How To Choose Where To Base Your Business Offshore

How To Take Your Business Offshore (The Tax Breaks And Other Perks Can Be Big)

Oct. 29, 2014, Panama City, Panama: Panama is one of the best places in the world to base a virtual business.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Kathleen and I have set up and operated businesses of one form or another in eight different countries. Why have we done what we've done in each place where we've chosen to do it?

That is, if you want to launch a new business or move a current business overseas, where should you go?

It depends on what kind of business you're talking about.

If you have a bricks-and-mortar business in the United States, you'd probably find it difficult and maybe impossible to move that business offshore altogether, but you might be able to benefit by relocating some aspects of it. Customer service, for example, or some processing that happens before your goods come in to the States could be handled in another country where those functions come at a lesser cost, say.

If your idea is to start a bricks-and-mortar business in another country, the best choice for where, again, depends on the specific what. Unless, that is, you have a specific where in mind already. If you know that you want to move to Belize or Argentina or Thailand or the Philippines or wherever, then your challenge isn't where to locate your new bricks-and-mortar business but what kind of bricks-and-mortar business would make most sense in the place where you want to live.

For our purposes here, let's assume that the business, not the lifestyle, is the driving agenda. In that case, the question, again, is what kind of bricks-and-mortar operation do you want to invest in—retail, wholesale, franchise, or import-export? Some of these are better suited to some countries than to others, and some kinds of bricks-and-mortar businesses wouldn't make any sense in some parts of the world. If your plan is to open a retail shop or a franchise, you need population.

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Reasons To Establish An Offshore Corporation

Who Needs An Offshore Corporation?

Oct. 28, 2014, Belize City, Belize: One of the most common reasons to establish an offshore corporation is to hold foreign property.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

"The question I get more than any other?" Lief Simon asked the audience at his Global Asset Protection and Wealth Summit in Belize last week.

"That'd be: 'What structure should I use?'"

"Right," added attorney and fellow panelist Joel Nagel. "That's probably my most frequently asked question, too.

"People make an appointment to see me, and then they show up at my office with a file folder in their hands," Joel continued.

"'I just came back from a vacation in the Cayman Islands,' they tell me. They're smiling. They've got nice suntans. And they've got these file folders...

"'While I was there,' they continue, 'I set up this corporation. Now I'm wondering,' they say, 'what should I do with it?'

"I give them the only answer I can, which is: I have no idea.

"In almost every one of these cases, the client set up the structure because he thought it was a cool thing to do or somebody told him it was something he ought to do. His golf buddy at the country club has an offshore corporation, and he thinks he needs one, too."

"Right," Lief interjected, "when in fact, this should work the other way around. You should start with a purpose. Have a goal in mind first, then go out and find the structure and the jurisdiction that serve that purpose."

Which gets to the real question:

Why would anyone want an offshore corporation?

One of the most common reasons to establish a foreign corporation is because you're buying a piece of property overseas. A foreign corporation can be the best way to take title.

"I've bought real estate in maybe 25 countries at this point," Lief explained, "and I own property right now in more than a dozen. Each purchase has been handled differently. Sometimes I've taken title in my own name, sometimes I've formed an entity to take title. Sometimes I use the same entity to hold a second or third piece of property, sometimes when making a new purchase I form a new entity.

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Property, Agricultural, Stock, And Bond Investments In Paraguay

South America's Rising Star?

Oct. 27, 2014, Asuncion, Paraguay: Paraguay qualifies as a blue ocean market, offering interesting property, agricultural, stock, and bond investment opportunities.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

"Paraguay is the world's 10th-largest exporter of wheat.

"It's also the world's eighth-largest beef exporter, seventh-largest exporter of corn, sixth-largest producer of soy, fifth-largest exporter of chia and soy flour, and fourth-largest exporter of yucca flour and soy oil.

"The country has the third-largest barge fleet in the world (after the United States and China) and is the third-biggest exporter worldwide of yerba mate.

"Paraguay is the second-biggest stevia producer and exporter in the world and the world's #1 exporter of organic sugar.

"Paraguay is also a competitive and tax-friendly investment hub. You pay no tax on yields earned from an investment in the Asuncion stock exchange, and both the value-added (or sales) tax and the rate of corporate tax are 10%. This corporate tax rate compares nicely with those in Argentina (35%), Colombia and Brazil (34%), and Peru (30%).

"At about 400,000 square kilometers, Paraguay is the size of California. It has a total population of 7 million (70% of which is younger than 30 years old), a working population of 3.1 million, and a GDP of US$26 billion. The guarani is the official currency; the current rate of exchange between the guarani and the U.S. dollar is about 4,600 to 1.

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Assessing Your Best Overseas Residency Options

7 Things To Know Before Becoming Resident Overseas

Oct. 26, 2014 Panama City, Panama A checklist of questions to ask about any residency visa you’re considering.

"First one of these things?"

"Yea. I've been watching and reading for about two years and thought I'd finally come see what all this is about for myself. Flew in from Austin yesterday."

"Austin? That was a quick, easy hop."

"You bet! Two hours and 2 minutes."

"My wife thinks I'm insane for coming. That's why she's not with me..."

"Ha! Mine, too. I figure it's for the best. Easier without her here. This way I don't have to worry that she's not happy. I can focus on my research...maybe have a little fun on my own."

"Right...and we won't have to spend any time shopping..."

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Rental Investment At Carmelita Gardens, Cayo, Belize

Filling A Market Need Creates A Cash-Flow Opportunity In Cayo, Belize


Oct. 24, 2014 Belize City, Belize River Club at Carmelita Gardens in Cayo, Belize, is a chance to make a property investment in this expanding market.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

We've been reporting on the simple, back-to-basics lifestyle on offer in the region of Belize known as Cayo for years. This remains one of our favorite go-off-grid escape zones.

And we're not the only ones enamored with what Cayo, Belize, has to offer. This is the fastest-growing area of the country. More tourists than ever are passing through—backpackers, sure, but more discriminating travelers, too. New businesses are opening. And growing numbers of would-be retirees are making their way to this region of rivers and rain forest to see if it might be a place they'd be happy to call home.

All this attention is creating an opportunity.

Read more...

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Kathleen Peddicord

Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 25 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter.

Her book, How To Retire Overseas—Everything You Need To Know To Live Well Abroad For Less, was recently released by Penguin Books.

Read more here.

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