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Thread: Idea For Setting Up An Overseas Company

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  1. #1

    Idea For Setting Up An Overseas Company

    I want to set up a limited liability company that I base in my home country (UK), yet I am not there very often, and I think I can do it all online. However, it would be better to have a physical office rather than a virtual one. So that people or myself can occasionally work there, sift through the pile of mail, display the business name on a wall (with legal documents etc.), and interview somebody etc.

    One idea would be to rent a small office during summer and employ a work experience person such as an undergraduate or retired professional, with the idea of teaching them the aspects of the business so they could later work on their own, part time, where we communicate via the web.

    And if they were an exceptional person, maybe they could become a business partner?

    The start-up could be for say a couple of months in the rented office space, and then we would leave the office once the training period and bonding was over, and maybe use a business services provider for the business address, telephone answering etc.

    After this, I could leave the country and have a contractor/partner who understands my business and a credible physical place where my business is based.

    I'd be interested in your thoughts on this, especially if you have started a business in a similar fashion. The business itself will be mostly web based such as online marketing and web development. Also I feel a strong desire to limit myself from personal liability given the growth of lawyers looking to help people sue businesses for profit.

  2. #2

    I am just a dummy, but this is what I would do. If you are talking about the US, I would research each state because some have different laws and you might find a better deal from one state to another on the cost of setting up the company.

    Next I would look into a smaller town close to a big city in the state you pick. Here is the reason for that. I have found that the rent is better in a smaller town. You might be able to get office space in the smaller town for 6 mo for the same price that you pay for 2 mo in a large city. Just in case something happens that you still might need the office after the two mo and your person you pick don't work out. (No extra $ would be spent on rent that way.

    Your looking at the summer, most student are home for the summer meaning the right place you could find the right employee before they go back to school in the fall.

    Just a thought.

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  3. #3
    So you would set up a small company, and trust someone to work there (someone that is undergraduated, or retired) doing the things you ask, but without being there to make sure he does the job? Without even knowing that person?

    I don't know, but that doesn't sound right IMO. I'd try to start a small company but stay in UK for 6 months or something and than employ somebody just to see if it works or not and eventually if it works out you can go outside again, but you should really still control it. Even if you'll have to pay that guy an hourly rate for just talking one hour per day via Skype to you about what happened etc.

    You'd give that person a huge responsibility, too high IMO..
    |Nico Lawsons

  4. #4
    I founded my private limited company earlier this year. The 'limited' part of the company also meant a lot to me. Before that i was just 'self employed' being personally liable for my professional actions.

    Like you mentioned, i think its a good idea to train the employee first and to get to know each better before leaving that person alone. The one thing i noted is that another person may not be as passionate -however still capable- about your business as yourself.

    The idea of a rented office sounds good. In our city for example there are office rooms with shared facilities for rent that can help reducing costs compared to owning a full fledged office.

  5. #5
    The other person may find it very interesting and fun since they would be learning a lot of interesting cutting-edge stuff and watching the business develop. Like most new career jobs are quite exciting for the first few months.

    I'm not keen to have any permanent employees, hence the idea of the work experience person or part-time retiree. Maybe I should look for both, since they would have widely different skills to bring to the table? One could help develop websites and the other could drum up business.

    Although I might refer to them as a partner(s), I would have full control over the company and only let them in (stock holders) if they showed great potential and drive etc.

    For the office, I was thinking of a room in a shared facility above shops to keep the cost to a minimum. This would also make it easy to connect with local businesses and provide them with my web-based service.

    The need for limited liability comes from the fact that I plan to sell services to large numbers of business clients and I wouldn't sleep soundly at night if I thought my home and savings could be taken away from me by one bad law suit.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy101 View Post
    The other person may find it very interesting and fun since they would be learning a lot of interesting cutting-edge stuff and watching the business develop. Like most new career jobs are quite exciting for the first few months.
    How will you convince them that this isn't a 1-month-job, but that you're planning on staying? I mean, I guess it's easier to recruit when you're open for some months rather than when you just opened.

    For example, are you sure you will be able to cover the costs? And yep, you might be able but keep in mind that you might earn more money if you would stay in your own office and do the work for six months (less costs, maybe more earnings) than having that person in the office (more costs, maybe less earnings).

    In the end it's all about earning money, no? That 6-months-money, you can use those earnings to further expand the business then when your business is already developed a bit further

    Ofcourse, that's just my opinion
    |Nico Lawsons

  7. #7
    Before I start this, I will have to have the system in place and well planned out. It's based on a JV project that I have yet to start and is aimed at a global scale, so I need to involve other people.

    I think it will be easy to get somebody to work for me since I can target the school/college work-experience market or part-timers via classified Ads.

    At first they will see it as just a part-time job, but if I pick the right candidates, they may soon appreciate that it could be so much more.

    For short-term money, it would be more profitable to go it alone, but to expand a business, you have to involve/invest in other people. Especially when you are operating internationally.

    I don't want to run around all day servicing clients, I want my team to do it for me, and I can reward them with an annual party in some exotic location each year, or on my yacht (chartered for the week)

  8. #8
    Here are my thoughts.

    1. You will probably have a very difficult time finding a student or part-time employee who is dedicated and will not spend most of their time goofing off while you are not around. These types of employees need a LOT of supervision. That is just a part of human nature. It might be better to subcontract, rather than hiring employees.

    2. In the USA, we have office parks where you can rent a small office and the management provides services such as answering the phone, data entry, typing, etc. You might have something similar in the UK. That way, you could use home-based part-time subcontractors and pay them for what they do and not on an hourly basis. You can also keep up the appearance of a staffed company with the phone receptionist services. I know several insurance agents and accountants who use these types of services.

    3. In the USA, the owner of a limited liability company still has personal liability in some situations, so it does not fully protect your personal assets. You also have a company liability from an employee's misdeeds or negligence, but you can protect yourself from that with subcontractors and a good contract.

    Andy, what do you do in Japan? I used to spend 2 to 3 months in Japan every year during the 1980s and early 1990s. I really like Japan and the Japanese people.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

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