What to Do When You Want to Start a Business Abroad

By Guest Author | abroad | January 4, 2022

Living abroad is a dream come true for many people, especially those that come from countries where life isn’t so great, and they don’t have a lot of opportunities. There are many ways to move abroad, but the most common route that people take is to try and get a job.

Unfortunately, that is often easier said than done. Many people who can’t find a job abroad decide to start a business abroad instead. Of course, this is still a challenging thing to do.

That’s why we’re here to help. We’ll be discussing six things that you should do if you want to start a business abroad. 


The biggest reason for people failing to start a business abroad is the fact that they don’t spend enough time planning and preparing for it. Moving abroad and starting a business are both big steps in their own right, so combining the two means you’ll need to spend twice as much time planning. 

This isn’t something you can do on a whim. Start by making a list of everything you need to do that you can think of – from big things like selling your current house, to smaller (but important) things like looking into Costa Rica health insurance for expats.

You can add to the list and divide it into categories as you get further along your journey, but it’s a great place to start. 

Pick a country

Of course, one of the most important things you will need to decide on when starting a business abroad is which country you want to start your new life in. There are plenty of factors that will affect this decision, such as how affordable a country is, or how great its quality of life is.

It’s a good idea to make a list of things you want from your new country, and then see which countries align with these priorities. You can click here to learn about the best countries for expats. 

Look into the requirements

All countries have certain requirements that people need to meet before they are allowed to move there. On top of that, they will also have restrictions on who is allowed to start a business.

Before you uproot your entire life and move to a new country in the hopes of starting a business there, you should make sure that you meet all of the requirements to be able to do so. For example, you may need to sell your current business to start a new one in the country you plan to move to. For this reason, consult with a business broker who can guide you through the process. Additionally, this broker will help you get the remunerations you deserve when selling your business.

If you don’t meet the requirements but you’ve got your hopes set on a specific country, think about what you can do to help you be eligible and meet those requirements. 

Choose your industry

Aside from the country you pick, the biggest decision you will need to make is what kind of business you want to start. After all, some kinds of businesses are more successful than others.

If possible, pick an industry that you have experience in. However, you should also keep in mind that not all businesses are suited to all countries. For example, if you want to start a business selling surfboards, then picking a cold area probably isn’t the best idea. 

If you have no idea where to start, you should look into the best and worst businesses you can start, so that you have a better idea of what your options are as well as what to avoid. 

Save money

Moving abroad costs a lot of money. And starting a business requires a lot of capital. So, very few people have the money to do both at the same time.

Don’t despair if you can’t afford it, though. It doesn’t mean that you can’t follow your dreams and start a business abroad, it just means that you may need to wait a bit and give yourself enough time to save the money you need. 

As tempting as it may be to dive into your emergency funds, that’s not a good idea. Your rainy day funds are there for when you are struggling, so it’s best to keep them in case anything happens before, during, or after your move. 

Get started

Once everything is set – you have enough money, you know where you want to go, you meet the requirements, you have your business planned, and you are prepared – you can finally get started on the move. 

Apply for the necessary documents, and once you’ve been approved to move abroad and start a new business, you can buy your plane tickets!

In conclusion

Starting a business abroad is a very challenging thing to do, so you shouldn’t get your hopes up. That being said, it’s not impossible, either, and you won’t know if you can do it unless you try.

Even if you don’t succeed on your first try, you will likely learn something valuable, and you can make the necessary changes to improve your chances of success the next time you try.