Setting up several businesses at once throughout Europe

Setting up several businesses at once throughout Europe is a difficult experience if you have no previous understanding of the processes, specific culture of the countries involved and language nuances.

Before setting up in several countries in Europe or indeed throughout the world, you will need to look at your goals not just for the short term but medium to long term so that you can ensure the company you establish in Europe or worldwide is fit for the long term.

Shareholders and  directors

Of course, your business may change, and you may need to add additional shareholders and/or directors but this can be done without a problem if the business has been set up with limited liability in the country of choice, either as a subsidiary or a stand-alone company.

Usually, when adding or taking off directors and/or shareholders the business will need to draft a board resolution and the changes may need to be made through a notary depending upon the country in which the business is set up in.

Quickest countries to incorporate in

Interestingly, some countries in Europe are more forward-thinking and speedy in the way that they incorporate so timescales can vary from country to country. France, UK, Sweden and Denmark are amongst the quickest countries to incorporate in. However, practically speaking, the issues then occur with banking as, for example, Swedish and Danish banks expect to have a local director on the business and to meet with the directors of the business. However, a Swedish shelf company would be sufficient to set up and then share capital would be deposited into a lawyer’s escrow account and then transferred to an online Euro account and this is also the case for the French company.

Banking in multiple countries

UK companies can be set up without share capital deposit and an online bank account could be set up in the name of the new UK company. All banks will need to understand the nature of the business and identify directors and shareholders for compliance purposes. It is important to ensure that you have the correct documents to hand so that you can provide these.

Banking has also evolved with the appearance of a glut of fintech companies that are now becoming the accepted norm within the e-commerce environment such as WorldFirst – WiseMultipass. Please research carefully before making a decision as to which company you opt for as tariffs and terms and conditions will differ.

Market research and Recruitment

It is also important to ensure that you know your market and undertake market research within the country or countries of operation so that you are aware of the potential commercial issues that await you. Some of the obstacles that companies come across are the lack of talent within a region of the country in which the business has been set up. Additionally,  licensing issues need to be considered if you are in a specific industry specifically relating to businesses within the recruitment and financial sectors amongst others.

Recruitment consulting firms looking to set up in Europe would need to factor in AUG licences for Germany, APL for Italy and a lighter version for The Netherlands. Some countries within Europe have no requirement for a licence for recruitment. The licences tend to be needed for temporary staffing and temporary contracting. One-off fees that are invoiced to the client don’t tend to fall into the licensing category.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, please do your independent research before entering into a new business in Europe or worldwide and take relevant advice and support to ensure that costly mistakes are not made. For help and advice on multiple company incorporations or one-off setups, please don’t hesitate to call us on +44 (0)208 421 7470 or contact us via the website.

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