from the world's top universities, and pursue foreign entrepreneurs and founders of tech start-ups.These new additions to the UK visa system are deemed the “most attractive” in the world for high-skilled workers and entrepreneurs and will attempt to drive up productivity and economic growth in the country.The new visas will also open up further possibilities for employers based in the UK as well as for foreign business people who wish to explore options for coming into the UK to work without having to rely on a UK-based employer. They will also appeal to entrepreneurs and investors whose options for coming to the UK have been reduced in recent years.Applications will begin in the next few months for:Scale-up visa  The aim of the Scale-up visa is to make it easier and quicker for companies experiencing rapid growth to hire the best-skilled labor from around the world.Under this route:An individual must hold a high-skilled job offer with a salary of at least £33,000 and meet an English language requirement. Scale-ups will be able to apply to use the route through a fast-track verification process.To qualify as a scale-up, a business must have: Annual average revenue or employment growth rate over a 3-year period greater than 20%. A minimum of 10 employees at the start of the 3-year period. High Potential Individual visa  This will be open to high-potential graduates from top global universities. The definitions and eligibility requirements for ‘top global university’ and ‘high potential graduates’ have yet to be defined but are likely to respectively include a closed list of government-approved institutions, and characteristics such as age, salary, and postgraduate qualifications.This route will allow:Graduates relocate to the UK without first having secured a job. Settlement in the UK – the parameters and requirements of eligibility for permanent residence under this route have yet to be defined.Innovator visa  An innovator is also planned for 2022 and will seek to enable overseas investors and entrepreneurs to start and operate businesses in the UK that are either venture-backed or harnessing innovative technologies.Under this route: There will be greater flexibility – there will no longer be a requirement for applicants to have at least £50,000 in investment funds, provided that the applicant has sufficient funds to grow their business. Applicants will also be able to undertake work outside their primary business on this route. Business eligibility criteria will be streamlined and simplified – applicants will need to demonstrate that their business has the potential to grow, add value to the UK, and remain innovative. An option will exist to fast-track applications – applicants whose business ideas are ‘particularly advanced’ will have this option available to them. If you require further immigration advice on visas that may be required, please do not hesitate to contact us.   

Mar 01, 2022
BlogExpanding into Central America: Land of Investment Opportunities
Start A Company, Hr +2
Expanding Into Central America: Land Of Investment Opportunities

Central America is composed of five countries, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, that span an area of 422, 614 km2. The region is known around the globe for its exuberant forests, amazing volcanoes, paradisiacal beaches, and Mayan ruins, but there are more than natural wonders to discover. Let’s take a look at the investment potential of this rapidly-growing part of the world.Investing in Central America: What You Should KnowIn addition to these attractions, Central America has also become a great region for doing business because it has some specific characteristics that make the territory unique. These include:  Strategic location in the middle of the hemisphere, which not only provides a convenient time zone and accessible latitudes, but also airline service with frequent flights that connect the region with the world’s most popular airports.  Great human talent. The workforce is well educated, with most candidates speaking very good levels of English and fluent in many other languages. Compared to other jurisdictions looking to attract foreign direct investment, Central America shares a low cost of establishing a business and operating in the region. World-class facilities for international trade, including transportation and freight forwarding logistics.   The region has entered into trade agreements with main economies such as the United States and the European Union, which greatly facilitates international trade between Central America and the most active trade partners.  In addition to these common elements, each of the countries has designed tax packages and/or incentives to attract foreign direct investment.  Why Invest in Costa Rica?  Costa Rica has one of the best free trade zone systems in Latin America and during the past thirty years has attracted operations by the world’s most significant t transnational companies.It provides incentives to projects in manufacturing, services, and logistics, that range in investments from $100,000 (the minimum required for certain packages) to $10,000,000 and above for mega-projects.In exchange, projects get favorable tax treatment for periods up to 12 years, including income tax exemption, exemption on import duties for facilities construction materials, as well as subsequent operations, land tax exemption, and VAT exemption, among others. The country provides a great opportunity for nearshoring in the region:  Costa Rica is ranked number one in the Greenfield Performance Index for 2021. Furthermore, Costa Rica has also allowed the commercialization of products with CBD (100% free of THC) such as cosmetics, beverages, food, and natural medicine products.  Congress approved a law that authorizes the cultivation of cannabis and hemp for medical purposes, including the possibility of applying for the Free Trade Zone Regime and obtaining tax incentives for such activities.As a recovery response to the COVID-19 crisis, governments are investing in the infrastructure sector. The Government has announced the execution of five key mega-projects, including the construction of four different highways and a fast passenger train.Finally, Costa Rica is the ultimate host country for remote workers, who are looking to work from a setting that is both beautiful and lively.  Congress recently Recent immigration policies and tax incentives have been announced to help attract Investors, Rentiers, and Pensioners who are looking to relocate to Costa Rica.  Why Invest in Nicaragua?  Even though the country has faced political instability in past years, business opportunities continue to increase. The World Bank recently ranked Nicaragua is the third fastest growing economy in Central America for 2021 and foresees a continued recovery for years to come.Nicaragua offers varying opportunities for investors, including the major activities of gold and silver mining. Mining in Nicaragua has experienced significant growth in recent years thanks to the arrival of foreign direct investment. Mining represents  2.3% of Nicaragua’s GDP.Nicaragua also offers great opportunities for the Agro-industry. Agricultural products have been a significant portion of Nicaragua’s exports for many years. The high regional demand for food makes its large-scale production, processing, and packaging highly attractive to investors.In the Free Trade Zone field, the country offers tax incentives to attract projects for outsourcing services or export manufacturing operations.  Why Invest in Honduras?      Honduras offers great opportunities in the renewable energy sector through a law that promotes the generation of renewable energy and provides exemptions on customs duties for the import of equipment and accessories during a project’s construction period.In addition, certain types of projects qualify for a ten-year income tax exemption, or in the case of biofuel production exemption from taxes and fees for twelve years, as well as special treatment during the construction process. In the free trade zone sector, the country offers different tax incentives for call centers and manufacturing export companies, including exemptions on import duties for raw materials and equipment, VAT exemption for local purchases, and an income tax exemption for 15 years renewable for 10 more years.Honduras has also created “Zede” economic zones to attract foreign investment through reduced tax rates. The first such zone is called ZEDE Próspera and was established in Roatán, a paradisiac island located in the Caribbean. This ZEDE is expected to reach 10,000 inhabitants by 2025.Why Invest in Guatemala?   Guatemala’s economy is experiencing a highly positive moment: the World Bank now projects that in 2021 the country’s economy will grow 5.1%, a figure that surpasses the January forecast of 3.6%.Guatemala, the largest economy in Central America, offers opportunities in the free trade zone regime under a law called ZOLIC which was recently renewed to develop special economic zones. These are geographic areas under a special customs regime that allows the development of agricultural, industrial, and commercial activities to enjoy tax incentives.The entire purpose of the recent changes is to expand the development to other geographic areas outside the capital.  Congress in 2021 also approved a decree that amends the Free Zones Law. In Guatemala, free zones represent an attractive opportunity for investment since operations developed under the law’s jurisdiction give an investor the right to tax exemptions or preferential tax treatment.Guatemala is betting on new sectors including the production of animal food, leather, and footwear, the plastic industry and its manufacturers, recreation centers and hotels, ceramic products, medications, cosmetics, paintings, furniture, and processed food.Why invest in El Salvador?     El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America; however, it has great capabilities to boost its economic growth. Its economy is dollarized, which eliminates foreign exchange risk and lowers transaction and financial costs for investors.  The country has a high potential for the generation of renewable energy such as hydropower, wind power, solar, geothermal, and bioenergy. El Salvador has approved a Renewable Energy Tax Incentives law, aiding investment in the sector.More specifically, investors may have the opportunity to participate in international bidding for long-term twenty-year contracts that guarantee the purchase of energy. In addition, there are opportunities for bilateral agreements and smaller energy projects.The country also promotes the establishment of international service centers and operations that provide BPO services to international clients. El Salvador has seen this sector grow in recent years, with the Government providing tax incentives for companies that provide services to clients located abroad such as call centers, shared services centers, and information technologies operations.Finally, El Salvador has approved a Free Zones Law to encourage production for export as well as import and export activities through authorized distribution centers. ConclusionCentral America offers numerous opportunities for investors, especially for those seeking highly qualified human talent, cost-efficiency, diversification of the supply chain, and excellent trade connections with other markets. It is also a land blessed with magnificent natural attractions, the perfect setting to combine high-level business operations with unforgettable leisure hours.   Find out how we can help you expand your business into any Central American jurisdiction HERE.

Feb 28, 2022
BlogTop global expansion challenges to consider in 2022
Start A Company, Hr +2
Top Global Expansion Challenges To Consider In 2022

Is your company planning on expanding into a global market or new jurisdictions this year? Don’t let immigration challenges slow you down or get in your way.  Consider these important challenges when planning your expansion journey.Companies looking to expand into new markets are currently facing multiple challenges. Depending on a company’s business objective, assessing how to enter a new market is crucial. From economic challenges to cultural barriers, companies will have to adapt and strategise their market entry plan. The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have further amplified the complexities of new market entry. With a well-executed strategy, global expansion can lead to limitless opportunities for companies.  However, some of the key concerns that companies can expect to face when expanding into new markets in 2022 include:Complex and dynamic immigration policies: monitor the rules  The war on talent: global competition for recruiting highly skilled workers Adapting to the local business climate: product and solution positioningThis article intends to provide an overview of each of these considerations with actionable insights to assist your global expansion journey in 2022.Robust immigration policies Immigration is a key aspect of global expansion. Due to the complex and dynamic nature of global travel restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic, managers and employees need to have access to the latest information concerning border entry requirements and visa processing guidelines.On top of the traditional documents that will need to be submitted, and the usual timelines that apply, candidates may face conditions of entry surrounding COVID-19 mandates. Depending on the position and authority of the applicant, some concessions can be made.However, if we draw on the recent case of Novak Djokovic, the world’s top men’s tennis player whose visa into Australia was cancelled due to not meeting the necessary Australian COVID-19 entry requirements - key lessons for immigration can be learned. These include:Consult a local immigration partner who can advise on the various employment-based visa categories and eligibility requirements  Stay ahead of the latest entry requirements (such as proof of vaccination, testing requirements, quarantine policies, etc)  Gather and prepare all required documentation  Follow the laws and local guidelines and be aware of timeline delaysImmigration guidelines for every company will vary based on their immigration budget and talent needs. Therefore it is important that Human Resources and finance teams align to determine which strategy may work best for their organisation depending on priorities and budget.Adapting to the local business climate: product and solution positioningWhen companies expand into a new market, adjusting to the local business environment can be tricky. Some of the hurdle’s companies will have to overcome include:Understanding the local language Maintain appropriate business etiquette and incorporate local business culture  Navigate the tax and legal landscape  Understand the local HR protocols and procedures  Ensure they meet the necessary employment laws and standardsHiring a local workforce can help companies to adjust to the local business culture, improve interactions with clients and get to know their target audience. Before entering a new market, detailed market entry research must be conducted. This will assist with effective and efficient product and service positioning, that aligns with the needs of the local landscape and market needs.If a product or service needs to be slightly tweaked or positioned to meet the local standards, consulting with local experts and market specialists can assist with the product launch and growth prospects. This is a crucial part of the expansion journey as it allows the business to understand and engage with their new target market and allows for improved service delivery.The war on talent: attracting and retaining top talent The ‘war for talent’ refers to an increasingly competitive landscape for the recruitment and retention of talented employees. Despite the devastating economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic which led to millions of job losses, the global shortage of talent continues. This is especially relevant to managerial positions, defined as ‘’ a combination of sharp leadership skills, with a strategic mind, emotional maturity, strong communications skills, the ability to attract and inspire other talented people, entrepreneurial instincts, functional skills, and the ability to deliver results”.As a result, scaling companies need to be strategic in managing their workforce, whether it includes growing a local talent pool in a new desired location or attracting foreign talent. By developing dynamic policies and attractive benefits, HR teams can succeed in retaining and attracting new talent. Companies should consider:Incorporating flexible work options  Implementing rewards and recognition programs Investing in learning and development  Developing robust and strategic recruitment processes  Implement a seamless relocation program. Employees thrive when they are valued and recognised. Retaining talent requires organisations to regularly engage with their workforce, request feedback, and work on manageable solutions.ConclusionIt 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.DOWNLOAD OUR FREE GUIDE BELOW                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Feb 15, 2022
BlogWhy should investors consider opening a Micro Entity in Romania?
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Why Should Investors Consider Opening A Micro Entity In Romania?

