A Guide to European Expansion Best Practices

A Guide to European Expansion Best Practices

European expansion is top of mind for many small to midsize business owners in North America. It seems like the logical move for a few reasons, which include cultural likeness, global accessibility, and economic stability.


With nearly 500 million consumers and the free flow of good and services, a move to the European Union may be the best move for your company. In addition, the use of a singular currency and the push to cut red tape helps businesses grow throughout the entire EU.

Best Countries for European Expansion

Each European country offers its own unique experience and benefits for businesses. As a result, we suggest booking a trip to Europe and exploring markets of interest. Dive into the culture. Get to know the locals. Learn about their traditions. Find a country that identifies with your brand and makes the most sense for your business.

Here are a few ideas for inspiration.

United Kingdom

The UK is a logical choice for companies seeking European expansion. It's the European hub for business and gives you access to other areas in Europe. There is also a similar culture and language, which reduces some of the international complexities.

Getting approved for a UK visa can take some time, so make sure you plan ahead and provide plenty of time when planning your global strategy. Also, a service like International PEO can help you with visas and permits.


Topping Forbes list of best countries for business in 2017, Sweden is a great place to expand your operations. The European country benefits from deregulation and budget self-restraint. After cutting back on welfare benefits, Sweden encouraged more employment and put money back into its previously stagnant economy.

The country is also a hub for technological advancements and is home to many innovative startups including Skype and Spotify. As a result, there are many talented people eager for employment.


Denmark is one of the easiest countries to start and operate a business. Ongoing business reforms and deregulation help companies begin operations with smaller amounts of capital and minimal hurdles.

In addition, the country offers a highly flexible workforce. Its “flexicurity” model provides businesses with adaptable hiring and firing practices, which is uncommon in foreign markets.

European Expansion: Business Setup

When establishing a traditional entity or branch in Europe, you will work with the following organizations:

  • Tax & VAT Authorities
  • Social Security Authorities
  • European Business Register

Before committing for a permanent foreign subsidiary, we suggest staying lean and entering your chosen market with an agile approach. By avoiding investment in hard assets and a subsidiary, you can focus your time and money on continued growth and have the ability to move quickly into or out of a market depending on the success of your strategy.

Agile Approach to European Expansion

An option such as Foreign Subsidiary as a Service (FSaaS) allows businesses to expand into Europe without a permanent subsidiary. Such a large commitment ties you down and makes your business responsible for a plethora of compliance requirements.

On the other hand, FSaaS allows your company to employ an international team and sell services overseas without the hassle of maintaining regulatory responsibilities. In addition, your global partner manages your company’s taxable presence in Europe.

If you’re considering European expansion for your business, an agile approach like FSaaS could be an ideal solution for your team. We’d love to walk through the process of entering a new market with you.

Give us a call to learn more!

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