Expanding a business to a different part of the world is like playing a game of chess: if the right moves aren’t taken, it could mean checkmate for your company.
So, to ensure the game is played in your favor, it’s important to know which European countries do business well and which ones will leave you feeling defeated, be you thinking of hopping from one country to the next or across the pond from North America.
There are various advantages and disadvantages to doing business in different European markets. In order to understand the complexities of each market, detailed research and thoughtful planning is a must.
Luckily, the World Bank has created an “ease of doing business index” to help streamline the planning process. With the index, countries are rated on the ease of their business regulations, contract enforcement, and property rights among other things.
Here are a few of the top European countries to do business with according to the index:
• Denmark – Coming in at number five, Denmark is the first European country to land a spot on the index. Because of its impressive import/export industry and its healthy economy, Denmark is a great partner for any business.
• Sweden – Widely known as having an unparalleled standard of living, Sweden is number 13 on the index. Not only is its economy flawless, Swedish consumerism is always high in the ranks compared to other European countries.
• Ireland – Although it’s number fifteen on the index, Ireland is still a solid choice for an expanding business. Ireland’s economy has been steadily rising ever since it accepted the euro and it has some of the most favorable taxes in Europe.
Some other European countries worth mentioning are Norway and the United Kingdom (though some Brits bristle at the idea of being lumped in with the rest of Europe).
Just keep in mind that each country has its own unique benefits, so it’s wise to base decisions on your own research as well.
Now that the European countries worth doing business in are out of the way, it’s time to move on to the countries that aren’t worth a second of your business’s time. And, although these countries aren’t top on the list now, it doesn’t mean things can’t change.
That said, here are a few European countries your business might want to avoid:
• Russia – In terms of obtaining permits, economic growth, and importing/exporting, Russia is a business’s worst nightmare. Also, the Russian government has trade bans with practically every country in the European Union.
• Ukraine – Ignoring the fact it’s close to impossible just to get a business’s electricity turned on, Ukraine taxes take a huge percentage of profits from businesses both large and small. Last but not least, it’s in political upheaval. The recent shoot down of a Malaysian Airlines jetliner with nearly 300 people on board showed much of the world just how bad things are in this former Soviet republic.
• Greece – Unfortunately, due to political and religious unrest, Greece’s economy is at an all-time low. And, because of the unyielding government, the country’s recession isn’t ending anytime soon.
As mentioned before, markets fluctuate all the time.
Some European countries that aren’t favorable for business expansion now could be in the near future.
For instance, countries like Poland and Hungary are bettering their economies every day.
So, when choosing the best European market for your business, keep in mind the good countries, the bad countries, and the rate at which each country is improving.
About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of quality content. He writes on a variety of topics for sites such as MediaShower.com.