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Andy Brice
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BreezeTree Software

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host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Anyone ever moved countries with their company?

I am based in the UK currently with a limited company. Standard sort of set up with myself and wife as shareholders and employees (she does admin & marketing).

We are strongly considering moving countries to live (having already lived abroad for 10 years before coming back to the UK). I have been searching in vain for details on what this might involve, but my Google Fu is insufficient - too much noise in the search results. I am in any case planning to book a session with an accountant in Australia (likely destination) just to try and get a rough handle on what might be involved - but I'd be very interested to hear if anyone here has gone through the same thing. I suppose the answers could well be very country specific, but still.
Anon123 Send private email
Friday, December 18, 2015
I escaped from the US and don't regret it.

In my case the US has passed various laws to try and confiscate all your assets if you dare to leave, just like the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany did (and no other countries historically). Also they claim that you have to pay them taxes forever even if you're not in the US.

I recommend you use obfuscated intermediate legal entities to transfer assets, and you move your furniture and personal belongings to some other country first, then to your final destination, after appropriate relabeling.

Also, change your name, shred your old connections, never contact your family again, and acquire a new passport with no connection to your old name.
Scott Send private email
Friday, December 18, 2015
I honestly can't tell if you're being serious or sarcastic, Scott.
PSB136 Send private email
Saturday, December 19, 2015
It's basic common sense. Also: lawyer up, hit the gym, and delete facebook.
Scott Send private email
Sunday, December 20, 2015
Scott, I sincerely enjoy your sense of humor :)
Chester Send private email
Sunday, December 20, 2015
Hi Anon123,

Ironically enough, I'm from Australia and have lived permanently in the UK for almost a decade.

I set up a separate limited company here (which was faster and cheaper to do than Oz). I still have the Oz company.
I basically wound down the accounts in Oz although retain the shell for other reasons (and submit annual null tax returns).

When you're looking at finances look beyond the exchange rate (which is relatively favourable at the moment). The costs of living for many items is higher in Australia than the UK.

If you're involved in personal services (e.g. IT consulting), the tax rules in Oz differ quite a lot from the UK. Having your wife on the payroll and paying yourself dividends with a smaller tax hit (and lowering your NI contributions) are two things you won;t be able to get away with in Australia.
A session with a good local Accountant is a sound decision which will comfortably pay for itself.

A couple of resources (which you have probably already found) are:

The Australian High Commission (http://uk.embassy.gov.au/) for migration. Australia House is in central London and worth an appointment if you're close enough.

For setting up a company in Oz, refer to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (http://asic.gov.au/).

All the best -
Marcus from London Send private email
Thursday, December 24, 2015
You didn't tell us what you want. Moving is not a goal.

You should precise what you clearly want. Some people move to Thailand because girls are more approachable there. So the lack of infrastructure is compensated by something else. This is probably not the case for you.

You don't make the country chose based on relocation expenses. You only move once (unless you are planning to move all the time). So you should figure out how it'll average out for you on the long run.
Abid Omar Send private email
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Thanks - yeah, I figured it would be different. We did all live in Australia for 10 years (both my kids born there), so we know what we are getting into in that regard, just not the business (and tax) side. I will get a session booked with an accountant and see what he says. The UK divs "rort" (if you want to think of it like that) is coming to an end (or at least, getting less attractive) from the next tax year. I got the impression that there were quite a lot of allowable expenses for small companies in Aus but perhaps in different areas - it would be most interesting to get a complete evaluation of a years takings, say, and see what the tax treatment would be like compared to the UK. I wonder if even keeping the UK company would be an option - a question for the accountant I guess.

I know what I want from the move, as we lived there for quite a few years. I also have some friends that live in Thailand and work remotely (although not for the reasons you suggested - mostly for tax reasons). If I was not encumbered by a young family then something like that would be a serious option.
Anon123 Send private email
Friday, January 08, 2016

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