Contact Us
Blog 16 min read

19 of the best countries to set up a company in 2024

Discover the best countries to set up a company in and equip yourself with all the information you need to successfully expand your business overseas in 2024.

Published on

Setting up a business is incredibly exciting but it can also be just as stressful. Different countries around the world subject new businesses to varying levels of red tape and regulation, which can be difficult to navigate. That’s why many entrepreneurs have to think carefully about what the best countries to set up a company might be.

From corporation tax rates and market competition to employee retention, the factors determining the potential profitability and ease of establishing a business abroad are many. Each should be carefully considered when deciding the best country to set up a business for tax purposes, employment, start-up costs and more.

To make your job a little easier, we’ve compiled this guide to choosing the best country to set up your new business venture in, including a breakdown of 19 countries around the world which we deem most favourable for new companies.

Factors to consider when choosing the best countries to start a business

What makes a given country a good place to start a company? This is the question we at Mauve must ask ourselves each time we help one of our clients to expand their operations overseas.

Ultimately, there are a few key metrics by which we can judge the potential of a company for business expansion, and we have used these to assemble this list . It’s worth taking a moment to break down these metrics so that you also know what to look for in a prospective new region:

  • Corporation Tax: Corporation tax is a tax imposed on the profits you make doing business. Different countries apply different corporation tax rates, whilst other countries don’t charge it at all. The lower the rate, the more of your profits you get to keep.
  • Business Rates: Business rates are another form of tax, this time applied to the properties you occupy for business purposes (such as warehouses, plants, and offices). Once again, not all countries apply business rates, and those that do tend to fluctuate.
  • Economic Growth: The economic growth rate of a country, typically measured in GDP, can tell you a lot about the viability of that country for doing business. The healthier a country’s economy, the easier it may be to find customers and clients. At the same time, wealthier countries may present stiffer competition in your industry and may require more start-up capital to set up a company.
  • Market Competition: Even if a country appears to be a safe bet for establishing a new company, it is important to be aware of market competition. The more competitors your business will have in a given country, the harder it will be to monopolise the market or even just to find a profitable niche.
  • Available Infrastructure: Depending on the nature of your business, you may need certain infrastructure in place – such as manufacturing plants and factories, as well as distribution centres and transport lines – in order to keep your start-up costs down. After all, few businesses have the available capital to build this infrastructure from scratch in a new country.
  • Start-Up Costs: Start-up costs are the expenses incurred when establishing your new business, and can incorporate a great many things. Resources and materials in some countries will be cheaper than in others, whilst the cost to register a new business may be negligible in one country and prohibitive in another. Costs associated with business expansion from one country to another can also be included in this category.
  • Employee Skill: Cheap labour may sound attractive, especially to large-scale and start-up manufacturers, but ‘cheap’ doesn’t always equal ‘skilled.’ The success of your overseas business may well come down to the quality of your offering, which is why assessing the skill levels of a country’s workforce could prove fundamental.
  • Employee Happiness: Studies show that a happy, engaged, diverse workforce tends to be more productive and easier for employers to retain. Countries with high rates of employee contentment could offer your business a more desirable workforce, which is also easier to retain, than those with less amenable labour laws and the like.
  • Labour Laws: Different countries have different sets of laws governing the rights of their workers. It’s important to get to grips with these before settling on a destination for your business venture, as they may impact your outgoings. For example, in many Asian and South American countries, it is a legal obligation to pay your employees a 13th month salary. Moreover, minimum wages differ from country to country , affecting your bottom line.
  • Quality and Cost of Living: Given that the country you choose to set up a company in may also be your first source of new customers and clients, you’ll want to look at the quality of life and cost of living in that country. The better both, the more disposable income your new market base is liable to have.
  • Political Stability: The best countries to set up a company in tend also to be relatively stable, politically speaking. The politics of a country can have a huge and immediate impact on its economic stability, as well as the security of doing business there. Countries prone to strikes, rioting, and instable regime change are ones to consider avoiding.
  • Proximity to Markets: Lastly, whilst it may seem obvious to some, it’s also worth remembering that if you have a specific target market in mind for your new business venture, then you should choose a country to set-up in which is relatively close to this market. For example, there’s likely little point in choosing to leverage India’s low labour costs if the market for your products is in America. Shipping costs – not to mention your company’s carbon footprint – could negate the money saved on labour.

When selecting a new country in which to do business, it is important to become familiar with the social and cultural context of the nation, understanding the past and present issues that effect the country, its people, and its labour market, such as conflict, forced labour, and labour abuses.

Exploring the best countries to start up a company  in, continent by continent

Having explored the various factors you may wish to consider when selecting a country, we can now dive into our list of the top 19 best countries to set up a company  in, in 2024. We’ve grouped these by continent, and for each will provide a short explan ation as to why the country may have a lot to offer entrepreneurs and business owners seeking to expand.


Having avoided the inflation rates faced in the West, Asia is believed to have outstripped both the USA and EU in terms of economic growth toward the end of 2023.

