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Expanding into Europe
Are you looking to expand into the European markets? You’re not alone!
Europe remains the first and best choice for many US companies, and despite the coronavirus pandemic, interest in expanding into the region reached an all-time high this year.
Thanks to its affluent economies, stable legal systems, varied cultures and wealth of business opportunities, Europe has become a hotspot for global expansion.
So, what are some of the best European countries to do business in?
1. Relish favorable tax rates in the UK
Despite initial uncertainty surrounding how it would fare following Brexit, the UK is still a thriving business hub. Not only is London Europe’s wealthiest and most cosmopolitan capital city, but it also has excellent transport links to Asia and elsewhere in Europe — providing the connections you need to expand your business worldwide. London’s high concentration of financial and IT companies also makes it a natural choice for any company in the fintech sector.
As a whole, the UK has an immense pool of 30 million skilled employees to offer. Combined with flexible labor laws and competitive labor costs, this means there’s an excellent talent pool for you to tap into.
For US companies, in particular, the shared language also makes the UK a great place to expand. In fact, over 8,500 US businesses now call the English capital home.
2. Innovate and thrive in Germany
Sitting in the heart of Europe,Germany proved to be the most resilient country during the recession and is still the driving force behind the region’s thriving economy.
Outside of China, Germany is perhaps the best-renowned country for its manufacturing capabilities. But it also leads the way in terms of innovation and technology in other sectors, such as construction, healthcare, and renewable energy.
Germany’s 81 million inhabitants also have greater purchasing power than any of its European neighbors — and thanks to its proximity to western European markets like France and the Benelux countries, it’s a prime target market for global expansion.
It’s important to note that Germany has an above-average number of regulations, data protection laws, and policies in place that could dial back the pace of your expansion. However, Germany is still one of Europe’s most viable expansion locations for US businesses.
3. Enjoy enviable living standards in Sweden
If you’re looking to expand into the Nordics, Sweden is an excellent choice. Due to its enviable standard of living and leading welfare system, Sweden is a highly attractive country to live in — with a friendly, happy, and highly skilled workforce to tap into. Talent is particularly concentrated around areas such as R&D, innovation, and digital technologies.
The country also has low levels of bureaucracy and an open, modern business environment that welcomes foreign investors and makes it easy to do business. Plus, as with the other Nordic countries, most of the population can understand and speak English proficiently — ideal for US companies. Almost 90% of Swedesspeak Englishas a second language, eliminating challenging language barriers.
As well as having good links to other Scandinavian countries, Sweden’s established trade links with the US make it an accessible location for American businesses to expand. And, although individual tax rates are high, the cost of living is actually two percent lower than in the US.
4. Set up a multilingual team in Belgium
As the de facto capital of the EU, Belgium packs a punch in the business world. Thanks to well-established transport links and circa 500 million consumers within an 800 km radius, Belgium has become a recognized export hub. Access to the UK by sea — as well as land borders with Germany, France, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands — also makes Belgium one of Europe’s best-placed countries for onward trade.
US companies represent a substantial proportion of Belgium’s total private sector employment, and the US is the country’s largest trading partner outside of the EU. Trade is particularly active between Belgium and Texas, New York, and Pennsylvania — with chemical products, machinery, and transportation equipment the most traded goods between the two countries.
In terms of top talent, Belgium has a lot to offer too, especially for organizations looking to build a multilingual team. Belgium has three official languages — French, Flemish, and German — and an abundance of first and second-generation migrants. Excellent universities and centers for research and development also make for a highly qualified workforce.
If you’re keen to enter the European markets, a PEO in the relevant country could help you get your foot in the door, understand the market, hire the best talent, and remain compliant along the way. At PEO Worldwide, we cover a vast range of territories in Europe and beyond — allowing you to unlock business across the world. Get in touch today to embark on your European expansion.