The business world is at the beginning of an unprecedented growth cycle, according to Aidan Healy from Healy Consultants Group. Here are his insights into setting up a new business in any country in the world.
Why are you so optimistic about the global economy?
It’s emerging from a four-year depression; assets have been re-priced, debt is under control and business confidence is returning. As usual, the US is spearheading the global recovery and Europe is following – albeit one year behind. Because of the size of their consumer markets, these economies are two of the three global economic pillars, Asia being the third.
What are global entrepreneurs looking at now?
South American countries are hot. Foreign companies want to establish subsidiaries there to support local customers. Also, because of the wealth of the consumer markets, Middle Eastern business set-up is always popular.
What are the best countries for businesses to locate their global headquarters?
Singapore and Dubai are the two best locations in the world. Both are low tax jurisdictions enjoying access to a vast network of double tax treaties. Both cities house a cauldron of international labour talent with English as the primary business language. Global entrepreneurs use both cities to access neighbouring emerging markets. Both countries have clear business laws that provide certainty to foreign investors.
How can entrepreneurs minimise global business set-up costs?
Where possible, open a local corporate bank account to serve customers and suppliers – for a foreign company, this is possible in most countries; avoid incorporating a company in a new country.
In the beginning, share office space with a local company and pay rent monthly. When the time is right, move your staff to new premises and enter into a long-term lease.
Avoid hiring local staff if possible. Instead, appoint consultants to do the work or outsource to a local firm.
Determine if you can set your business up in a local free-trade zone to minimise tax and operational costs. Nearly every country in the world has these zones.
What support do you give to your clients?
We project-manage the business set-up process from A to Z. For example, we help with company registration and corporate bank account opening, staff recruitment, employment visas, logistics and renting office premises. We project-manage monthly bookkeeping, accounting and tax reporting. Over the past few years we’ve helped clients raise corporate finance.
Where is the next big business opportunity?
Iran! Trade sanctions are expected to ease this year. With a population of 76 million sitting on the third-largest oil reserves in the world, there is a pent-up demand for the latest consumer goods. Every global company wants to partner with an Iranian businessman to help reach consumers through the local language. As soon as I’m legally allowed to do so, I will open an office in Tehran.
Healy Consultants have been assisting clients with Hong Kong company registration, banking considerations, office-space rental solutions and hiring strategies for over a decade.
Room 1505B, 15/F Fortress Tower, 250 King’s Road, Hong Kong. Tel: 8331 1911