A micro company (or micro-entity) is a small, private limited company. In Romania, micro-companies continue to gain interest from potential foreign investors. This is due to the many tax benefits associated with establishing a micro-entity. Is Romania the secret location for foreign investment success?According to Romanian company legislation, micro-entities can be incorporated under the same laws and processes as with a Limited Liability Company ( SRL). However, tax structures may differ. For companies qualified as micro-enterprises under the Romanian Law, a different tax rate is applied other than the normal tax regime of tax on profit of a Romanian company.  What constitutes a microenterprise for taxation purposes? In Romania, the fiscal year for microenterprises runs according to the calendar year, starting on 1st January and ending on 31st December. For a company to be taxed as a micro-entity, they will have to meet the following criteria, namely:The company is required to demonstrate an annual income (excluding VAT) that does not exceed one million euros (1.000.000). This is calculated within a 12-month period, up to 31 December of each fiscal year. The rate of exchange which will be applied will remain consistent with the relevant fiscal year. It is essential for the company’s social capital to be privately held. In order for companies to classify as micro-entities, they must register their company within the tax year by 31 December. The company has not attempted to initiate termination procedures with the Trade Registry or with the Court.  Companies who engage in the following primary or secondary activities may qualify as a micro-entity:  5510 – Hotels and similar accommodation 5520 – Holiday and other short-stay accommodation 5530 – Camping grounds, recreational vehicle parks, and trailer parks 5590 – Other accommodation 5610 – Restaurants and mobile food services activities 5621 – Event catering activities 5629 – Other food services activities 5630 – Beverage serving activities  Tax structure for micro-entities  Micro companies are required to pay taxes which are calculated as a percentage of their gross income. This percentage includes:  Three percent (3%) for companies that do not have any full-time employees. One percent (1%) for companies that have at least one full-time employee. For companies to benefit from lower tax rates, they are required to employ at least one full-time employee by the end of the tax period (31 December). This reduced tax rate will also apply if companies hire two or more part-time employees whose total working hours equate to that of one full-time employee.  To qualify for the tax benefits of a micro-entity by hiring at least one employee, the employment agreement must be valid for an unlimited period, or for a minimum of twelve months.  Procedural aspects regarding the income tax For newly established micro-entities or for micro-entities that have recently dissolved their company, the taxable period is calculated based on the number of months for which that entity was incorporated within the taxable period. This runs from 1 January to – 31st of December.  Romanian companies who are incorporated as micro-entities can benefit from the tax structures by ensuring that their social capital is not owned by the state or any territorial administrative unit. Companies are required to register their status as a micro-entity with the Fiscal Authorities. Tax on dividends The tax which will be due on company dividends is five percent (5%). This tax must be calculated and withheld by the company at the time of payment. When a company’s dividends have been declared, they will be required to make required payments to shareholders by the 25th of January of the following year.   When the tax benefits of micro-entities may no longer apply   If during any fiscal year a micro-enterprise has income greater than one million (1.000.000) Euro, the company must pay tax on profit starting from the quarter when the limit has been exceeded.  The standard rate of tax on profit is sixteen percent (16%). This will be calculated based on the actual accounting profit. Should the number of employees fall below the required minimum, then the rate of tax on income will change accordingly.  If a company at any point of the fiscal year decides to initiate procedures of termination or if the shares of the company are no longer privately held, it is required for these changes to be registered with the fiscal authorities by 31st March of the following year.  If the company is to be dissolved, it is required to declare and pay any income tax applicable for the time it was operating.Conclusion In conclusion, Romanian companies who satisfy the necessary legal requirements to be incorporated as a micro-entity will be taxed accordingly, based on their income. Companies will pay a varying tax rate (between one (1%) or three (3%) percent), depending on the number of individuals employed.  If the company does not meet the legal requirements to be taxed as a micro-entity, it must register the changes with the fiscal authorities and will be required to pay the standard tax rate on the profit of sixteen percent (16%).  The company can elect to be taxed as a normal corporate taxpayer and pay tax on profit if it has a social capital of more than forty-five thousand (45.000) Euro and at least two employees. In this case, the company may choose to be in this way only once.These taxation options should be considered by any investor who wishes to incorporate a company in Romania. It is important for investors to understand these rules as there are tax benefits that may apply to them. If you have any questions or require advice, do not hesitate to contact us.How to Get the International Expansion Ball Rolling Creating a Romanian startup 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 Romania?  You can sign up to the Centuro Connect platform today and start your global expansion journey to Romania. If you would like to learn more about expanding your business to Romania, or 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.SIGN UP TODAY BY CLICKING HERE.  

Feb 15, 2022
Blog5 reasons to do business in Asia
Start A Company, Hr +2
5 Reasons To Do Business In Asia

For lack of a better word, Asia is huge. It is the world’s largest, most populous continent, regulatory environment, and home to some of the world’s most vibrant and diverse Asian economies and cultures. However, it also represents one of the most significant opportunities for doing business and expansion that can be found on the planet.Let’s focus on five specific reasons why globally-minded companies should look first to Asian markets when considering doing business in Asia. Asian markets together makeup the second-largest consumer market in the world   While it may take some time for any country to surpass the mammoth consumer economy found in the United States, combining the pre-COVID markets in just three countries – China, Japan, and South Korea – the total of over nine trillion USD in spending well exceeds the eight trillion of EU member states. Moreover, the combined GDP of the world’s second-and third-largest economies of China and Japan is rapidly approaching once unthinkable US levels.More impressive is a recent report by McKinsey suggesting that Asia may very well be responsible for 40% of the global economy and consumption and over 50% of global GDP by 2040. And the trend looks to become more pronounced in the immediate future, with China soon becoming the most vociferous consumer of luxury goods globally.China and its regional rivals Japan and South Korea already boast a combined luxury goods market value 25% greater than what US consumers invest in the same premium goods.  It is a business partner to most western economies as it imports all kinds of crucial products vital to them  Consumer spending and luxury items are certainly not the whole story, as Asia currently features four of the top 10 global oil consumers – not surprisingly China, Japan, and South Korea again – with China and Japan in the top four globally.Singling out Japan as one particularly striking example, the world’s fourth-largest exporter also imports nearly two-thirds of a trillion USD worth of commodities and goods each year: everything from copper ore to integrated circuits to advanced weaponry. Japan is an unbelievably lucrative business partner for the US defense industry, investing nearly a billion USD just last year in drones, missiles, fighter aircraft, and lots of other hardware too sensitive to mention here.But for the manufacturers, the partnership is much more than just a sale; it is an investment, with companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin training their Japanese counterparts to produce domestic variants of the latest and new technology. A case in point is the next-gen F-35fighter plane, for which the final assembly is performed in Nagoya, Japan.  It has more intra-regional trade than anywhere else, with more regional trade partnerships   When the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) comes into effect in January 2022, this alliance amongst the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and six other regional countries will immediately become the most significant trade partnership in the world – far out-sizing similar agreements in North America and the EU – with member states representing 30% of global GDP.The agreement will help streamline the movement of goods and services across member state borders and also make it simpler for companies to expand their footprint across multiple locations. And there is the added advantage of having the financial and commercial hubs of Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Seoul, and Tokyo all within a one-hour time difference of each other.But RCEP is simply the largest and most visible trade agreement in a region that already sees quite a bit of productivity through APEC, ASEAN, ASEAN Plus Three, and of course the Trans-Pacific Partnership.Asian countries have a vast pool of talent across sectors    It’s only natural that the world’s most highly populated region will have a massive potential labour pool. Highly skilled local workers have for years been imported from countries like China and India by US tech giants, however as the middle class grows across many parts of Asia, the amount of money that can be invested in education has also grown.   Continuously developing Asian economies like Indonesia and the Philippines (and to a lesser extent Myanmar and Vietnam where there are large populations and significant potential for economic progress) are notable examples. Honing their skills in the more advanced economies of their neighbors, and not content to wait for organic career growth, scores of skilled local workers are now showing interest and looking to test the waters of non-traditional locations outside of Silicon Valley.   Medical workers represent another significant pool of local skilled labour in Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Care workers can be educated and trained in their home countries at a fraction of the cost of receiving similar experiences in the west, are proficient in English and other languages, and are ready to meet the growing demand for labour in aging societies like Japan and in regions such as western Europe.   It has the world’s fastest-growing technology hubs and busiest shipping hubs   Many cities across Asia are considered to be amongst the most prominent global hubs for new technologies. Singapore, however, is the location that has been garnering the most attention recently, ranked by KPMG as the leading tech innovation hub in the world, and home to 80% of the top global tech firms.This “Little Silicon Valley” may one day no longer need to have the “little” preceding its name. Its prominence is in no small part due to a government that incentivises tech firms and pushes them to innovate locally rather than simply peddling an existing product.Sea freight is also one of the growing industries in the region, with the eight busiest global ports located in Asia. For total container volume, Singapore lost the top rank to Shanghai in 2019 and is now in the second spot, followed by Shenzhen, Ningbo, Busan, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, and Qingdao. Outside of Asia, only the port of Dubai can be considered a candidate for this elite group.  Final thoughts  But regardless of all of these advantages, businesses that want to expand into Asia need to be located in Asia. Understanding how to establish a successful and sustainable Asia presence is the key to making an investment worthwhile, and the companies that have made a real, long-term difference all have a significant operational capacity in the region.There may soon come a day when opening first in Asia is a prerequisite to doing business internationally. It may already be here!Should you require more information or need help with doing business in Asia, don’t hesitate and send us an e-mail. We can help you Incorporate, Move and Fund your business in Asia!

