What are the most common challenges that expat entrepreneurs have to face as they do business overseas?
When most people think of expat entrepreneurs, they picture those digital nomads sitting on a beach, drinking a margarita while typing away on their laptop. While those people certainly exist, most of us expat entrepreneurs have a 9-5 schedule in an office just like the rest of the world.
The challenges we face, though, don’t look nearly the same as our home-country counterparts.
Whether you’re looking to start a business overseas and you want to know what to expect, or you’re an expat already doing business in another country and you just need to know that you’re not alone in these challenges…this is something that’s important to hear.
As I record this podcast, I’m literally sitting on a beach in Thailand. This isn’t normal for me (I’m usually in western China) but hey, I’ve got to take advantage of it while I can, right? 🙂
Anyway, here are my top 8 challenges that I’ve faced personally as well as those that I’ve heard others express as I’ve interviewed them these past few months:
- Visas: How can we remain a legal resident of our host country?
- Business Bureaucracy: How can we maintain a legal business entity?
- Language Barrier: How much do we learn of the local language?
- Dealing with Cultural Differences: How should we treat our employees? What do they expect of us as employers? What is the cultural etiquette in our host culture?
- Caring for your Family: How do we ensure that our kids are getting a quality education? Do our wives have a healthy support network to lean on while we’re traveling?
- Double Taxation: How do I work to limit my exposure to double taxation (mostly for US citizens working abroad).
- Moving Money into/out of our Host Country
- Exit Strategy: We can’t stay here forever…so how do we plan to exit?
Do you think there are more challenges that us expat entrepreneurs face that haven’t been listed here? I encourage you to please leave a comment below to share it with us.