By Caitlyn Buchanan, 29.08.17
Global trends are evolving and entrepreneurs are looking for new ways to meet the demand of their customers. Many companies are looking to expand their operations to European hubs from which to serve the European markets. In many cases, businesses are required to establish European subsidiary companies in order to work with specific suppliers or identify new trading partners. Foreign investors must consider many factors including ease of set up, availability of bank accounts, tax rates and ease of trade when deciding which jurisdiction is the best fit for their business.
In many cases, entrepreneurs looking to set up companies remotely when it is not feasible to be physically present in the country they wish to incorporate. Euro Company Formations has assisted numerous clients to setup their companies all over the world and we have learned that, while many countries will allow remote company formations, very few will allow the remote set up of corporate bank accounts. This article covers the 3 European Union countries that will allow both to be set up from abroad.
Bulgaria consistently ranks as one of the best countries to do business in Eastern Europe. With a 10% tax rate on all sources of income, Bulgaria is a popular choice for international investors. Remote company set up and maintenance is relatively inexpensive and it’s easy to transfer capital to foreign companies and investors. There are many company types available but the most popular choices are a Limited Liability Company (EOOD or OOD) and a Joint Stock Company (EAD or AD). Limited Liability is a common organization type because they can be formed with as little as one shareholder and can be owned by one or multiple people. Joint Stock companies are ideal for business partnerships between two or more parties looking to undertake economic activities. This company type allows partners to share in the risks and be used to full-fill a temporary contract or a continued business relationship.
The main difference between these Bulgarian company types is their constitution. A limited company is required to hold a meeting with its shareholders and a manager, where a joint stock company constitutes both the shareholders and directors. A limited company’s ownership is divided by shares and the partners have equal rights concerning profits and management. With a Joint Stock company, this capital is divided into stocks that are always equal and may be transferred freely.
Other benefits of doing business in Bulgaria are the country’s double taxation treaties signed with 68 countries, meaning those foreign companies are only taxed on income sourced within Bulgaria. The process of launching a business has been eased considerably and the flexible labour laws enable various businesses to embrace the ever-expanding market. Non-national investor interests are protected by the Foreign National Act and the judicial system is strong enough to uphold integrity issues between the government and organizations.
There are many benefits to investing in Malta, the incorporation procedure is more relaxed than other European countries. The corporate tax rate is 35%, however, through the application of the participation exemption, full imputation system and refund system typically the effective tax rate is approximately 0% to 5%. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean with close ties to mainland Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, it is an ideal gateway to many markets. There are no exchange control regulations so business can be conducted in any currency.
The most common company type in Malta is a Limited Liability Company. The liability of the shareholders in a limited company is limited to any unpaid amount on the shares respectively held by each of them. A minimum of two shareholders and one director are necessary to form a company in Malta but the director must be a natural person. Legal entities such as a foreign company cannot be a director and there is no option for a nominee director. The director can be of any nationality and be a resident of any country. Incorporation and bank account set up can be done remotely and each director appointed to the company is responsible for the actions of the company. As a result, Maltese directors will all ask to be signatories on the corporate bank account.
France is a highly desirable location for businesses trying to reach the European markets. France prides itself on a sound legal framework and stabilised economic growth, currently ranked the 3rd largest economy in Europe. The high corporate tax rate of 34% has been known to deter investors but actually, the profits of a foreign branch are exempt from corporate tax. Thanks to an extensive list of countries France has signed double taxation treaties, branches of foreign companies are generally only taxed on income sourced within France. Under the participation exemption, 88% of gains derived from the disposal of qualifying shares are exempt from tax.
There are many company types to available but most foreign companies are incorporated as a Joint Stock Company (SAS; société par actions simplifiée), or a Limited Liability Company (SARL; société à responsabilité limitée).
Foreign investments and trade in France are regulated by commercial and civil laws; it states that foreign nationals who are not citizens of an EU or EEA member state need to register their business activities and obtain consent from a French Prefect before engaging in any commercial or industrial activities in France. Euro Company Formations can assist with company compliance so that all legal requirements are met when forming a company.
There are many factors to consider when determining which jurisdiction is the best fit for your business. We recommend that you seek advice from a registered formation agent that is active in your country of choice to ensure your company is compliant with that country’s laws. While it is possible to form a company on your own we highly recommend against it. The agents at Euro Company Formations are experts in their field and actively incorporate companies in 70+ jurisdictions. Through our international network of professionals, our services are streamlined to form your company and set up your corporate bank account is the fastest possible time frame. For a quick quote, contact us today on +353 (0) 16461627 or fill out our online contact form.Contact US