Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
Sections
You are here: Home Focus Best Countries to run an Online Business in Europe

Best Countries to run an Online Business in Europe

The term global village sums up what the world has become in this age of the Internet. It doesn't matter how many trade barriers governments keep imposing. A small business in London can sell its products in all continents.

Despite the world connections, any new business must pick a good location to succeed. Europe is full of great locations for all types of businesses. With the right licenses, you can sell your products across the continent and probably expand to overseas countries. Here are the best countries to start an online business in Europe.

Sweden

Sweden was the best place to do business in 2017 according to Forbes. The country is likely to retain the number one spot in 2018. Ranked position 17 in 2006, the European nation transformed its approach to businesses in the next one decade. Industries that were once heavily regulated were deregulated. Government projects that didn't provide substantial returns to the country faced budget cuts.

A lot of areas formerly taxed benefited from lower cuts, including a 97% cut on data centers. Online businesses benefited the most from the low data center tax cuts. The Swedish people also benefited from increased job opportunities and disposable incomes.

New businesses opening up in Sweden have almost everything they would wish for set up. It's easy to start a business. Taxes for online businesses are tolerable and there is a ready market for almost every product. Sweden also makes it easy to expand globally with their progressive work visas should you need expatriates in the long run.

Ireland

While Sweden is the best country due to transformations made in the last one decade, Ireland boomed in the '90s. The country's major industries grew in double digits between 1995 and 2006. Ireland's incredible growth rate slowed during the global financial crisis of 2008.

Ireland has since then bounced back into world rankings for the best country for online businesses. In 2017, the country was ranked fourth for best countries to do businesses. Their 12.5% corporate tax rates have seen major brands set up branches in the country. Google, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter all have their European headquarters in the country.

With major online brands choosing Ireland, setting up an online business in Dublin may not be a bad idea. However, it's worth noting that most of the nation's cities have small populations. Dublin, the capital, has 530,000 people. Cork has 130,000 while Belfast has 280,000. If you decide to open a business in the country, consider targeting both local and international customers.

The United Kingdom

Up to 88% of Britons believe you can succeed in life if you live and work hard in any part of the UK. Forbes also believes Britain is a great place to start a business, having ranked it fifth in the world in 2017. There is no shortage of businesses to start in any of the four countries (England, Scotland, Wales and North Ireland).

Unlike many European nations, the UK boasts of having ties with lots of countries in the world. The Common Wealth Nations, which are all former UK colonies, allow Britons to expand their businesses worldwide. From Canada to Australia, Jamaica to Nigeria, a UK-based startup can expand serve all parts of the world.

The UK leads in supporting online startups in Europe and around the world. The world's largest online gambling sites are headquartered in London, Gibraltar or several other UK territories. Many eSport startups also have their licenses in England.

For a long time, the UK has benefited from online businesses by making progressive licensing and taxation laws. Only recently have countries like Malta, New Zealand and Canada posed competition in some of the industries.

Still, the great online gaming sites you find on kiwislots.nz, Canada and other European nations are a fraction of UK-based platforms. As such, Britain will continue to boast of hosting multiple online startups at least in the next one decade.

Malta

Malta may not be the largest country in Europe, but it's one of the best destinations for online businesses. Some of the world's largest iGaming companies are headquartered in Malta. So big is the industry there that it generates 12% of Malta's economy.

The most famous online brands in Malta are Betfair, Bettson and Genesis Casino. Malta attracts the companies with low taxes, ease of doing business and world-recognized licenses. The regulation is strict but progressive enough to support upcoming businesses.

Compared to a country like Canada, Malta fairs better in attracting iGaming companies. And considering Europe is the biggest marketplace for online gambling startups, it is able to earn billions in revenues. Irrespective of that, Canada still attracts many iGaming companies. Click here to see online casinos in Canada.

Bulgaria

Bulgaria was once overlooked when people mentioned great countries to start online businesses. Not anymore after a slew of liberal laws made it possible to open a business in just 18 days. Additionally, the costs of opening up a business in the country are less than €5,000. You also don't need to have money in the bank to open a business.

If you have your business capital ready and money to pay for licensing, you can launch your business in any part of the country. You don't need to be rich to start up a business, which is what makes Bulgaria a great place for businesses.

Germany

Soundcloud is the most famous startup to have started in Germany. With 177 million users, the music company is also one of the most used apps in the world. With the UK on the brink of exiting EU, Germany is poised to attract hundreds of online startups.

Companies that choose to leave the UK post-Brexit will mostly head to Germany in search for freedom of movement and other benefits. Of course, Deutschland will face competition from Spain and the Netherlands, two other large countries in Europe. But still, Germany's low taxes and huge population offers great benefit to startups.

To Conclude

Europe is one of the largest marketplaces for online businesses. Almost half of Forbes best countries for businesses in 2017 were based on the continent. Progressive tax laws, ease of doing business and high disposable incomes are some of the reasons business choose European nations.

Document Actions
EU Alerts

EUbusiness Week no. 840
Blame game is to blame
→ EUbusiness Week archive

The Week Ahead no. 420
Macroeconomic imbalances - disinformation - sustainable corporate governance - consumer protection - road accident compensation - water reuse in agriculture

Subscription options