6 Steps to Starting Your Location Independent Business
Gary Vaynerchuk has said that “we are living in the best era of all time.”
I honestly believe that it is now easier to start a business or create a side hustle thanks to the internet. The internet does not care what color you are, what nationality you are, how tall or short you are etc. Clients only want to know whether or not, you can deliver on your value proposition.
Unfortunately, starting up in one thing but being successful is another. Part of being successful is understanding the rules of tax and business structures. These are things that are not taught in business school. Worse yet, entrepreneurs look for advice from unqualified and frankly dangerous keyboard warriors who mislead and misunderstand the nuances of international business rules.
That’s where teams like ours come in. We are a network of firms. We have 30 physical offices in 11 countries. Visit us on –
Connect with me on : http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/derren-joseph-ea/2/533/34
Step 1 –
Find a team. It’s incredibly naïve to think one person sitting alone knows everything and has the bandwidth to keep up with the constantly evolving legal landscape. Read more here - https://www.mooresrowland.tax/2018/02/5-things-to-consider-in-choosing-right.html
If this is to be your main source of income? Start a company. In most jurisdictions, despite the higher compliance cost, the tax advantages of running your business through a company make it worthwhile. No one size fits all and your specific circumstances drive the best jurisdictions. Sit with your team and determine the best
jurisdiction for your LLC. For many it would be a US LLC - https://www.mooresrowland.tax/2018/12/the-pros-and-cons-of-llcs.html
Step 3 –
Ensure you have a plan. Where are you going to be based? Even if you will physically be constantly moving? You NEED to be tax resident somewhere. Sit with your team and choose the right jurisdiction. Careful with those dangerous people who sell dreams of being tax resident nowhere as a perpetual nomad – https://www.mooresrowland.tax/2019/10/perpetual-nomad-is-it-possible-to-pay.html
Step 4 -
Now that you have your personal tax residency and your corporate tax residency (which, thanks to flag theory can be different places https://www.mooresrowland.tax/2019/05/flag-theory-aka-perpetual-traveler.html
You need to register for taxation. And consider your structure to be like a car, it needs to be serviced regularly. So that’s why you have a team (step 1) because as your circumstances change and the rules of these countries change, so do you need to update your structure.
Step 5 -
In terms of taxes, you have both direct and indirect taxes. Direct tax would be income tax for both yourself (personal tax rates) and your company (corporate tax rates).
Here are some articles -
Indirect taxes would be sales tax, use tax, VAT, GST etc. These are very very nuanced –
- EU - https://www.mooresrowland.tax/2019/10/distance-selling-in-eu.html
- Across the world - https://www.mooresrowland.tax/2019/10/taxation-of-digital-products.html
- USA – https://www.mooresrowland.tax/2019/10/navigating-post-wayfair-world.html/ https://www.mooresrowland.tax/2019/10/states-business-activity-tax-nexus.html
Here’s where you definitely need software or a tax team (if you’re a 6, 7 or 8 figure seller). In the US alone there are 10,000 sales and use tax jurisdictions. In the UK, you need to be planning for pre and post Brexit. This space is evolving rapidly.
Step 6 -
Don’t get caught up in trends. Popularity doesn’t mean tax efficiency.
Let’s touch on a few of them –
- Yes Bulgaria is 10% but its 10% on your WORLDWIDE income. Hong Kong is 16.5% on territorial income and Singapore can be 0% for a non resident company. Discuss this with your team. 16.5% on territorial income can be way better than 10% on worldwide income
- Be careful of so called tax havens. Many banks won’t touch them. So it’s useless having a company without a bank account for it.
- E-residency such as Estonia is a misnomer. It does NOT necessarily confer legal residency
from an immigration perspective nor does it necessarily give you tax residency - https://www.mooresrowland.tax/2019/12/lets-talk-about-estonia.html
- Look for unpopular places as they are hidden gems. They can be hot tomorrow. https://www.mooresrowland.tax/2017/12/privacy-in-dubai-compared-to-hong-kong.html That’s how we feel about Malaysia eg - https://www.mooresrowland.tax/2019/11/ive-touch-on-malaysia-before-httpwww.html
- Careful with digital nomad "hot spots". They are so dangerous from a tax perspective. Bali is the top of that list - https://www.mooresrowland.tax/2019/04/npwp-for-all-foreign-businesses.html
- Portugal does have an attractive tax regime but if you intend to use Portugal as a base for working? It may not be that attractive - https://www.mooresrowland.tax/2019/10/brief-on-portugal-taxes-including-nhr.html
So that’s it. 6 key steps to starting your business online. Good luck