Business in Europe: which countries are better to choose for starting your own business in 2023



Business in Europe: which countries are better to choose for starting your own business in 2023

Over the past few years, the number of companies opened by foreigners in EU countries has increased significantly. We tell you what European countries attract entrepreneurs and where it is best to open your own business

Order a legal consultation from a local specialist in visa and migration issues
Order a legal consultation from a local specialist in visa and migration issues

Opening your own business in Europe has many advantages, which is why the number of businesses registered in the EU is growing noticeably every year. Experts predict that this trend will continue in 2023. Registering a company in Europe will be interesting for both large businesses and private companies seeking to optimize business costs.

Read everything you need to know about the European work visa here.

Advantages of business registration in European countries

Doing business in Europe has a number of advantages, including:

An economically stable and prestigious country

European companies have a positive business reputation, and the governments of most countries actively support business: subsidies, development programs and tax discounts for small and medium-sized businesses.

Tax minimization

You can optimize your tax burden by opening a business in a country with more optimal tax conditions. For example, the corporate income tax rate in Turkey is 20%, in Cyprus it is 12.5%, and in Madeira (Portugal) it is only 5%.

Possibility to open a bank account in Europe

The procedure for opening an account in European banks is becoming more complicated every year. Instead, a businessman who registers a business in Europe will have a real opportunity to open a bank account in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, etc.

Business entry into the international market

Most foreign counterparties prefer companies from developed and economically stable countries.

Grants and lending for small businesses

In many European countries, startup development programs for small and medium-sized businesses have been developed.

Registration of permanent residence

Opening a business is one of the ways of immigration. If certain requirements are met, the businessman and his family will be able to obtain a permanent residence and in the future, EU citizenship.

Would you like to receive an answer from an experienced lawyer? Order legal advice from a local specialist in visa and migration issues. To receive the service, select the country you are interested in and your citizenship.

What should you pay attention to when choosing a European country for opening a business?

When choosing a country, you should use a comprehensive approach, because there is no single state in the world that would meet all the requirements of every businessman. First of all, it is necessary to study corporate, tax and immigration laws in detail and compare them with the goals that are a priority.

Experts recommend paying attention to the following criteria when choosing a country:


This is probably one of the most important factors when choosing a country to start a business. Preference should be given to states with lower taxes than in the entrepreneur's home country, and the system itself works efficiently and transparently. It will also examine in more detail the following factors: benefits for new firms, non-resident businesses, small and medium-sized businesses and avoidance of double taxation.

Expenses for business registration and its further activities

Find out about the minimum authorized capital for different types of companies, as well as the average salary, the cost of office rent, banking services and more.

Absence of the country in "black" lists

Certain international organizations and individual countries maintain "black lists" of unreliable financial jurisdictions. Registering a business in such a state can cause a number of problems - mistrust on the part of counterparties from the EU, additional checks in banks, etc.

Air connections with the country of residence

A significant distance from the state of residence can create additional difficulties for a businessman.

Top 3 countries for business registration in the EU

The following countries are the most attractive for opening a new business in terms of economic stability, simplified taxation system and quality of life in the EU:


Cyprus is recognized as the most convenient country for European business, because here:
- A high-quality legislative system that fully complies with the legal framework of the EU and the requirements of the - Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
- Stable economy and political situation.
- Full integration into the EU.
- It is possible to legally minimize taxation, because taxes here are one of the lowest in the EU: corporate tax - 12.5%, tax on dividends from business worldwide 0%, special IP BOX tax regime for a company in the field of intellectual property, special tax status Non- domicile, a foreigner can become a tax resident of Cyprus in just 60 days, there is no wealth tax, no inheritance tax, no gift tax and no annual real estate tax.
- The company registration procedure is fast and simple.
- Good geographical location, warm climate, modern infrastructure and well-developed healthcare and education system.


Portugal attracts specialists and entrepreneurs, because it has a competitive tax system. The state is among the 5 European countries in terms of ease of doing business. The costs of renting an office, utilities, and consulting accountants here are the lowest in Europe. The country's government is also actively working to create comfortable conditions for foreign businessmen, in particular, the state has special free economic zones that offer tax benefits. For example, Madeira has the lowest corporate tax in the EU - 5%.
Also, for new residents, Portugal offers a special Non-Habitual Resident tax program. According to which the entrepreneur is exempt from taxes for 10 years on most types of personal income received from a foreign source or taxed in another country.
Corporate tax differs in different regions of Portugal:
- 17-21% for companies registered on the mainland of Portugal;
- 11.9% - 14.7% for a business that operates under general rules on the island of Madeira;
- 5% for companies registered on the island of Madeira under the terms of the IBC regime (Madeira International Business Center).


Malta is recognized as an international financial and business center with a developed infrastructure. A special tax refund system has been developed in the country.
The main advantages of the country's taxation system:
- Corporate tax is 35%, but thanks to a special tax refund system, the overall corporate tax rate can be reduced to 10%, 5% or even 0%.
- Dividends distributed by a company registered in Malta to persons who are not residents of Malta are not subject to tax.
- Social insurance contributions amount to about 10% of wages.

Learn more about how to move your business to another country here

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