Setting up a new company or expanding into Asia has its challenges, though. Depending on where your headquarters are based, you could face major language, time, and cultural barriers. Work ethic in many Asian countries also varies considerably compared to the West.

Nevertheless, there is a lot of potential to be found there. Let’s take a look at the best countries to set up a company in Asia.

1. Singapore

Singapore is one the wealthiest countries in the world. Its robust economy, ease of doing business and highly skilled workforce are just three of the reasons to consider setting up your company in Singapore. With four official languages, there are plenty of opportunities to expand your reach. Singapore also has many free trade agreements with other nations, allowing you access to substantial markets all around the world.

2. India

As the second most-populous country on earth, India has a massive workforce – contributing to one of the fastest growing economies in Asia. Wages and quality of life remains low for many Indians, and poverty levels are high, but with the introduction of maximum working hours and minimum wages in some sectors, things could be set to change. Regardless, at present India’s employee happiness levels are notably poor. India’s talent pool contains a large number of highly-educated English speakers and skilled workers, who have helped to make India an important center of IT, business outsourcing and software services.

3. China

Moving onto the most populous nation on earth, China has long been seen by Western business people as a hub of affordable labour – especially in the manufacturing sector. Indeed, China remains the largest global manufacturer and exporter of goods. On top of this, it ranks highly on our ‘Ease of Doing Business’ (EODB) index and has the fastest growing growing consumer market in the world. China also offers start-ups in certain industries, such as high tech, a reduced corporation tax. One of the main drawbacks to doing business in China is its ongoing political instability on the world stage, stoked by trade sanctions imposed on the Communist giant by actors like the USA.

4. Philippines

The Philippines occupies more than 7,000 islands in the south Pacific, its natural beauty proving a lasting hit with tourists – making it an exceptionally attractive place for those in the travel and tourism industry, among many other industries which profit from high traveller footfall. Philippines has a diverse workforce and a low VAT rate of just 12%.

English is widely spoken, making the transition to the Philippines easier for Western English speaking companies. Be aware that start-up costs in the Philippines are on the higher end of the scale.

5. Vietnam

Having recovered from centuries of colonial oppression, war, and internal strife, Vietnam has re-emerged onto the world stage as one of the fastest growing economies in Asia. English is not widely spoken here, but the workforce is highly intelligent and literate, especially in the major cities like Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh, and Da Lat.

Automotive, IT, tech, tourism and the agricultural industry all tend to perform well in Vietnam . As of 2010, Vietnam  is a member of both the World Trade Organisation and has signed free trade agreements with the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It rates as ‘Easy’ on our EODB index.

6. Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, the capital of this small Southeast Asian country, is one of Asia’s financial meccas. As a transport hub connecting west, east, and south, a great deal of business passes through Malaysia every day. The country’s strong economy is being bolstered by a move away from destructive mining of natural resources to manufacture and export. One of the biggest appeals for business leaders is the extraordinary diversity found in Malaysia, a country whose population incorporates many different ethnicities, religions, and languages.


According to an indexing of the easiest countries to start a new business in, as compiled by AI-powered Big Business Name Generator, Europe plays host to all 10 of the top 10 best countries to set up a company. The EU’s Schengen Area, covering almost all of the continent, has abolished border control between countries, making travel and export/import blissfully easy.

On top of this, the European Economic Area (EEA) free trade agreements make trade between EU member states fairly straightforward. With English widely spoken and infrastructure for most industries readily in place, it is perhaps no surprise that so many entrepreneurs first look to Europe when planning a business expansion.

7. Ireland

Huge companies like Google and Facebook run their European operations out of Ireland — and with good reason. Although Ireland has raised its corporate tax rate to 15% for large businesses, as of 202  4, its rates for small businesses remain low. And with access to both British and European markets post-Brexit, it makes sense to start a business in Ireland. Plus, after a rocky few years financially, Ireland is now well on the way to becoming a strong European economy.

8. Germany

Germany is the largest economy in Europe — and one of the biggest in the world. A hub for technology and manufacturing, German businesses must adhere to strict quality standards. If you are willing to meet these standards, you will have a huge global advantage over your competitors. Germany also borders 9 nations, making it a truly central hub of European culture and business.

9. The United Kingdom (UK)

Although Brexit has caused some economic uncertainty in recent years, so far the UK is weathering the storm. In fact, the UK topped Tide’s list of the best European countries to start a business in 2021, thanks to its cheap and easy company set up procedures. With a large economy and low rates of unemployment, it’s a sound choice for starting a business — particularly in the tech industry.

10. Czechia (the Czech Republic)

Czechia is perhaps a surprise entrant to this list, nabbing the #1 poll position in the 2023 Global Startup Index referenced above. This relatively small European country boasts low start-up costs, at just 1.1% of Gross National Income (GNI) per capita. Moreover, business rates are low at 19% and Czechia’s workforce enjoy salaries commensurate to the relatively low cost of living. With quality infrastructure and the lowest poverty and unemployment rates in Europe, Czechia is inarguably a promising location for entrepreneurs around the world.

