European Expansion: How to Grow Your Business in Europe

European expansion is no longer only for big corporations. SMEs, start-ups, scale-ups, remote-first businesses - you name it. All can tap into the European market if you know how to do it correctly. Read on to find out how you can grow your business in Europe.

European Expansion: How to Grow Your Business in Europe
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Growing your business in Europe can bring your company a wealth of perks. Europe provides economic stability and fertile ground to grow your business. Whatever your business goals are, European expansion can help you diversify your products and services, find new customers, and grow your revenue streams. 

European expansion is also a great way to source the best talent. Particularly with the rise of remote work, you can easily reap the benefits of global employment.

But you still need to know how to navigate the various challenges that you might face along the way. Here we clue you in on how remote employment could be the perfect strategy to grow your business in Europe.

Why Grow Your Business in Europe?

If you grow your business in Europe, you can access an incredibly diverse market, great infrastructure, and affluent customers. The EU and many local cities and countries have also been working on incentives and simplified processes for foreign businesses to set up shop in Europe.

Customers, however, are not the only perk of European expansion. You can also tap into a highly educated talent pool. Global employment in Europe will help you diversify your company culture, bring your team a range of expertise and skills, and build the right products, services, and business strategies in your selected markets. Let’s break this down further.

Advantages of European Expansion

So far we’ve already sung the praises of growing your business in Europe. The following advantages of European expansion are of particular relevance to businesses of all shapes and sizes:  

Access to a Diverse Market

Europe is home to a diverse market. The region is economically interconnected, particularly through the EU, EEA, and Schengen agreement. But it is also extremely diverse. Regional differences vary greatly, allowing you to pick and choose the right place, economy, and population to build your European expansion.

Free Movement of Goods in the EU and EEA

Free Movement of Goods means businesses and consumers can benefit from no restrictions on quantities and no customs duties within the EU and the EEA (including all EU states and Liechtenstein, Iceland, and Norway). This means that even if you decide to grow your business in one country, you can easily expand into neighbouring markets as well by moving your products and services across borders.

Access Top Talent with the Right Skills

To grow your business effectively in Europe and globally, you need access to a diverse talent pool with the right skillset. Europe can offer you just that. You can set up a physical office space or simply grow your remote teams. For example, if you’re looking to hire a French employee, you will need an employer of record in France. Many countries are making new provisions for remote employment, such as Belarus, to help companies stay compliant. You can employ your new European talent remotely and develop a remote work culture.

Opportunity to Save Costs

By having a business base in Europe, you can save on shipping, transportation, and manufacturing costs. While the initial investment may be high, European expansion could really help you build your products, services, and brand in ways you wouldn’t otherwise have considered.

World globe showing Europe

Disadvantages of European Expansion

There are some challenges to European expansion and global employment. While some may be difficult, they are not insurmountable. The trick is to strategize and meet these challenges head on. Here are some of the key pitfalls to watch out for:

Cultural Differences Across Europe

Europe is linguistically and culturally diverse. You will have to adapt your products and services in all the countries where you want to access customers. When building your global employment strategy, you also need to consider how employees in different countries will have different expectations and different ways of communicating. From when to take lunch breaks, onboarding, and how to approach customers,  to linguistic barriers - these differences need careful consideration when planning your European expansion.

Not All Countries Are Part of the EU or EEA

While free movement of goods sounds perfect, you also need to remember that not all countries in Europe are part of the EU or the EEA. You will have to look into your home country’s individual tax and trade agreements with your target country to figure out how you can sell your products and services compliantly.

Legal Compliance Can Be Complex

While the EU and EEA agreements provide some uniformity across signing countries, there are still many legal differences on how a business can operate. This includes remote work and remote employment regulations. Wherever your employees are based in Europe, you will need to consider individual countries’ working hours, paid leave, and wages, among many others.

Is European Expansion Right for Your Business?

Whether European Expansion is right for your business or not depends on your business goals. With a careful strategy in place, you can grow your business sustainably. Take your time to evaluate how much you are able to invest in business expansion at this point. Then you can plan where to start. 

You might want to begin in a specific country where your product or service is particularly relevant. Do your market research and find out where your potential customers are and who they are. Then tailor your brand, products, and services to their needs.

You should also invest in proper research into legal compliance in the country where you would like to grow your business first. Find out what options you have as a foreign employer. 

You also need to look into local employment law and practices. With the right remote team on the ground, you will be able to reach your customers in the right way. While your own company culture is important, respect your employees’ local business and working practices as well.

How to Grow Your Business with Remote Teams

Having a local team of employees will help you find the right solutions to the various challenges of European expansion. Remote teams are a particularly great option to grow your business online in Europe. You can lower your overhead costs, like office spaces, and focus on remote employee engagement and high-ROI activities. Here are some first steps you can take to grow your business with remote teams:

  1. Check for Permanent Establishment (PE) risk: as a first step, check if your business activities, especially those tasks being undertaken by an employee in a new country, will trigger PE risk. Generally, any revenue-generating activity is considered a PE trigger. It is always good to check in advance and signal your transparency, particularly regarding taxes, to the authorities.
  2. Open a legal presence: find out what kind of legal presence you can open. This does not necessarily mean opening up a physical office. Countries, like Germany, allow businesses to set up virtual companies to test the waters and then grow your business. Find out what options you have in advance.
  3. Find the right candidate: this will help you get the ball rolling as soon as your legal presence is established in Europe. Publish broadly and on various European and international job sites. Make sure to look for the right skillset so your new talent can help you achieve your business goals. Include job descriptions that are culturally sensitive, offering the right salaries and benefits. Consider publishing the job description in your working language as well as the local language of the country where you are hiring.
  4. Employ compliantly: make sure you are employing your new hires according to local employment law. This will protect both your business and your employees. This way they can get started right away. Omnipresent can help you hire global talent compliantly, and take care of all the associated administration.
  5. Remote Management: ensure you have a strategy for communicating with and managing your team remotely. Be flexible, as it may change especially in the beginning, but have a plan of action. Make sure your team knows how to communicate with each other and how to manage their tasks remotely.

There is no one size-fits-all solution for how to grow your business, but remote teams are a great idea if you want to work in multiple European countries.

Grow Your Business in Europe with Omnipresent

As a remote-first business with employees all around the world, Omnipresent is perfectly positioned to help you build your European expansion strategy. We have personally faced many of the challenges of business expansion that we’ve listed here. With all this experience under our belt, we can help you grow your business in Europe with absolute peace of mind.

Our solution is built on the lessons we are learning daily on how to grow a business through remote employment. You tell us who and where you want to employ and we employ them on your behalf. More than a traditional EOR or PEO, we offer a complete, tech-enabled global employment service to help you hire remote talent anywhere and stay compliant. This includes:

Schedule a call with us today so we can help you grow your business in Europe.

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Uriel Eldan

Uriel has been working in the tech space for the past six years; first as a Tech-Regulation Lawyer and a Venture Capital Investor in Tel Aviv, then in Berlin as VP of Business Development in an AI startup. Most recently, he joined Omnipresent as Head of International Expansion. Having gained degrees in Law, Business Management, and Accounting, Uri is passionate about the interaction between technology and business, and loves learning about how different cultures approach it.

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