By now you should have left no doubt that Global Expansion is ought to be part of your company’s strategy. We have previously covered most of the international business expansion benefits as well as the stages of international business expansion planning.

Likewise, we have established that the most crucial step of the planning process is foreign market research.

This stage is very personal for every company, and the outcome depends on the unique circumstances of your business. First and foremost, many concentrate on such factors as the demand for their products/services, competition, tax benefits and country’s GDP. While, without a shade of doubt, keeping an eye on the bigger picture is essential, it is also important to look into less obvious aspects.

The hardest part about running a business may not be getting the income but starting and running it instead. So, what are the main criteria to take into consideration when selecting the right territory to expand to?

According to the Ease of Doing Business Index, we found the top 5 European countries to set up a business in:


The fact that Germany is the largest economy in Europe and the fourth largest in the world says it all.  With a population of 82.3 million people, it also happens to be the largest consumer market in the EEA. The volume of trade, number of consumers, and Germany’s geographic location at the centre of the EU make it the starting point of European expansion for many companies.

It is a true global leader in the fastest growing industries too. Such as automotive, financial services, pharmaceuticals and technology. One of the biggest selling points of Germany is that it has a huge highly-skilled labour force. Considering good education and strong training, Germans are some of the highest-skilled workers in the world.


As surprising as this may sound after the 2008 economic collapse, Ireland has bounced back in a big way. The main reason for such rapid recovery is the Irish government’s extremely positive attitude towards entrepreneurship. For example, the Irish corporate tax rate is only 12.5%, creating a hospitable climate for both, small and large businesses likewise.

In addition to this, the Irish government has established an extensive support system for companies through Enterprise Ireland at every stage of their development. Both local and foreign entrepreneurs can benefit from various government programs and financial aid. Furthermore, Ireland has good connections with all major EU regions and a highly developed infrastructure.

The Netherlands

The Dutch are often considered to be the fathers of globalisation and international trade. Amsterdam itself was founded by bustling commerce. And the government takes the tradition of fostering a favourable business climate very seriously.

The reasons why the Netherlands should be your next business destination are numerous. Starting with a strategic location allowing you to access almost any market in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe.  Strong constantly growing economy, large talent pool, high English proficiency index and many more.

Besides that, the country is highly innovative. This means that the locals are open to accepting and implementing new ideas. One of the strongest arguments in favour of the Netherlands is strong government support for foreign investment. They are even offering foreign investors a “start-up visa” which helps them to operate their business with maximum ease and flexibility.


There are many reasons why Norway is one of the most attractive destinations to start a business. To begin with, it is one of the world’s most economically and politically stable countries. It was one of a few states almost not affected by 2008 credit crunch.

Secondly, it is a wealthy country with one of the highest GDP per capita. Meaning that even though the population is not that large, it has a very high buying capacity.

Another advantage of starting a business in Norway is the fact that Norwegians are very adaptable and open to new technologies. This means that they are not only willing to buy and try out new technology but have highly skilled labour in IT and tech fields. In general, the Norwegians age highly educated, which gives you access to a large talent pool.

Probably the most important factor speaking in favour of starting a company in Norway is the ease of establishment. It is not hard to build an honest business due to the minimal level of corruption. In addition to this, most of the business registration process can be completed online. You will also find that complying with tax laws in this country is a rather straightforward process.


Some may disagree with this point because of high corporate tax and VAT rates. However, Forbes named Sweden the best country for business in 2017. Why is that? Very simple.

First of all, it is relatively uncomplicated to start a business here. You can register your company online or by post. The registration process takes around two weeks and costs between 1900-2200 SEK.  Not mentioning that there are no additional hurdles for foreign entrepreneurs.

To add more, Sweden is among the most economically-free and self-sustaining countries. Providing vital for successful entrepreneurship economic and political stability. It also has many well-developed industrial sectors. Such as chemical goods, forestry, hydropower, industrial machines, iron, motor vehicles, oil, pharmaceuticals, precision equipment, steel, telecommunications and etc. Moreover, the Swedish enjoy a mixed economy with an open market and significant welfare support. Sweden’s extremely high taxing was designed to redistribute wealth more evenly among the population via various social programs. As a result of this system small Swedish businesses have an average profit of 18.2% of revenue.