Jan 12, 2022
BlogGreece: Residence permit for executives, administrators, or board members
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Greece: Residence Permit For Executives, Administrators, Or Board Members

Greece is a very famous destination, not only as a magnificent location for vacations but also for the eminent investment and business opportunities, available and approachable both for European investors and entrepreneurs but also for investors and entrepreneurs who are third-country nationals.  Nowadays constantly increasing numbers of other EU citizens, non-EU nationals, retirees, digital nomads, and also investors, entrepreneurs, and company groups choose to move permanently to Greece due to the many advantages and amenities that Greece provides.  Especially for the non-EU citizens, who face specific problems and barriers with the immigration restrictions of their access to the European Union countries, there is a very good solution that provides work and residence permits for the executives, administrators (directors), or board members of a branch of a foreign limited liability company located in Greece or of a Greek subsidiary company.  Below we provide you with some brief information about that solution:  General information about the Greek Residence Permit Executives, administrators and board members employed at Greek branches of foreign companies have a relatively easy way of obtaining a permanent residence permit.  Who can apply for the residence permits?  members of boards of directors,  shareholders,  managers,  legal representatives and  senior executives of Greek corporate entities (with more than 25 employees), as well as the Greek subsidiaries and branches of foreign companies.Are family members included?  The aforementioned persons may be accompanied by their family members, to whom a permit for family reunification may be granted. Conditions for the residence permit?  The branch or the Greek subsidiary company must be legally exercising a business activity in Greece.   A foreign entity that intends to set up the branch or the Greek subsidiary company must be established abroad as a Limited Liability Company (LLC or LTD or SA or Joint Stock Company).  The Greek subsidiary company must be a limited company (either Private Limited Companies/ IKE, LTD/ EPE, or SA/ AE) that is owned by the foreign entity with at least 70%.  The foreign entity (mother company) must have sufficient funds to support the investment in Greece (50 – 100K is a sufficient amount of money that the entrepreneur wishes to invest in Greece).  The members of boards of directors, shareholders, managers, legal representatives, and senior executives of subsidiaries and branches of foreign companies will stay and work in Greece for at least 186 days annually in order to help the Greek branch or the Greek subsidiary company to operate the business activities in Greece.  Duration of the residence permit   This type of residence permit is issued for two years or for a period equal to the expected duration of the applicant’s stay in Greece and is renewed every three years.Benefits of the Greek Residence Permit 1. Access to labour market   The solution provides both work and residence permits to both EU citizens and third-country nationals.2. A prominent European gateway  Greece stands at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa and offers excellent opportunities for internal-continental connection. Greece is highly developed in shipping and logistics infrastructure and offers a platform through which business people are able to venture and get access into nearby markets around the Balkans, the Black Sea, and the rest of Eastern Europe.Through the Greek residence permit, foreign investors, entrepreneurs, and international groups of companies can enter the prosperous European market and the opportunities that lie within and also open a new market in the most efficient way.  3. Access to the Schengen Area for third-country nationals Greece is a member of the Schengen Area, an area comprising 26 European states that have officially abolished passports and other types of border control.  The travel privileges that you get if you are a holder of the residence permit include:  You can travel freely within the Schengen zone without the customs checks.  You can travel from your own country of origin to any Schengen zone.  Through the residency program, the executives, administrators, or board members of the Greek branch or the Greek subsidiary will be able to have access to the Schengen area with their residence permits and to travel without problems.  4. Prosperous business and investment opportunities   In Greece, a new, advanced and emerging economy is in the making. In parallel, investment opportunities are abundant and attractive in a wide variety of sectors. Greece’s massive reform efforts are opening new investment frontiers that reward both first movers and established players, giving investment (tax and subsidies) and immigration incentives.The next decade is set to see sustained growth in tourism, ICT, energy, pharmaceutical and environmental sciences, food, real estate, beverage and agriculture, logistics, and life sciences. 5. Access to highly qualified and English-speaking personnel   The potential entrepreneur is able to recruit and hire highly educated, trained, and qualified personnel and English is the second language that a majority of the Greeks speak.  6. Greece offers a modern and high-quality lifestyle  Greece is one of the sunniest countries in Europe and offers a modern and high-quality lifestyle. In Greece the cost of living is lower compared to the rest of Europe and every resident can enjoy a sunny life, combined with unparalleled beauty and diversity in landscape and nutrition, and also plenty of options for recreation.Greeks are friendly and hospitable and both EU and non-EU nationals living in Greece can enjoy a relaxed lifestyle, including outdoor activities, modern culture, and social activities.  Conclusion In the post-Brexit era, through the residency program, many British citizens and other third-country nationals have successfully gained access to European Union and its markets, along with Greece’s beautiful way of living and the vast business and investment opportunities that lie within it.For more information on the Greece Residence Permit for executives, administrators, or board members and all types of work permits and visas, contact us to speak to an expert from our immigration team directly.

Jan 12, 2022
BlogThe Cyber Security Threat
Start A Company, Hr +2
The Cyber Security Threat

Authors: Alexandra Bretschneider, Vice President & Cyber Practice Leader at Johnson, Kendall & JohnsonEd Ventham, Cyber & Fintech insurance specialist It seems like every day there is news of another major cyber security incident in the press, followed by the latest statistics on the rise in ransomware attacks and extortion demands.Then every couple of months there is a new Cyber security or Privacy law passed by a government body requiring a new wave of compliance. Some governments are also beginning to debate whether they should outlaw the right to pay a ransom to a criminal at all (see article), but cybercrime which is often perpetrated by nation-state actors, will continue to flourish despite the regulatory and legal action taken against the malicious actors.And long gone are the days when only the big companies were the targets for their money or information. In today’s world, no business is immune to being the target of an attack as hackers seek the easiest and most economical means to earn quick cash. Although the ‘spray and pray’ techniques are perhaps not as successful as they once were (the level of company security is undoubtedly rising to counter such obvious cyber threats through the use of antivirus, firewalls, and Multi-Factor Authentication), the sophistication and frequency of cyber attacks and incidents have demonstrated clearly that no one is 100% safe.What was once considered an “IT issue” – now has the attention of the C-Suite and shareholders/board members – it is a companywide problem, from the most senior leader down to the most junior employee.Is there a solution for this dynamic security risk?Cyber risk management requires a broader and holistic focus; it is not solved with only the purchase of the latest and greatest technology, or only a cyber insurance policy. It requires investment in talent, education, training, and a review of internal processes and operations on a regular basis. Cyber risk management is ultimately accomplished through a combination of People, Processes, and Technology.People and Sensitive DataEmployees are the gatekeepers to our organisation. The responsibility for data security should be written into our employees’ job descriptions and understood as part of their duties. Furthermore, organisations should invest time and money into frequent and engaging training tools. Conducting phishing tests periodically can assess the efficacy of a training programme and identify users in need of a refresher course. Consider assigning an in-house cybersecurity director, responsible for the data security oversight of the organisation.ProcessA business should start with a self-assessment, going through the process of identifying what type of data and sensitive information you have, and who should vs. does have access to it. Developing solid processes around managing access, deploying patches, acting on alerts and notifications of a potential incident should be a consistent practice. Businesses should spend time developing cyber-specific incident response policies as a subset of their broader business continuity/disaster recovery planning, and these plans should be tested via tabletop exercises. Process should include supply chain/vendor management: taking a look at vendors and partners to question what type of access to or sensitive information they have about your organisation, and how it is managed. Ultimately, what is your ‘vendor management protocol’ – how do you choose them, and what due diligence do you do to ensure your reliance on their support is not crippled in the event of an incident which is indirectly going to affect your company’s integrity and operation? This is critically important if you are reliant on a managed-service provider for your IT infrastructure and support but still applies to non-IT/operational vendors.Computer Systems and TechnologyOf course – when we think of cyber we often think of technology. The technologies of today that a business should be considering include Intrusion Detection Systems, sophisticated spam filters and firewalls, next-generation antivirus software, Endpoint Detection, and Response systems. Multi-factor authentication has become a must-have tool in the eyes of insurance companies for them to consider offering coverage, which can be centralised through a password management software.But, to err is human. And as much as we invest in the prevention of a cyber attack, human error still leads to the majority of cyber incidents today. The goal of your cyber risk management programme is not to reach a state of being entirely cyber secure (because no such state exists). Instead, your goal is to reach a state of cyber resilience in which your organisation can sustain and recover from an attack.Cyber Security InsuranceOnce a luxury purchase, Cyber insurance has become a must-have for businesses everywhere to ensure the survival of your organisation after an attack. Insurance is a form of risk transfer and is meant to provide a backstop when the preventative controls of an organisation have failed or proven inadequate. Cyber insurance provides the key components of incident response, in the form of attorneys/lawyers, IT forensics, criminal negotiators, public relations, and compliance with the various privacy laws. Coverage is designed to respond to and provide the defense during a regulatory investigation, and cover fines and penalties assessed to you, as long as they are insurable by law.Cyber-crime coverage offers indemnification for insureds who have suffered social engineering, funds transfer fraud, and phishing attacks. With the explosion of ransomware during the global pandemic, the coverage for the extortion demands offered by standard cyber insurance policies proved critical to the recovery process.Coverage for revenue loss related to a cyber incident can be found in a comprehensive cyber insurance policy, both during the time your network is down, and/or after you are back up and operable but have then lost prospective revenue as a result of an adverse media event.As quickly as the cyber risk evolves and grows, cyber insurance carriers are constantly trying to keep up. With the increase in both frequency and severity of attacks, profitability on insurance premiums historically has waned and the insurance markets are being forced to increase rates in order to keep up with the increased losses. In order to minimise their exposures, insurance markets are modifying policy terms and conditions, restricting coverages that were once broadly written, like extortion, with sub-limits and coinsurance penalties. Ensuring you have a comprehensive cyber policy is just one issue – but obtaining coverage at all is becoming problematic for organisations that are falling behind the curve in their cybersecurity controls. Without multi-factor authentication on email access, administrator accounts, and remote access are becoming a prerequisite to obtaining coverage. Segregated backups, encryption, firewalls, incident response planning, employee training and more are becoming preferred controls securing a better premium rating.TakeawaysBusinesses should start the conversation now with their broker partner about what is needed to be insurable and to obtain optimal insurance terms. With cyber insurance continuing to serve as the lifeblood for organisations to recover from cyber-attacks, obtaining and retaining coverage is crucial as part of broader cyber risk management and resilience programming.