11. Finland

Finland boasts the world’s happiest population, with social welfare and universal healthcare systems in place to ensure its workforce is well looked after. It also has extremely low start-up costs at just 0.7% of GNI, and taxes businesses at a standard 20%. Cost of living is high, but countered by high salaries.

12. Denmark

Denmark offers its workforce the highest salaries of any country on earth, with even low-skilled workers earning competitive hourly rates. A high cost of living necessitates these salaries in order to keep the populace happy, which as with seemingly all Scandinavian countries, they generally are. Denmark is built around socialist principles of equality, universal healthcare and welfare, and CEOs looking to start a business in Denmark would do well to remember this. Encouraging is the superbly low start-up costs Denmark offers entrepreneurs, at just 0.2% of GNI.

13. Switzerland

Echoing the happiness indexes (Swiss people rank 3rd in the world behind Finland and Denmark) and the salary benchmarks of its Scandinavian neighbours away to the north, Switzerland is a European enclave famed for its favourable tax legislation and extraordinary wealth. Corporate tax rates in Switzerland are as low as 8.5% Banking has ever been a central tenet of the Swiss economy, though its membership in the European single market means that export and import industries can fair equally well here. Switzerland also boasts one of the most highly-skilled, happiest, and most retainable workforces in the world.

14. Spain

One of the cultural gems of the world, Spain continues to bask in its historic legacy as a home of art, music, and commerce. A resilient export market helped Spain to survive the 2009 economic crisis in the EU, though unemployment continues to be a problem across the region. A lack of corruption and stagnating bureaucracy, combined with enduring political stability, make Spain an attractive option for many business start-ups.

North and South America

Central, South, and North America all have something to offer the budding entrepreneur and fledgling start-up. From universally renowned work ethics and booming tech industries, let’s take a look at four of the best countries to set up a company west of the Atlantic.

15. Canada

Geographically, Canada is a haven for new company set ups. Its proximity to the US gives Canadian businesses plenty of opportunity to grow into new markets, while keeping their distance from oversaturated locations like Silicon Valley. Plus, Canada’s corporation tax is as low as 0% for foreign investors when they meet certain conditions, so it is definitely worth considering as the home of your new business venture.

16. Brazil

Considered one of the world’s largest economies in terms of GDP, Brazil is rich in natural resources, particularly exceeding across the agricultural, manufacturing, mining and service industries, especially as an international coffee producer. Despite its appeal for businesses, navigating its complex tax system poses significant hurdles. The incorporation process can be challenging and lengthy, but in light of the recent announcement of tax simplification reforms incentives for businesses are underway.

17. Mexico

Mexico’s potential as one of the best countries to set up a company has long depended upon its relationship with its neighbour, the USA. Depending on the outcome of this year’s 2024 presidential election, relations with the US may be bolstered or weakened. Mexico has a large and skilled workforce operating on relatively low labour costs. As a major oil producer, Mexico’s strong economy also relies heavily on service sectors, including  trade, transportation, finance and government accounting. Spanish is the official language.

18. The United States of America (USA)

The USA is, as ever, an attractive destination for new start-ups and entrepreneurs – especially in the tech and IT sectors, as evidenced by the international renown of Silicon Valley in California. VAT rates vary from state to state – a reflection of the differing business rates, rules and regulations you will find in each distinct state. Political stability and a highly-educated workforce make the US a relatively safe bet for new businesses, as does its continued status as the world’s strongest economy by GDP.

The Middle East

Business opportunities in the Middle East are attracting attention, as countries like Saudi Arabia are expanding their Business Visit Visa to investors from all nations. Previously, this visa was only available to nationals of fewer than 60 countries.

19. United Arab Emirates (UAE)

The UAE is a haven for an eclectic mix of businesses, all of which tend to enjoy its free trade zones, which impose 0% tax rates on import, trade, and export. Newly implemented corporation taxes (previously the UAE imposed none) are thankfully one of the lowest in the world, at just 9%. As a clear midpoint between east and west, the UAE offers a range of businesses across various sectors a clear advantage in terms of reach and international expansion.

Streamlining global business expansion with Mauve

Setting up a company abroad comes with its fair share of challenges, though once these are overcome the benefits can be game changing. Each of the country’s discussed in this article offer start-ups a variety of exploitable advantages, from affordable labour, skilled and happy workforces, low start-up costs, free trade, and negligible corporation and business tax rates.

Knowing which country is best for your business, however, remains tricky, whilst the actual process of establishing a company abroad can be complex. To maximise the potential of your new business venture, whilst minimising risk and ensuring compliance to local and international labour and tax laws, it is always worth partnering with experts in global business expansion.

To learn more about setting up a new business abroadMauve Group can help. We can advise you on the best locations for your business and assist in setting up, making the process as seamless and stress-free as possible. Contact our business experts today to find out more.