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Benefits of second citizenship for doing business abroad

Investors with second passports or residence permits can register companies abroad, reduce their tax burden and attend business meetings in other countries without visas.

Learn more about the business opportunities one can access with a second passport and real-life stories from business people.

Advantages of setting up a business abroad with a second passport or a residence permit

Register a company in another country. Many states allow foreigners to register companies. But difficulties can arise, like strict checks when opening a bank account and the need to find a local agent or appoint a resident as a director.

Second citizenship allows you to avoid difficulties when starting a business abroad. For example, Maltese citizens enjoy the same rights as citizens of other EU countries; in particular, they can register companies in any EU member state.

Portugal, Cyprus and some other countries offer residence permits for business investments.

Investors can choose jurisdictions with a positive image and not included in “black” or “grey” lists. Also, opening a business abroad can make work easier. For example, it’ll allow the company to avoid currency controls.

Optimise taxes. Companies and their owners can reduce the tax burden after registering a business in some countries.

For example, UAE companies registered in Free Zones are exempt from corporate tax for 15 years. International business companies (IBCs) don’t pay corporate tax for the first 20 years in Vanuatu; instead, they pay an annual fee of $300. In Malta, shareholders can recover up to 100% of the corporate tax paid by the company.

Attend business meetings and negotiations anytime. A second passport expands the opportunities for travelling to other countries. For example, it can unlock visa-free access to the Schengen Area and the UK. Besides, it may help you get a long-term visa to the USA.

Residents of the Schengen countries like Portugal, Greece, Spain, or Malta can visit other member states without visas. They can spend up to 90 days a year in any country in the region.

Investors’ stories about their international businesses

Portugal Startup Visa. Azeeb came up with a digital platform for learning foreign languages and decided to register a business in Europe. He learnt that founders of innovative projects could get Startup Visas and residence permits in Portugal. With our help, Azeeb and his project team got visas in 5 months, which made it possible for them to live and do business in an EU country.

Portugal Golden Visas for business investments. Ojasvat is one of the founders of an IT company. The partners decided to expand their business and open a branch in the EU. They chose Portugal for tax benefits, the ability to quickly meet with key customers and get Golden Visas for opening a company.

Tax optimisation with Dominica citizenship. Levon became a Dominica citizen in 2020. He transferred his business to the Caribbean a year later and changed his tax residence. It was the way to reduce the tax burden significantly.

Business trips to the USA with a Caribbean passport. Murat is a well-known neurosurgeon. He often attends conferences and business meetings in the States. However, one day he couldn’t get a visa and decided to participate in the St Kitts and Nevis CBI program to qualify for a 10-year US visa.

Opening a branch in the USA with a Grenada passport. Samuel owns a network of pharmaceutical companies. He wanted to open a branch in the USA to communicate directly with manufacturers, follow the results of clinical trials and be one of the first to supply new products to South Africa. Grenada citizenship suited him because it enabled him to get an E-2 business visa to the States.

Highlights about benefits of doing business abroad with a second passport

  1. A second passport simplifies starting a business abroad. For example, it eliminates the need to look for a resident business partner in countries where it is mandatory.
  2. Some countries, such as Portugal and Cyprus, offer to obtain a residence permit by investing in a business.
  3. Investors can legally reduce the tax burden on businesses by changing jurisdictions where it’s possible, for example, not to pay corporate tax for a certain period.
  4. A second passport expands the opportunities for travelling to business meetings without visas. For example, it may unlock visa-free entry to the UK and the Schengen countries.
  5. A Schengen residence permit allows you to spend up to 90 days out of 180 in other member states.

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Zlata Erlach, Caribbean Investment Program Expert
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