Oct 13, 2021
BlogDoing Business in The Netherlands
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Doing Business In The Netherlands

Why the Netherlands? This is a very often asked question. That’s not so surprising, given that the Netherlands is an attractive country for foreign entrepreneurs due to its strategic location and good infrastructure.It is not for nothing that many non-European companies choose the Netherlands as their first choice of a European base. In the past, American companies often chose the UK as the starting point for their European operations. Now that the UK has left the EU, the Netherlands is a logical alternative.The Netherlands as a European baseThe Netherlands attracts many international companies as a European base. It is a country known for its open trade culture and its hospitality to foreign entrepreneurs. It lends itself as the perfect base for your European activities. It offers:a tax treaty with more than 80 countriesan attractive tax environment for foreign companiesperfect IT infrastructure (fibre optic network)local people who speak English to a good standarda stable economy and stable public financesa high level of education of residentsfew labour disputes and strikesCountry and GovernmentThe Netherlands has a total population of 17.5 million (June 2021). It is a parliamentary democracy with a monarch as head of state. Government ministers are the people’s representatives with respect to the actions of the government.The monarch has no political power and cannot therefore be held politically accountable by parliament. The Netherlands is divided into 12 provinces, each with its own local authorities.Tax environmentThe Netherlands is known for its favourable tax climate for foreign companies. The participation exemption – a measure that prevents double taxation of company profits — can be included in the corporate income tax assessment. Whilst the law does impose a number of conditions, the application of the participation exemption is still a plus point for the Dutch business climate.Corporate income tax is low with 15% over the first € 245 000 profit and 25% over the additional profit. By splitting a concern into several limited companies the average tax rate can be reduced. There is also a VAT advantage for trading companies. A company established in the Netherlands can make use of the import licence referred to in Article 23 of the Dutch Turnover Tax Act. In concrete terms, this means no pre-financing of VAT when importing goods.ExpatsThe Netherlands is also an attractive country for ex-pats. The country’s second language is English. The Netherlands is also seen internationally as an open and tolerant country so that employees and employers alike feel at home here. There are many complementary reports from ex-pats about the Netherlands posted on YouTube. (Search: ‘expats — living in the Netherlands’.)Furthermore, ex-pats benefit from the ‘30% ruling’. This helps compensate for the extra costs incurred by an ex-pat working abroad, whereby 30% of their income is exempt from income tax. There are, of course, some conditions that must be met.Structuring profit streamsWhen doing business internationally, it is often (fiscally) interesting to look at how the profit streams of the Dutch and international activities are arranged. This limits the risks to your business. Furthermore, you can take advantage of various tax schemes and benefits in the different countries where you operate. Of course, it is necessary to comply with the EU regulations on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS).
An advantage of the Netherlands is the ease and openness of communications with the tax authorities. It is possible to consult on this subject in advance and reach agreements (APAs). In other EU countries, this is often not possible and there can be long periods of uncertainty about, for example, applied intercompany prices.EmploymentIn the Netherlands, labour matters are regulated slightly differently than in other countries. In America, for example, Dutch labour law is regarded as being complex. Much has changed in recent years, although the complexity remains. However, the current system is good to work with and flexible if you manage it well.The Netherlands now has a labour potential of more than one million self-employed workers. This makes flexible business easy.The Netherlands as a distribution countryThe port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe; Amsterdam Airport is one of the larger European hubs for goods and people. The Netherlands is a strategic choice geographically. 95% of Europe’s most lucrative markets are just 24 hours’ drive away from Amsterdam or Rotterdam.The storage facilities for all kinds of goods are enormous. The Netherlands has few natural resources and is forced to earn its income by trading.Some factsThe Netherlands is ranked as the most competitive economy in Europe and fourth in the world according to the World Economic Forum, the fourth most competitive nation in the 2020 IMD rankings; and fifth in the 2020 Global Innovations Index.The EU Innovation Scoreboard 2020 ranked the Netherlands as the fourth-best nation for innovators. These are impressive figures for a small nation.Founding your own businessThe most common legal form is a private limited liability company (‘BV’). Incorporating a company is straightforward and can be done within one week if you have all the documents in place. Opening a bank account has become more difficult over the last few years, but this is a development occurring right across Europe.Interested in the Netherlands?For more information on doing business in The Netherlands, we have launched a new platform - Centuro Connect, that dives into blueprint specifics helping you do your research all in one place. It is the ultimate tool for understanding market entry options, HR, Immigration, Legal Requirements, Tax & Accounting, and much more.

Oct 13, 2021
Blog
Start A Company, Hr +2
Global Immigration Support For Ukraine | Blog

We are actively monitoring the situation in Ukraine and will continue to update this post as more information becomes available. The purpose of this blog is to share helpful information with those fleeing Ukraine (Ukrainian and foreign nationals). We have included information from the Centuro Global Members, who are offering support to people on the ground as well as in surrounding countries. For immigration advice or support, please contact us. As the conflict in Ukraine continues to escalate, many nationals are fleeing the war for surrounding European nations and other countries abroad. The United Nations has estimated that over 2.3 Million refugees have already fled Ukraine since the crisis began on 24 February.The Ministry of Foreign affairs of Ukraine imposed Martial Law on 24 February 2022, meaning all Ukrainian Males aged between 18-60 are forbidden from leaving the country. The Czech Ministry of Defence has confirmed that even Ukrainian citizens residing abroad based on any type of residence permit, including second citizenship, must comply with the summon order to return to Ukraine to fight. A non-compliance with the order will be considered an act of treason.  We have summarized some helpful information and links relating to immigration concessions below:  Countries offering immigration concessions for Ukrainian and foreign nationals:   The European Union  Although Ukraine is not part of the European Union, the country has an Association Agreement with the EU. Ukrainian citizens are granted visa-free travel to the Schengen Area for a period of up to 90 days within any 180-day period. This means that Ukrainians can enter EU countries without a visa. Several European countries are preparing for an influx of Ukrainian refugees and have offered humanitarian help. The EU has also offered to accept Ukrainian refugees for up to three years, without asking them to apply for asylum.Further details are shared below for countries that have specified Visa Concessions for Ukrainians. If you have any questions and require immigration support, please get in touch with us.  Czech Republic  Our immigration partner Miroslav Mejtský in the Czech Republic has shared valuable immigration updates. The information can be accessed below.   What support is the Czech Republic providing  The Czech Republic is providing support for Ukrainian nationals looking to flee the country.  The Czech Embassy in Kyiv as well as the Consulate in L'viv has been closed today.  What does it mean? As the applications for the first long-term visas and residence permits must be submitted at the Embassy or Consulate of the Czech Republic, it will now not be possible for a Ukrainian citizen to submit a visa application to the Czech Republic and obtain a long-term residence there.  What if the Ukrainian national already submitted the application? If the application has already been submitted, the Immigration Authority shall continue the approval process, however, in case of the long-term visa applications, the long-term visas must be collected at the Embassy or Consulate where the application has been submitted. In case of the residence permits (e.g., Employee Card, Blue Card, Family Reunification), the residence permit can be collected at the Immigration Authority in the Czech Republic. Thanks to the visa-free regime for Ukrainian nationals holding biometric passports, long-term residence permit applicants can arrive (if possible) to the Czech Republic and wait for approval and collection of the residence permit on the territory of the Czech Republic.  As per the latest information, it will be possible to collect the long-term visas (once approved) at the designated Embassy of the Czech Republic during the time the diplomatic missions of the Czech Republic will be closed.  We were preparing our application to be filed, but the Embassy has closed, what shall we do now? As per the current legislation, it is not possible to file the first long-term visa and/or residence permit applications in the Czech Republic or at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in other countries than Ukraine (except the situation where the Ukrainian national holds a long-term residence permit in the other country).  However, we have thought about, prepared, and provided the government with two solutions for the situation within the scope of the current legislation:  A governmental program which will allow Ukrainian nationals without any residence permit to file their application in the Czech Republic,  Include Ukraine to the list of countries whose nationals can submit their application at any Embassy of the Czech Republic stipulated through a governmental decree no. 429/2010 Coll.  We have obtained information that the Immigration Authority is preparing a solution for this situation, and it can be recommended for Ukrainian nationals to arrive in the Czech Republic. Whilst the solution is not in place yet, the Immigration Authority ensured the solution will be in place until the 90 visa-free days will expire. Ukrainian nationals currently residing in the Czech Republic.  I have/our employee has been summoned to the Ukrainian army, what shell be done? We were able to obtain information from the Czech Ministry of Defense, which requested confirmation from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, that in case Ukrainian national residing abroad based on any type of residence permit, even based on second citizenship, must comply with the summon order and non-compliance with the order will be considered as an act of treason.  I am/our employee is in the Czech Republic based on short-term visa/visa-free regime which will expire soon, what shall be done? Provided the permit to stay in the Czech Republic expires in less than 14 days, it will be necessary to visit the Immigration Authority where it will be possible to apply for a special kind of long-term visa on the basis of the undergoing conflict in Ukraine.  The ministry of The Interior/Immigration has launched a new website and helplines with information for Ukrainian nationals. The website and the helpline contacts can be found under this link.   Hungary   What support is Hungary providing?Hungary has announced that all those fleeing the war will have a ‘’ friendly place’’ to stay upon arrival in Hungary. Hungary will allow everyone in, including those without travel documents, as well as people with other nationalities that are travelling from Ukraine. However, relevant screening protocols will apply.  For those without travel documents  Entry to Hungary is permitted for those without travel documents. The rule is that all refugees must be helped. This also applies to third-country nationals who are travelling to Hungary from Ukraine.  Individuals will be screened upon arrival. More information can be found here.For those with valid travel documents  Those who have a valid biometric passport are legally eligible to stay in Hungary for a period of 90 days. For those needing to stay for longer than 90 days, various visa options are available. Currently, concessions are in place. No further information is available at this time to understand what processes are needed for those intending to stay for longer durations. Please contact us should you wish to understand what other visa categories may apply to you. It is likely that efforts for concessions will continue.  Suggested Supporting Documents  If possible, it is advised to carry the following documents:  Identification such as an ID Card or Passport  COVID-19 vaccination / recovery certificate (if applicable)  If possible, other important documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, property certificates, diplomas, and other documents related to education  The official press release statement can be accessed here.  For further information on visa options available, please contact us.   Poland  What Support is Poland Providing?     The Polish authorities have stated that Ukrainian citizens fleeing the Russian military aggression against Ukraine will be admitted to Poland. Currently, Ukrainian citizens do not need to register or worry about formalities concerning immigration options at reception points.   There are multiple reception points at various border crossings and entry points. At these reception areas, all persons fleeing Ukraine and seeking refuge in Poland will be provided with food, basic medical treatment, and legal assistance.    For Ukrainian citizens already in Poland who are worried about their visas coming to an end, Polish authorities have advised that all legal stays will be extended. More detailed information on the support Poland is providing, including where to locate reception points, can be accessed by following these links:  Link1, Link2, and, Link3Work Permits    The Polish Family and Social Policy Minister have directed the country’s labour offices to fast-track work permit procedures for Ukrainian nationals. To understand the long-term visa options that may apply to Ukrainian citizens looking to relocate to Poland permanently, please contact us to discuss visa applications.   Suggested supporting documents   Polish authorities have stated that everyone who is fleeing the conflict will be admitted to Poland, even those who do not hold valid documents.  If possible, it is advised to bring carry the following documents:  Identification such as an ID Card or Passport  COVID-19 vaccination / recovery certificate (if applicable)  If possible, other important documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, property certificates, diplomas, and other documents related to education    Important Information    The Polish authorities have advised Ukrainian citizens to go to the nearest reception point if they do not have a place to stay in Poland. These reception points will provide food and the necessary medical services if needed.  The locations for the reception points can be found here. Covid-19 Vaccine    For citizens entering Poland who has not yet been vaccinated, options to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Poland are available. Poland’s Health Minister has stated that Ukrainians can produce an ID document (if possible), which can be a permanent or temporary ID card or a passport, in order to receive their Covid-19 vaccine if they haven’t already.     Romania What Support is Romania providing? Romania will be also helping refugees with Hammond Partnership providing legal aid and assistance.  The contact point for Romania is Mihaela Lupu (mlupu@hplegal.ro).   Slovakia    What support is Slovakia providing?   Slovakia has announced that they will support the arrival of Ukrainian nationals fleeing the war. Ukraine has a visa-free entry regime with its neighbouring countries, meaning that refugees or persons fleeing war can pass the border. Slovakian authorities have stated that everyone who is fleeing the conflict will be admitted to Slovakia, even those who do not hold valid documents. The entry process will, however, change, depending on what documents the persons have on hand.  For more information, visit the official website.For those without valid travel documents  Those entering Slovakia without valid travel documents, (such as a valid biometric passport or ID card) can apply for temporary refuge or asylum within the territory of the Slovak Republic. A temporary refuge or asylum visa is granted at the border crossing or at the local police department. Those who require asylum or temporary refuge will be hosted by the Slovak Republic at three asylum facilities. Once asylum or temporary refuge has been granted, candidates may take up work without a work permit.  More information can be found here.For those with valid travel documents  Those who have a valid biometric passport are legally eligible to stay in the territory of the Slovak Republic for a period of 90 days. For those needing to stay for longer than 90 days, various visa options are available. These include any form of legal residence (such as temporary residence permits or family reunification visas).Please contact us should you wish to understand what other visa categories may apply to you. It is likely that efforts for concessions will continue.  Suggested Supporting Documents  If possible, it is advised to carry the following documents:  Identification such as an ID Card or Passport  COVID-19 vaccination / recovery certificate (if applicable)  If possible, other important documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, property certificates, diplomas, and other documents related to education  Important Information    Border Crossings    Authorities are taking steps to provide effective assistance at all border crossings. Border crossing locations can be found here: https://ua.gov.sk/en.html  Slovak firefighters have built temporary emergency camps for Ukrainian refugees and have increased the capacity of asylum facilities. CONTINUED HERE   

