Is The UK Really a Great Country For SMEs & Start-Ups?

Is the UK really an entrepreneur-friendly country? Despite TV shows like The Apprentice and Dragon’s Den, the reality of getting a small business off the ground and expanding to a headcount over 10 is extremely difficult. Local councils in particular are very anti-business and would often prefer to see a town centre colonised by apartments, rather than thriving shops and offices.

Then there’s the employer NI, Stakeholder pension payments and CT to think about, plus a workforce in the UK who sometimes see working for slightly above the benefits package level as a waste of their time. Add on some high office rent, insurance, maintenance & utility charges, plus parking space taxes and you can see why your end product has to be priced quite high – the overheads in both time and money in the UK are considerable.

So, if your insurtech biz is going well, maybe there are other countries worth looking at? Let’s face it, if over half your staff are WFH, does it matter where that home is located?

To give an idea of the best countries overseas to start a business in and using data garnered from a variety of statistical websites, such as StatistaBlacktower Financial Management Group ranked 31 countries across Europe as the best places for entrepreneurs, based on the percentage of the population with university degrees, average net salary, corporate tax rate, cost of living, and office renting cost per square metre.

The report analysed and assigned a value of 1-5 for each factor, each factor being weighed differently. For example, low corporation tax and higher degree percentage in the population would have scored higher.

The countries were then ranked based on which had the highest score overall when the score of our five chosen factors were combined together.

Rank

Country

Degree Prevalence (%)

Average Net Salary (€)

Corporate Tax Rate (%)

Cost of Living (€)

Annual Office Renting Cost Per Square Metre (€)

1

Lithuania

38.7

1059

15

567.79

204

2

Cyprus

40.2

1658

12.5

712.25

156

3

Bulgaria

25.6

665

10

486.92

240

4

Hungary

23.6

950

9

486.49

162

5

Estonia

37.1

1214

20

661.08

228

6

Latvia

33.2

1050

20

599.41

216

7

Poland

28.9

1002

19

515.22

294

8

Slovenia

31.5

1363

19

655.07

180

9

Romania

16.2

785

16

463.1

228

10

Croatia

22

974

18

585.85

207

11

Slovakia

23.9

919

21

566.8

204

12

Portugal

25.4

1110

21

533.65

288

13

Greece

28.5

1116

24

640.16

252

14

Ireland

42.8

3041

12.5

853.97

673

15

Spain

36

2039

25

619.47

408

16

Finland

39.8

2509

20

812.57

444

17

Czech Republic

21.1

1250

19

603.35

288

18

Belgium

37.6

2442

25

813.53

315

19

Netherlands

36.6

2152

25

908.98

221

20

Malta

28.1

1021

35

733.45

175

21

Luxembourg

40.9

3573

24.9

960.25

427

22

Austria

31.3

3104

25

840.73

312

23

Sweden

38.3

2770

20.6

838.62

1022

24

Denmark

33.7

3914

22

937.2

275

25

Italy

17.9

1752

24

757.29

360

26

UK

40.6

2454

19

786.61

1513

27

Norway

38.8

3795

22

1134.4

562

28

France

35.3

2791

26.5

849.99

890

29

Iceland

36.8

3221

20

1102.01

858

30

Germany

27.2

2952

30

802.35

540

31

Switzerland

39.3

4902

14.9

1415.75

688

Eastern Europe and the Baltic countries are the most promising

One place new business can thrive is in those nations whose economies are rising quickly to begin competing with those of other more established countries, like France and the UK. Interestingly, the majority of the top countries sat firmly in Eastern Europe.

At the top of the ranking for promising countries for new business entrepreneurs is Lithuania. With a corporate tax rate of just 15%, and low office renting costs, establishing, and turning a profit with a new business could be simpler than anticipated.

Next up, we have Cyprus and Bulgaria. Cyprus has an even lower corporate tax rate, just 12.5%, but its higher cost of living puts it just below Lithuania. Bulgaria, on the other hand, sits in third place due to its low degree percentage. However, all three countries could make prime new business investment opportunities.

Countries offering the lowest rent costs and corporate tax

Besides Cyprus and Hungary, some of the countries with the lowest rent costs include Malta, Slovakia, and the Netherlands. Paying lower costs for good office space is always helpful for a new business, allowing you to invest resources elsewhere.

And to save funds on corporate tax, then Ireland, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic make for good options outside of the top ten.

To view a list of all the countries and to know more about Blacktower please visit: https://www.blacktowerfm.com/news/top-european-countries-for-new-business-entrepreneurs/

About alastair walker 10158 Articles
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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