4 Countries that are Hidden Gems When it Comes to Building an Online Business

There are a lot of businesses out there that are designed for doing remotely. That’s because there are a lot of nomadic souls who don’t want to be in one spot. We go where the warm weather and culture is. There are some great spots in the world where having an online business can be really advantageous. This is based on how welcoming they are to working expats, the tax systems, the quality of life, and how easy it is to set up your laptop business.

Colombia

Columbia has a bad rap for being a cocaine-driven country that is ultra-corrupt. While there is that, it’s likely you won’t be caught up in any of that. It was once considered one of the world’s most violent places, but has since evolved. The city of Medellin is popular right now. It’s full of expats, and has a beautiful backdrop. It’s even been named City of the Year and World’s Most Innovative City. These are impressive claims.

As Columbia gains more notoriety, more tourists are going there. This makes it safer in many ways. Still, Columbia has a very poor currency, which means it’s really cheap to live here. That’s a bonus for anyone working online. If you’re going to hire staff here, you won’t have to pay them much either.

If you do become a tax resident, they will base your taxes there on worldwide income. You’ll have to stay in the country for more than six months to get residential status though. Otherwise, you can stay on a tourist visa for three months. These are obtainable at the airport. If you want to stay longer, you can apply for a residence visa. You can get one by proving that you make 10 times more than the Columbian minimum wage or invest in a local company. The minimum investment is $30,000, but you can invest in your own company if you want.

 

Panama

Modern City View, Panama City

If you’re looking to grow a company on a bigger scale, Panama is a great place to get a local labor pool. They all speak decent English and are willing to work for companies outside of Panama for a decent wage. The city, Panama City, is a major melting pot for people from all over the world. Many American settlers have been here for generations. Many people have recently migrated to Panama from the U.S. because of the quality of life and tax breaks.

In 2012, the prime minister at the time issued an order to create the “Friendly Nations” visa program. Panama targeted people who were seeking opportunities from other countries around the world. Specifically, they were welcoming young adults from North America and Europe. The program makes it easy to get residence and permits to work. If you land in Panama, you’ll have an easy time starting a life here and getting the help you need too.

There is a great standard of living, and if you’re considered a tax resident, you only have to pay taxes to Panama for income earned there. If you decide to go hang out in another country for a few months, you won’t have to make money there.

Slovenia

Slovenia is at the top of the list for the richest of the Slavic countries. Once part of the Yugoslavia, it doesn’t get the hordes of tourists that Italy has, but it has a star quality to it that can’t be beat. It is really close to Austria, Hungary, Italy, and Croatia. The summers are pristine and the winters are chilly but with plenty to do. There are plenty of mountains that offer downhill skiing and other snow sports. It also has 29 miles (47 kilometers) of Mediterranean coastline. The Alps, Dinaric Alps, Pannonian Plain, and Mediterranean Sea are all within this lovely country.

Due to its troubled past, it isn’t expensive to live here at the moment. It gained European Union (EU) membership in 2004 and has seen some great infrastructure develop since then. It is no longer an Eastern European country in despair. It still has old world charm, and that can be seen in Ljubljana. There are only 275,000 people living there, but it’s easy to get to the beaches and ski resorts. If you’re into something a little more adventurous, give Slovenia a try for a while. In the city, most people speak English, and the locals are always willing to help.

Portugal

Portugal is one of the oldest countries in Europe. Its borders haven’t changed since 1249. When you go here, you’ll experience all the history that exists here. It can be felt in the buildings. Think about this, Lisbon is 400 years older than Rome and is the second-oldest city in Europe after Athens.

In modern days, the best beach is here and there’s awesome golfing too. There are a myriad of hiking trails. You can surf here and there’s good, cheap wine. In Lisbon, there are 220 sunny days per year. On the Algarve coast, you can expect up to 300 sunny days per year. The best part of Portugal is that the Global Peace Index states that it is one of the safest countries in the world.

The education and healthcare systems are excellent thanks to their alliance with Britain. You can also thank the British for the fact that it’s common for people to speak English there. They have a healthy diet, and the Portuguese wine is as good as Argentinian or Chilean. It just hasn’t been as discovered. Food, wine, and rent are extremely affordable, which makes it a great place to hang your hat if you can work remotely.

It is one of the easiest places to get residency status. You just have to show that you can support yourself with about 1,200 euros per month. This will give you access to a resident permit. When you spend more than 183 days in the country per year, you’ll become a tax resident. As a bonus, Portugal has a Non-Habitual Tax Resident regime. Basically you can stay in Portugal for 10 years and run a business without paying income tax.

So there you have it. These countries are some of the nicest places to work remotely in the world right now. Largely undiscovered by the masses, they are easy to live in and don’t cost a lot. They have lovely activities that can be done in your spare time with the potential to grow your business. All these countries have one thing in common too. They have fast Internet that doesn’t cost a lot.

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Loraine Couturier
Staff writer: Loraine Couturier is a jet set writing chick from Canada that travels around the globe. Her writing and marketing skills are what keeps her eating exotic meals and jumping on planes. Loraine loves writing about pretty much anything and likes to pass on the knowledge she has to others. Visit her at lorainecouturier.com

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Staff writer: Loraine Couturier is a jet set writing chick from Canada that travels around the globe. Her writing and marketing skills are what keeps her eating exotic meals and jumping on planes. Loraine loves writing about pretty much anything and likes to pass on the knowledge she has to others. Visit her at lorainecouturier.com

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