Mar 02, 2022
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Start A Company, Hr +2
Global Immigration Support For Ukraine (Continued)

Countries across the EU and world continue to update their policies and are adding additional visa concessions for Ukrainians affected by the conflict. Countries such as Italy, Germany are offering free accommodation and transport to Ukrainian Passport holders. The Deutsche Bahn announced it here.Canada  What support is Canada providing?  Canada has announced visa concessions for Ukrainians. The government is working hard to allow Ukrainians working, studying, and living in Canada to stay there. This work includes developing new measures to support Ukrainian nationals in Canada.   For Ukrainian nationals already in Canada   Canada is looking to support Ukrainian citizens already in Canada. The government has announced the following measures that they are working on urgently processing new and replacement passports and travel documents for citizens and permanent residents of Canada in Ukraine so they can return to Canada at any time. This includes immediate family members who will come with them.  Prioritizing applications from people who currently live in Ukraine for  permanent residence  proof of citizenship  temporary residence  citizenship grant for adoption  Adding new ways to make sure people who contact us get answers as fast as possible  Extending temporary public policy that lets some visitors in Canada, including Ukrainians, apply for a work permit from within Canada. This means people who get a job offer can stay in Canada and start working while their work permit application is processed.  Useful information for those already in Canada:  Extend or renew your status as a  visitor  worker  student  You may be able to apply for a work permit as a temporary resident    For Ukrainian nationals outside of Canada   Family visa   Canada offers immigration options that let Canadian citizens and permanent residents sponsor eligible family members to come to Canada. Applications will be prioritized for a family member who is a Ukrainian national outside Canada and one of the following family members:  your spouse or common-law or conjugal partner  your dependent child (including adopted children)  Suggested Supporting Documents   If possible, it is advised to carry the following documents:  Identification such as an ID Card or Passport  COVID-19 vaccination / recovery certificate (if applicable)  If possible, other important documents such as; birth certificates, marriage certificates, property certificates, diplomas, and other documents related to education  Important information   Commercial routes out of Ukraine remain closed and extremely limited. The Ukrainian Air Space remains closed, citing high risk to safety. Russia has also closed its airspace for civilian flights on its western border.  To get access to Canada, individuals will likely have to travel via another country. All options should be safely considered and planned. Ireland  What support is Ireland providing?  Ireland has announced that they have lifted the visa requirements between Ukraine and Ireland. This is to support the swift exit of both the Ukrainian family members of Irish citizens and the family members of people from Ukraine who are residents in Ireland. This applies to all visa requirements, meaning Ukrainians can travel to Ireland visa-free. This also applies to Ukrainians already in Ireland who might need to have their visas temporarily extended. All Ukrainians who are currently on work, student, or visitor Visa in Ireland will have their visas temporarily extended or be provided with the opportunity to pursue other visa categories.  For more information, visit here. Suggested Supporting Documents If possible, it is advised to carry the following documents:  Identification such as an ID Card or Passport  COVID-19 vaccination / recovery certificate (if applicable)  If possible, other important documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, property certificates, diplomas, and other documents related to education  Important information  Commercial routes out of Ukraine remain closed and extremely limited. The Ukrainian Air Space remains closed, citing high risk to safety. Russia has also closed its airspace for civilian flights on its western border.  To get access to Ireland, applicants will likely have to travel via another country. All options should be safely considered and planned.  For more information visit here. United Kingdom   What support is the UK Government providing?The United Kingdom has announced visa concessions to support Ukrainians. These concessions mainly apply to Ukrainian citizens already in the UK. However, additional concessions, such as for those applying for a Family Migration Route visa, also apply.  For Ukrainian nationals already in the UK   A Ukrainian citizen in the UK now has the right to have their UK visa temporarily extended. All Ukrainians who are currently working, studying, or visiting the UK will have their visas temporarily extended or be provided with the opportunity to pursue other visa categories. More information can be found here.For Ukrainian nationals outside of the UK   Family migration visa   Ukrainians can apply for a Family Migration visa for free if they are family members of British nationals who usually live in Ukraine.  The criteria for what is defined as a British family member is as follows:  a spouse or civil partner  an unmarried partner (you must have been living together in a relationship for at least 2 years)  your parents if you are under the age of 18  your child under the age of 18  an adult relative you provide care for who lives with you due to a medical condition  The UK government has advised that the UKVI should be contacted before making an application. Candidates will be required to provide information about themselves and their family members.  Applications for this visa must be submitted at a UK Visa Application Centre (VAC). The VAC in Kyiv is now closed. For those still in Ukraine, applications can be made at the temporary location in L'viv. Alternatively, applications can be submitted at a VAC in a nearby country. These currently operate in: Poland  Romania  Hungary  Moldova  All other visa applicants will be unable to apply through a VAC in Ukraine. For more information on the various visa concessions offered by the UK government, visit here.Suggested Supporting Documents  If possible, it is advised to carry the following documents:  Identification such as an ID Card or Passport  COVID-19 vaccination / recovery certificate (if applicable)  If possible, other important documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, property certificates, diplomas, and other documents related to education  Important information  Commercial routes out of Ukraine remain closed and extremely limited. The Ukrainian Air Space remains closed, citing high risk to safety. Russia has also closed its airspace for civilian flights on its western border.  To get access to the UK, individuals will likely have to travel via another country. All options should be safely considered and planned.Globalaw lawyers Help Ukrainian Refugees and Asylum SeekersTo help deal with the huge influx of Ukrainian refugees, the law firms of Globalaw, the international law network are joining forces to advise refugees how to best and most efficiently legalize their stay and complete all underlying formalities.  Watch this space for information on the opening of help desks in Globalaw member firms.  In Poland, with over 120,000 refugees already while 1 million expected, DeBenedetti Majewski SzczeÅ›niak has already started over the past weekend.  The contact points for Poland are Magdalena MaÅ‚ocha and Anna Stasiewicz.If you require further immigration advice on visas that may be required, please do not hesitate to contact us.    

Mar 01, 2022
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Start A Company, Hr +2
UK Introduces New Visas For Start-up Founders, Tech Talent And Entrepreneurs

The UK government has proposed the introduction of three different visas in order to assist fast-growth companies to recruit workers overseas, attract graduates from the world's top universities, and pursue foreign entrepreneurs and founders of tech start-ups.These new additions to the UK visa system are deemed the “most attractive” in the world for high-skilled workers and entrepreneurs and will attempt to drive up productivity and economic growth in the country.The new visas will also open up further possibilities for employers based in the UK as well as for foreign business people who wish to explore options for coming into the UK to work without having to rely on a UK-based employer. They will also appeal to entrepreneurs and investors whose options for coming to the UK have been reduced in recent years.Applications will begin in the next few months for:Scale-up visa  The aim of the Scale-up visa is to make it easier and quicker for companies experiencing rapid growth to hire the best-skilled labor from around the world.Under this route:An individual must hold a high-skilled job offer with a salary of at least £33,000 and meet an English language requirement. Scale-ups will be able to apply to use the route through a fast-track verification process.To qualify as a scale-up, a business must have: Annual average revenue or employment growth rate over a 3-year period greater than 20%. A minimum of 10 employees at the start of the 3-year period. High Potential Individual visa  This will be open to high-potential graduates from top global universities. The definitions and eligibility requirements for ‘top global university’ and ‘high potential graduates’ have yet to be defined but are likely to respectively include a closed list of government-approved institutions, and characteristics such as age, salary, and postgraduate qualifications.This route will allow:Graduates relocate to the UK without first having secured a job. Settlement in the UK – the parameters and requirements of eligibility for permanent residence under this route have yet to be defined.Innovator visa  An innovator is also planned for 2022 and will seek to enable overseas investors and entrepreneurs to start and operate businesses in the UK that are either venture-backed or harnessing innovative technologies.Under this route: There will be greater flexibility – there will no longer be a requirement for applicants to have at least £50,000 in investment funds, provided that the applicant has sufficient funds to grow their business. Applicants will also be able to undertake work outside their primary business on this route. Business eligibility criteria will be streamlined and simplified – applicants will need to demonstrate that their business has the potential to grow, add value to the UK, and remain innovative. An option will exist to fast-track applications – applicants whose business ideas are ‘particularly advanced’ will have this option available to them. If you require further immigration advice on visas that may be required, please do not hesitate to contact us.   

