The internet offers endless opportunities for building a business, especially if you are flexible about where you register your firm.
The question that budding digital entrepreneurs need answering is which countries provide the best opportunities for starting an online business. Here is a look at just some of the options that are proving popular today.
With its warm weather, comparatively low taxes and solid communications infrastructure, Malta is a common choice for people who want to build an online business from the ground up.
From e-commerce companies to online casino employers like casumocareers.com, lots of businesses are both registering and operating in Malta, creating hundreds of jobs for local workers. And with commercial taxes of as little as five per cent applicable for online operations, it is easy to see why this island has become a hotbed for web-based entrepreneurialism.
That is not to say that this process is completely free of red tape; you’ll still need to fill out the right paperwork and get advice from experts. However, Malta remains one of Europe’s biggest supporters of online business ventures, so the initial hurdles are worth overcoming.
Tucked away in a cosy southern corner of Spain, Gibraltar is not technically a country in its own right, but is rather an overseas territory belonging to the UK. In spite of this association, it operates largely independently and as such is something of a haven for businesses that want to enjoy low taxes and lighter regulations.
Setting up an offshore company in Gibraltar can be achieved with as little as £1 in capital upfront, which is obviously the main perk for people who want to register a business here and then operate from another part of the world.
It is also home to many active businesses that are based within its 2.6 square mile expanse. Since the turn of the millennium, a large number of online casino firms have migrated to Gibraltar for the reasons already mentioned.
The city-state of Singapore is one of the world’s most successful hubs for commerce, as well as boasting quicker average internet speeds than almost anywhere else. Its excellent trade links, favourable rates of tax and sturdy laws protecting intellectual property all help to add to its appeal.
Another advantage offered to those looking to register a business in Singapore is the EntrePass scheme, which is designed to help foreign nationals secure the right to work there legally. When it comes to keeping the wheels of business well greased, there are few other places on the planet that do this as well as Singapore.
The only complication that might put you off starting an online business here is that the culture is fairly conservative and the authorities are somewhat strict. It also lacks some of the cache of having a business that is established in Europe, especially if you are trying to target a European audience with your web-based services.
Although America is generally thought of as a single nation from the outside, each of its 50 states has a great deal of autonomy. This means that certain parts of the US are more amenable to fledgling business than others.
Two oft-cited areas in which businesses can easily be registered and operated are Wyoming and Delaware. Nevada, home of Las Vegas, is also a state in which businesses are regularly established, both by American citizens and foreigners looking to get their foot on the ladder.
The benefit of starting an online business in the US is that you get the backing of the country’s dominant reputation in the global community, along with its economic prosperity and the fairly favourable costs involved in registering in the aforementioned states.
It is worth remembering that not all of these ideas for where to start an online business will be suited to every aspiring captain of industry. Make sure you seek legal and financial advice before making any major decisions, and also think about how setting up shop in a particular part of the world will impact your ability to effectively cater to the needs of your customers elsewhere and here's a guide on how to start an online business.