Mar 01, 2022
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Start A Company, Hr +2
Expanding Into Central America: Land Of Investment Opportunities

Central America is composed of five countries, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, that span an area of 422, 614 km2. The region is known around the globe for its exuberant forests, amazing volcanoes, paradisiacal beaches, and Mayan ruins, but there are more than natural wonders to discover. Let’s take a look at the investment potential of this rapidly-growing part of the world.Investing in Central America: What You Should KnowIn addition to these attractions, Central America has also become a great region for doing business because it has some specific characteristics that make the territory unique. These include:  Strategic location in the middle of the hemisphere, which not only provides a convenient time zone and accessible latitudes, but also airline service with frequent flights that connect the region with the world’s most popular airports.  Great human talent. The workforce is well educated, with most candidates speaking very good levels of English and fluent in many other languages. Compared to other jurisdictions looking to attract foreign direct investment, Central America shares a low cost of establishing a business and operating in the region. World-class facilities for international trade, including transportation and freight forwarding logistics.   The region has entered into trade agreements with main economies such as the United States and the European Union, which greatly facilitates international trade between Central America and the most active trade partners.  In addition to these common elements, each of the countries has designed tax packages and/or incentives to attract foreign direct investment.  Why Invest in Costa Rica?  Costa Rica has one of the best free trade zone systems in Latin America and during the past thirty years has attracted operations by the world’s most significant t transnational companies.It provides incentives to projects in manufacturing, services, and logistics, that range in investments from $100,000 (the minimum required for certain packages) to $10,000,000 and above for mega-projects.In exchange, projects get favorable tax treatment for periods up to 12 years, including income tax exemption, exemption on import duties for facilities construction materials, as well as subsequent operations, land tax exemption, and VAT exemption, among others. The country provides a great opportunity for nearshoring in the region:  Costa Rica is ranked number one in the Greenfield Performance Index for 2021. Furthermore, Costa Rica has also allowed the commercialization of products with CBD (100% free of THC) such as cosmetics, beverages, food, and natural medicine products.  Congress approved a law that authorizes the cultivation of cannabis and hemp for medical purposes, including the possibility of applying for the Free Trade Zone Regime and obtaining tax incentives for such activities.As a recovery response to the COVID-19 crisis, governments are investing in the infrastructure sector. The Government has announced the execution of five key mega-projects, including the construction of four different highways and a fast passenger train.Finally, Costa Rica is the ultimate host country for remote workers, who are looking to work from a setting that is both beautiful and lively.  Congress recently Recent immigration policies and tax incentives have been announced to help attract Investors, Rentiers, and Pensioners who are looking to relocate to Costa Rica.  Why Invest in Nicaragua?  Even though the country has faced political instability in past years, business opportunities continue to increase. The World Bank recently ranked Nicaragua is the third fastest growing economy in Central America for 2021 and foresees a continued recovery for years to come.Nicaragua offers varying opportunities for investors, including the major activities of gold and silver mining. Mining in Nicaragua has experienced significant growth in recent years thanks to the arrival of foreign direct investment. Mining represents  2.3% of Nicaragua’s GDP.Nicaragua also offers great opportunities for the Agro-industry. Agricultural products have been a significant portion of Nicaragua’s exports for many years. The high regional demand for food makes its large-scale production, processing, and packaging highly attractive to investors.In the Free Trade Zone field, the country offers tax incentives to attract projects for outsourcing services or export manufacturing operations.  Why Invest in Honduras?      Honduras offers great opportunities in the renewable energy sector through a law that promotes the generation of renewable energy and provides exemptions on customs duties for the import of equipment and accessories during a project’s construction period.In addition, certain types of projects qualify for a ten-year income tax exemption, or in the case of biofuel production exemption from taxes and fees for twelve years, as well as special treatment during the construction process. In the free trade zone sector, the country offers different tax incentives for call centers and manufacturing export companies, including exemptions on import duties for raw materials and equipment, VAT exemption for local purchases, and an income tax exemption for 15 years renewable for 10 more years.Honduras has also created “Zede” economic zones to attract foreign investment through reduced tax rates. The first such zone is called ZEDE Próspera and was established in Roatán, a paradisiac island located in the Caribbean. This ZEDE is expected to reach 10,000 inhabitants by 2025.Why Invest in Guatemala?   Guatemala’s economy is experiencing a highly positive moment: the World Bank now projects that in 2021 the country’s economy will grow 5.1%, a figure that surpasses the January forecast of 3.6%.Guatemala, the largest economy in Central America, offers opportunities in the free trade zone regime under a law called ZOLIC which was recently renewed to develop special economic zones. These are geographic areas under a special customs regime that allows the development of agricultural, industrial, and commercial activities to enjoy tax incentives.The entire purpose of the recent changes is to expand the development to other geographic areas outside the capital.  Congress in 2021 also approved a decree that amends the Free Zones Law. In Guatemala, free zones represent an attractive opportunity for investment since operations developed under the law’s jurisdiction give an investor the right to tax exemptions or preferential tax treatment.Guatemala is betting on new sectors including the production of animal food, leather, and footwear, the plastic industry and its manufacturers, recreation centers and hotels, ceramic products, medications, cosmetics, paintings, furniture, and processed food.Why invest in El Salvador?     El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America; however, it has great capabilities to boost its economic growth. Its economy is dollarized, which eliminates foreign exchange risk and lowers transaction and financial costs for investors.  The country has a high potential for the generation of renewable energy such as hydropower, wind power, solar, geothermal, and bioenergy. El Salvador has approved a Renewable Energy Tax Incentives law, aiding investment in the sector.More specifically, investors may have the opportunity to participate in international bidding for long-term twenty-year contracts that guarantee the purchase of energy. In addition, there are opportunities for bilateral agreements and smaller energy projects.The country also promotes the establishment of international service centers and operations that provide BPO services to international clients. El Salvador has seen this sector grow in recent years, with the Government providing tax incentives for companies that provide services to clients located abroad such as call centers, shared services centers, and information technologies operations.Finally, El Salvador has approved a Free Zones Law to encourage production for export as well as import and export activities through authorized distribution centers. ConclusionCentral America offers numerous opportunities for investors, especially for those seeking highly qualified human talent, cost-efficiency, diversification of the supply chain, and excellent trade connections with other markets. It is also a land blessed with magnificent natural attractions, the perfect setting to combine high-level business operations with unforgettable leisure hours.   Find out how we can help you expand your business into any Central American jurisdiction HERE.

Feb 28, 2022
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Start A Company, Hr +2
Top Global Expansion Challenges To Consider In 2022

Is your company planning on expanding into a global market or new jurisdictions this year? Don’t let immigration challenges slow you down or get in your way.  Consider these important challenges when planning your expansion journey.Companies looking to expand into new markets are currently facing multiple challenges. Depending on a company’s business objective, assessing how to enter a new market is crucial. From economic challenges to cultural barriers, companies will have to adapt and strategise their market entry plan. The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have further amplified the complexities of new market entry. With a well-executed strategy, global expansion can lead to limitless opportunities for companies.  However, some of the key concerns that companies can expect to face when expanding into new markets in 2022 include:Complex and dynamic immigration policies: monitor the rules  The war on talent: global competition for recruiting highly skilled workers Adapting to the local business climate: product and solution positioningThis article intends to provide an overview of each of these considerations with actionable insights to assist your global expansion journey in 2022.Robust immigration policies Immigration is a key aspect of global expansion. Due to the complex and dynamic nature of global travel restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic, managers and employees need to have access to the latest information concerning border entry requirements and visa processing guidelines.On top of the traditional documents that will need to be submitted, and the usual timelines that apply, candidates may face conditions of entry surrounding COVID-19 mandates. Depending on the position and authority of the applicant, some concessions can be made.However, if we draw on the recent case of Novak Djokovic, the world’s top men’s tennis player whose visa into Australia was cancelled due to not meeting the necessary Australian COVID-19 entry requirements - key lessons for immigration can be learned. These include:Consult a local immigration partner who can advise on the various employment-based visa categories and eligibility requirements  Stay ahead of the latest entry requirements (such as proof of vaccination, testing requirements, quarantine policies, etc)  Gather and prepare all required documentation  Follow the laws and local guidelines and be aware of timeline delaysImmigration guidelines for every company will vary based on their immigration budget and talent needs. Therefore it is important that Human Resources and finance teams align to determine which strategy may work best for their organisation depending on priorities and budget.Adapting to the local business climate: product and solution positioningWhen companies expand into a new market, adjusting to the local business environment can be tricky. Some of the hurdle’s companies will have to overcome include:Understanding the local language Maintain appropriate business etiquette and incorporate local business culture  Navigate the tax and legal landscape  Understand the local HR protocols and procedures  Ensure they meet the necessary employment laws and standardsHiring a local workforce can help companies to adjust to the local business culture, improve interactions with clients and get to know their target audience. Before entering a new market, detailed market entry research must be conducted. This will assist with effective and efficient product and service positioning, that aligns with the needs of the local landscape and market needs.If a product or service needs to be slightly tweaked or positioned to meet the local standards, consulting with local experts and market specialists can assist with the product launch and growth prospects. This is a crucial part of the expansion journey as it allows the business to understand and engage with their new target market and allows for improved service delivery.The war on talent: attracting and retaining top talent The ‘war for talent’ refers to an increasingly competitive landscape for the recruitment and retention of talented employees. Despite the devastating economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic which led to millions of job losses, the global shortage of talent continues. This is especially relevant to managerial positions, defined as ‘’ a combination of sharp leadership skills, with a strategic mind, emotional maturity, strong communications skills, the ability to attract and inspire other talented people, entrepreneurial instincts, functional skills, and the ability to deliver results”.As a result, scaling companies need to be strategic in managing their workforce, whether it includes growing a local talent pool in a new desired location or attracting foreign talent. By developing dynamic policies and attractive benefits, HR teams can succeed in retaining and attracting new talent. Companies should consider:Incorporating flexible work options  Implementing rewards and recognition programs Investing in learning and development  Developing robust and strategic recruitment processes  Implement a seamless relocation program. Employees thrive when they are valued and recognised. Retaining talent requires organisations to regularly engage with their workforce, request feedback, and work on manageable solutions.ConclusionIt 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.DOWNLOAD OUR FREE GUIDE BELOW                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Feb 15, 2022
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Start A Company, Hr +2
Why Should Investors Consider Opening A Micro Entity In Romania?

A micro company (or micro-entity) is a small, private limited company. In Romania, micro-companies continue to gain interest from potential foreign investors. This is due to the many tax benefits associated with establishing a micro-entity. Is Romania the secret location for foreign investment success?According to Romanian company legislation, micro-entities can be incorporated under the same laws and processes as with a Limited Liability Company ( SRL). However, tax structures may differ. For companies qualified as micro-enterprises under the Romanian Law, a different tax rate is applied other than the normal tax regime of tax on profit of a Romanian company.  What constitutes a microenterprise for taxation purposes? In Romania, the fiscal year for microenterprises runs according to the calendar year, starting on 1st January and ending on 31st December. For a company to be taxed as a micro-entity, they will have to meet the following criteria, namely:The company is required to demonstrate an annual income (excluding VAT) that does not exceed one million euros (1.000.000). This is calculated within a 12-month period, up to 31 December of each fiscal year. The rate of exchange which will be applied will remain consistent with the relevant fiscal year. It is essential for the company’s social capital to be privately held. In order for companies to classify as micro-entities, they must register their company within the tax year by 31 December. The company has not attempted to initiate termination procedures with the Trade Registry or with the Court.  Companies who engage in the following primary or secondary activities may qualify as a micro-entity:  5510 – Hotels and similar accommodation 5520 – Holiday and other short-stay accommodation 5530 – Camping grounds, recreational vehicle parks, and trailer parks 5590 – Other accommodation 5610 – Restaurants and mobile food services activities 5621 – Event catering activities 5629 – Other food services activities 5630 – Beverage serving activities  Tax structure for micro-entities  Micro companies are required to pay taxes which are calculated as a percentage of their gross income. This percentage includes:  Three percent (3%) for companies that do not have any full-time employees. One percent (1%) for companies that have at least one full-time employee. For companies to benefit from lower tax rates, they are required to employ at least one full-time employee by the end of the tax period (31 December). This reduced tax rate will also apply if companies hire two or more part-time employees whose total working hours equate to that of one full-time employee.  To qualify for the tax benefits of a micro-entity by hiring at least one employee, the employment agreement must be valid for an unlimited period, or for a minimum of twelve months.  Procedural aspects regarding the income tax For newly established micro-entities or for micro-entities that have recently dissolved their company, the taxable period is calculated based on the number of months for which that entity was incorporated within the taxable period. This runs from 1 January to – 31st of December.  Romanian companies who are incorporated as micro-entities can benefit from the tax structures by ensuring that their social capital is not owned by the state or any territorial administrative unit. Companies are required to register their status as a micro-entity with the Fiscal Authorities. Tax on dividends The tax which will be due on company dividends is five percent (5%). This tax must be calculated and withheld by the company at the time of payment. When a company’s dividends have been declared, they will be required to make required payments to shareholders by the 25th of January of the following year.   When the tax benefits of micro-entities may no longer apply   If during any fiscal year a micro-enterprise has income greater than one million (1.000.000) Euro, the company must pay tax on profit starting from the quarter when the limit has been exceeded.  The standard rate of tax on profit is sixteen percent (16%). This will be calculated based on the actual accounting profit. Should the number of employees fall below the required minimum, then the rate of tax on income will change accordingly.  If a company at any point of the fiscal year decides to initiate procedures of termination or if the shares of the company are no longer privately held, it is required for these changes to be registered with the fiscal authorities by 31st March of the following year.  If the company is to be dissolved, it is required to declare and pay any income tax applicable for the time it was operating.Conclusion In conclusion, Romanian companies who satisfy the necessary legal requirements to be incorporated as a micro-entity will be taxed accordingly, based on their income. Companies will pay a varying tax rate (between one (1%) or three (3%) percent), depending on the number of individuals employed.  If the company does not meet the legal requirements to be taxed as a micro-entity, it must register the changes with the fiscal authorities and will be required to pay the standard tax rate on the profit of sixteen percent (16%).  The company can elect to be taxed as a normal corporate taxpayer and pay tax on profit if it has a social capital of more than forty-five thousand (45.000) Euro and at least two employees. In this case, the company may choose to be in this way only once.These taxation options should be considered by any investor who wishes to incorporate a company in Romania. It is important for investors to understand these rules as there are tax benefits that may apply to them. If you have any questions or require advice, do not hesitate to contact us.How to Get the International Expansion Ball Rolling Creating a Romanian startup 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 Romania?  You can sign up to the Centuro Connect platform today and start your global expansion journey to Romania. If you would like to learn more about expanding your business to Romania, or 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.SIGN UP TODAY BY CLICKING HERE.  

Feb 15, 2022
Blog
Start A Company, Hr +2
5 Reasons To Do Business In Asia

For lack of a better word, Asia is huge. It is the world’s largest, most populous continent, regulatory environment, and home to some of the world’s most vibrant and diverse Asian economies and cultures. However, it also represents one of the most significant opportunities for doing business and expansion that can be found on the planet.Let’s focus on five specific reasons why globally-minded companies should look first to Asian markets when considering doing business in Asia. Asian markets together makeup the second-largest consumer market in the world   While it may take some time for any country to surpass the mammoth consumer economy found in the United States, combining the pre-COVID markets in just three countries – China, Japan, and South Korea – the total of over nine trillion USD in spending well exceeds the eight trillion of EU member states. Moreover, the combined GDP of the world’s second-and third-largest economies of China and Japan is rapidly approaching once unthinkable US levels.More impressive is a recent report by McKinsey suggesting that Asia may very well be responsible for 40% of the global economy and consumption and over 50% of global GDP by 2040. And the trend looks to become more pronounced in the immediate future, with China soon becoming the most vociferous consumer of luxury goods globally.China and its regional rivals Japan and South Korea already boast a combined luxury goods market value 25% greater than what US consumers invest in the same premium goods.  It is a business partner to most western economies as it imports all kinds of crucial products vital to them  Consumer spending and luxury items are certainly not the whole story, as Asia currently features four of the top 10 global oil consumers – not surprisingly China, Japan, and South Korea again – with China and Japan in the top four globally.Singling out Japan as one particularly striking example, the world’s fourth-largest exporter also imports nearly two-thirds of a trillion USD worth of commodities and goods each year: everything from copper ore to integrated circuits to advanced weaponry. Japan is an unbelievably lucrative business partner for the US defense industry, investing nearly a billion USD just last year in drones, missiles, fighter aircraft, and lots of other hardware too sensitive to mention here.But for the manufacturers, the partnership is much more than just a sale; it is an investment, with companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin training their Japanese counterparts to produce domestic variants of the latest and new technology. A case in point is the next-gen F-35fighter plane, for which the final assembly is performed in Nagoya, Japan.  It has more intra-regional trade than anywhere else, with more regional trade partnerships   When the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) comes into effect in January 2022, this alliance amongst the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and six other regional countries will immediately become the most significant trade partnership in the world – far out-sizing similar agreements in North America and the EU – with member states representing 30% of global GDP.The agreement will help streamline the movement of goods and services across member state borders and also make it simpler for companies to expand their footprint across multiple locations. And there is the added advantage of having the financial and commercial hubs of Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Seoul, and Tokyo all within a one-hour time difference of each other.But RCEP is simply the largest and most visible trade agreement in a region that already sees quite a bit of productivity through APEC, ASEAN, ASEAN Plus Three, and of course the Trans-Pacific Partnership.Asian countries have a vast pool of talent across sectors    It’s only natural that the world’s most highly populated region will have a massive potential labour pool. Highly skilled local workers have for years been imported from countries like China and India by US tech giants, however as the middle class grows across many parts of Asia, the amount of money that can be invested in education has also grown.   Continuously developing Asian economies like Indonesia and the Philippines (and to a lesser extent Myanmar and Vietnam where there are large populations and significant potential for economic progress) are notable examples. Honing their skills in the more advanced economies of their neighbors, and not content to wait for organic career growth, scores of skilled local workers are now showing interest and looking to test the waters of non-traditional locations outside of Silicon Valley.   Medical workers represent another significant pool of local skilled labour in Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Care workers can be educated and trained in their home countries at a fraction of the cost of receiving similar experiences in the west, are proficient in English and other languages, and are ready to meet the growing demand for labour in aging societies like Japan and in regions such as western Europe.   It has the world’s fastest-growing technology hubs and busiest shipping hubs   Many cities across Asia are considered to be amongst the most prominent global hubs for new technologies. Singapore, however, is the location that has been garnering the most attention recently, ranked by KPMG as the leading tech innovation hub in the world, and home to 80% of the top global tech firms.This “Little Silicon Valley” may one day no longer need to have the “little” preceding its name. Its prominence is in no small part due to a government that incentivises tech firms and pushes them to innovate locally rather than simply peddling an existing product.Sea freight is also one of the growing industries in the region, with the eight busiest global ports located in Asia. For total container volume, Singapore lost the top rank to Shanghai in 2019 and is now in the second spot, followed by Shenzhen, Ningbo, Busan, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, and Qingdao. Outside of Asia, only the port of Dubai can be considered a candidate for this elite group.  Final thoughts  But regardless of all of these advantages, businesses that want to expand into Asia need to be located in Asia. Understanding how to establish a successful and sustainable Asia presence is the key to making an investment worthwhile, and the companies that have made a real, long-term difference all have a significant operational capacity in the region.There may soon come a day when opening first in Asia is a prerequisite to doing business internationally. It may already be here!Should you require more information or need help with doing business in Asia, don’t hesitate and send us an e-mail. We can help you Incorporate, Move and Fund your business in Asia!

Jan 12, 2022
Blog
Start A Company, Hr +2
Greece: Residence Permit For Executives, Administrators, Or Board Members

Greece is a very famous destination, not only as a magnificent location for vacations but also for the eminent investment and business opportunities, available and approachable both for European investors and entrepreneurs but also for investors and entrepreneurs who are third-country nationals.  Nowadays constantly increasing numbers of other EU citizens, non-EU nationals, retirees, digital nomads, and also investors, entrepreneurs, and company groups choose to move permanently to Greece due to the many advantages and amenities that Greece provides.  Especially for the non-EU citizens, who face specific problems and barriers with the immigration restrictions of their access to the European Union countries, there is a very good solution that provides work and residence permits for the executives, administrators (directors), or board members of a branch of a foreign limited liability company located in Greece or of a Greek subsidiary company.  Below we provide you with some brief information about that solution:  General information about the Greek Residence Permit Executives, administrators and board members employed at Greek branches of foreign companies have a relatively easy way of obtaining a permanent residence permit.  Who can apply for the residence permits?  members of boards of directors,  shareholders,  managers,  legal representatives and  senior executives of Greek corporate entities (with more than 25 employees), as well as the Greek subsidiaries and branches of foreign companies.Are family members included?  The aforementioned persons may be accompanied by their family members, to whom a permit for family reunification may be granted. Conditions for the residence permit?  The branch or the Greek subsidiary company must be legally exercising a business activity in Greece.   A foreign entity that intends to set up the branch or the Greek subsidiary company must be established abroad as a Limited Liability Company (LLC or LTD or SA or Joint Stock Company).  The Greek subsidiary company must be a limited company (either Private Limited Companies/ IKE, LTD/ EPE, or SA/ AE) that is owned by the foreign entity with at least 70%.  The foreign entity (mother company) must have sufficient funds to support the investment in Greece (50 – 100K is a sufficient amount of money that the entrepreneur wishes to invest in Greece).  The members of boards of directors, shareholders, managers, legal representatives, and senior executives of subsidiaries and branches of foreign companies will stay and work in Greece for at least 186 days annually in order to help the Greek branch or the Greek subsidiary company to operate the business activities in Greece.  Duration of the residence permit   This type of residence permit is issued for two years or for a period equal to the expected duration of the applicant’s stay in Greece and is renewed every three years.Benefits of the Greek Residence Permit 1. Access to labour market   The solution provides both work and residence permits to both EU citizens and third-country nationals.2. A prominent European gateway  Greece stands at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa and offers excellent opportunities for internal-continental connection. Greece is highly developed in shipping and logistics infrastructure and offers a platform through which business people are able to venture and get access into nearby markets around the Balkans, the Black Sea, and the rest of Eastern Europe.Through the Greek residence permit, foreign investors, entrepreneurs, and international groups of companies can enter the prosperous European market and the opportunities that lie within and also open a new market in the most efficient way.  3. Access to the Schengen Area for third-country nationals Greece is a member of the Schengen Area, an area comprising 26 European states that have officially abolished passports and other types of border control.  The travel privileges that you get if you are a holder of the residence permit include:  You can travel freely within the Schengen zone without the customs checks.  You can travel from your own country of origin to any Schengen zone.  Through the residency program, the executives, administrators, or board members of the Greek branch or the Greek subsidiary will be able to have access to the Schengen area with their residence permits and to travel without problems.  4. Prosperous business and investment opportunities   In Greece, a new, advanced and emerging economy is in the making. In parallel, investment opportunities are abundant and attractive in a wide variety of sectors. Greece’s massive reform efforts are opening new investment frontiers that reward both first movers and established players, giving investment (tax and subsidies) and immigration incentives.The next decade is set to see sustained growth in tourism, ICT, energy, pharmaceutical and environmental sciences, food, real estate, beverage and agriculture, logistics, and life sciences. 5. Access to highly qualified and English-speaking personnel   The potential entrepreneur is able to recruit and hire highly educated, trained, and qualified personnel and English is the second language that a majority of the Greeks speak.  6. Greece offers a modern and high-quality lifestyle  Greece is one of the sunniest countries in Europe and offers a modern and high-quality lifestyle. In Greece the cost of living is lower compared to the rest of Europe and every resident can enjoy a sunny life, combined with unparalleled beauty and diversity in landscape and nutrition, and also plenty of options for recreation.Greeks are friendly and hospitable and both EU and non-EU nationals living in Greece can enjoy a relaxed lifestyle, including outdoor activities, modern culture, and social activities.  Conclusion In the post-Brexit era, through the residency program, many British citizens and other third-country nationals have successfully gained access to European Union and its markets, along with Greece’s beautiful way of living and the vast business and investment opportunities that lie within it.For more information on the Greece Residence Permit for executives, administrators, or board members and all types of work permits and visas, contact us to speak to an expert from our immigration team directly.

Jan 12, 2022
Blog
Start A Company, Hr +2
The Cyber Security Threat

Authors: Alexandra Bretschneider, Vice President & Cyber Practice Leader at Johnson, Kendall & JohnsonEd Ventham, Cyber & Fintech insurance specialist It seems like every day there is news of another major cyber security incident in the press, followed by the latest statistics on the rise in ransomware attacks and extortion demands.Then every couple of months there is a new Cyber security or Privacy law passed by a government body requiring a new wave of compliance. Some governments are also beginning to debate whether they should outlaw the right to pay a ransom to a criminal at all (see article), but cybercrime which is often perpetrated by nation-state actors, will continue to flourish despite the regulatory and legal action taken against the malicious actors.And long gone are the days when only the big companies were the targets for their money or information. In today’s world, no business is immune to being the target of an attack as hackers seek the easiest and most economical means to earn quick cash. Although the ‘spray and pray’ techniques are perhaps not as successful as they once were (the level of company security is undoubtedly rising to counter such obvious cyber threats through the use of antivirus, firewalls, and Multi-Factor Authentication), the sophistication and frequency of cyber attacks and incidents have demonstrated clearly that no one is 100% safe.What was once considered an “IT issue” – now has the attention of the C-Suite and shareholders/board members – it is a companywide problem, from the most senior leader down to the most junior employee.Is there a solution for this dynamic security risk?Cyber risk management requires a broader and holistic focus; it is not solved with only the purchase of the latest and greatest technology, or only a cyber insurance policy. It requires investment in talent, education, training, and a review of internal processes and operations on a regular basis. Cyber risk management is ultimately accomplished through a combination of People, Processes, and Technology.People and Sensitive DataEmployees are the gatekeepers to our organisation. The responsibility for data security should be written into our employees’ job descriptions and understood as part of their duties. Furthermore, organisations should invest time and money into frequent and engaging training tools. Conducting phishing tests periodically can assess the efficacy of a training programme and identify users in need of a refresher course. Consider assigning an in-house cybersecurity director, responsible for the data security oversight of the organisation.ProcessA business should start with a self-assessment, going through the process of identifying what type of data and sensitive information you have, and who should vs. does have access to it. Developing solid processes around managing access, deploying patches, acting on alerts and notifications of a potential incident should be a consistent practice. Businesses should spend time developing cyber-specific incident response policies as a subset of their broader business continuity/disaster recovery planning, and these plans should be tested via tabletop exercises. Process should include supply chain/vendor management: taking a look at vendors and partners to question what type of access to or sensitive information they have about your organisation, and how it is managed. Ultimately, what is your ‘vendor management protocol’ – how do you choose them, and what due diligence do you do to ensure your reliance on their support is not crippled in the event of an incident which is indirectly going to affect your company’s integrity and operation? This is critically important if you are reliant on a managed-service provider for your IT infrastructure and support but still applies to non-IT/operational vendors.Computer Systems and TechnologyOf course – when we think of cyber we often think of technology. The technologies of today that a business should be considering include Intrusion Detection Systems, sophisticated spam filters and firewalls, next-generation antivirus software, Endpoint Detection, and Response systems. Multi-factor authentication has become a must-have tool in the eyes of insurance companies for them to consider offering coverage, which can be centralised through a password management software.But, to err is human. And as much as we invest in the prevention of a cyber attack, human error still leads to the majority of cyber incidents today. The goal of your cyber risk management programme is not to reach a state of being entirely cyber secure (because no such state exists). Instead, your goal is to reach a state of cyber resilience in which your organisation can sustain and recover from an attack.Cyber Security InsuranceOnce a luxury purchase, Cyber insurance has become a must-have for businesses everywhere to ensure the survival of your organisation after an attack. Insurance is a form of risk transfer and is meant to provide a backstop when the preventative controls of an organisation have failed or proven inadequate. Cyber insurance provides the key components of incident response, in the form of attorneys/lawyers, IT forensics, criminal negotiators, public relations, and compliance with the various privacy laws. Coverage is designed to respond to and provide the defense during a regulatory investigation, and cover fines and penalties assessed to you, as long as they are insurable by law.Cyber-crime coverage offers indemnification for insureds who have suffered social engineering, funds transfer fraud, and phishing attacks. With the explosion of ransomware during the global pandemic, the coverage for the extortion demands offered by standard cyber insurance policies proved critical to the recovery process.Coverage for revenue loss related to a cyber incident can be found in a comprehensive cyber insurance policy, both during the time your network is down, and/or after you are back up and operable but have then lost prospective revenue as a result of an adverse media event.As quickly as the cyber risk evolves and grows, cyber insurance carriers are constantly trying to keep up. With the increase in both frequency and severity of attacks, profitability on insurance premiums historically has waned and the insurance markets are being forced to increase rates in order to keep up with the increased losses. In order to minimise their exposures, insurance markets are modifying policy terms and conditions, restricting coverages that were once broadly written, like extortion, with sub-limits and coinsurance penalties. Ensuring you have a comprehensive cyber policy is just one issue – but obtaining coverage at all is becoming problematic for organisations that are falling behind the curve in their cybersecurity controls. Without multi-factor authentication on email access, administrator accounts, and remote access are becoming a prerequisite to obtaining coverage. Segregated backups, encryption, firewalls, incident response planning, employee training and more are becoming preferred controls securing a better premium rating.TakeawaysBusinesses should start the conversation now with their broker partner about what is needed to be insurable and to obtain optimal insurance terms. With cyber insurance continuing to serve as the lifeblood for organisations to recover from cyber-attacks, obtaining and retaining coverage is crucial as part of broader cyber risk management and resilience programming.

Oct 13, 2021
Blog
Start A Company, Hr +2
Doing Business In The Netherlands

Why the Netherlands? This is a very often asked question. That’s not so surprising, given that the Netherlands is an attractive country for foreign entrepreneurs due to its strategic location and good infrastructure.It is not for nothing that many non-European companies choose the Netherlands as their first choice of a European base. In the past, American companies often chose the UK as the starting point for their European operations. Now that the UK has left the EU, the Netherlands is a logical alternative.The Netherlands as a European baseThe Netherlands attracts many international companies as a European base. It is a country known for its open trade culture and its hospitality to foreign entrepreneurs. It lends itself as the perfect base for your European activities. It offers:a tax treaty with more than 80 countriesan attractive tax environment for foreign companiesperfect IT infrastructure (fibre optic network)local people who speak English to a good standarda stable economy and stable public financesa high level of education of residentsfew labour disputes and strikesCountry and GovernmentThe Netherlands has a total population of 17.5 million (June 2021). It is a parliamentary democracy with a monarch as head of state. Government ministers are the people’s representatives with respect to the actions of the government.The monarch has no political power and cannot therefore be held politically accountable by parliament. The Netherlands is divided into 12 provinces, each with its own local authorities.Tax environmentThe Netherlands is known for its favourable tax climate for foreign companies. The participation exemption – a measure that prevents double taxation of company profits — can be included in the corporate income tax assessment. Whilst the law does impose a number of conditions, the application of the participation exemption is still a plus point for the Dutch business climate.Corporate income tax is low with 15% over the first € 245 000 profit and 25% over the additional profit. By splitting a concern into several limited companies the average tax rate can be reduced. There is also a VAT advantage for trading companies. A company established in the Netherlands can make use of the import licence referred to in Article 23 of the Dutch Turnover Tax Act. In concrete terms, this means no pre-financing of VAT when importing goods.ExpatsThe Netherlands is also an attractive country for ex-pats. The country’s second language is English. The Netherlands is also seen internationally as an open and tolerant country so that employees and employers alike feel at home here. There are many complementary reports from ex-pats about the Netherlands posted on YouTube. (Search: ‘expats — living in the Netherlands’.)Furthermore, ex-pats benefit from the ‘30% ruling’. This helps compensate for the extra costs incurred by an ex-pat working abroad, whereby 30% of their income is exempt from income tax. There are, of course, some conditions that must be met.Structuring profit streamsWhen doing business internationally, it is often (fiscally) interesting to look at how the profit streams of the Dutch and international activities are arranged. This limits the risks to your business. Furthermore, you can take advantage of various tax schemes and benefits in the different countries where you operate. Of course, it is necessary to comply with the EU regulations on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS).
An advantage of the Netherlands is the ease and openness of communications with the tax authorities. It is possible to consult on this subject in advance and reach agreements (APAs). In other EU countries, this is often not possible and there can be long periods of uncertainty about, for example, applied intercompany prices.EmploymentIn the Netherlands, labour matters are regulated slightly differently than in other countries. In America, for example, Dutch labour law is regarded as being complex. Much has changed in recent years, although the complexity remains. However, the current system is good to work with and flexible if you manage it well.The Netherlands now has a labour potential of more than one million self-employed workers. This makes flexible business easy.The Netherlands as a distribution countryThe port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe; Amsterdam Airport is one of the larger European hubs for goods and people. The Netherlands is a strategic choice geographically. 95% of Europe’s most lucrative markets are just 24 hours’ drive away from Amsterdam or Rotterdam.The storage facilities for all kinds of goods are enormous. The Netherlands has few natural resources and is forced to earn its income by trading.Some factsThe Netherlands is ranked as the most competitive economy in Europe and fourth in the world according to the World Economic Forum, the fourth most competitive nation in the 2020 IMD rankings; and fifth in the 2020 Global Innovations Index.The EU Innovation Scoreboard 2020 ranked the Netherlands as the fourth-best nation for innovators. These are impressive figures for a small nation.Founding your own businessThe most common legal form is a private limited liability company (‘BV’). Incorporating a company is straightforward and can be done within one week if you have all the documents in place. Opening a bank account has become more difficult over the last few years, but this is a development occurring right across Europe.Interested in the Netherlands?For more information on doing business in The Netherlands, we have launched a new platform - Centuro Connect, that dives into blueprint specifics helping you do your research all in one place. It is the ultimate tool for understanding market entry options, HR, Immigration, Legal Requirements, Tax & Accounting, and much more.

Oct 13, 2021