By Lavanya Anand
India has the third largest start-up ecosystem in the world which is expected to witness a consistent annual growth of 12 to 15%. With the rise in the entrepreneurial culture in India, Indian entrepreneurs with innovative start-up ideas are looking to acquire residency through the business set-up route in countries that offer environment conducive to their business.
Access to foreign talent, a favourable business environment, opportunity for innovation and quality of living are some of the key reasons why Indian entrepreneurs are seeking business residency.
There are many options for Indian entrepreneurs to expand their business to other countries and settle abroad. Countries such as Canada, UK, Austria, Germany and UAE offer great opportunities to Indian entrepreneurs via various residency by business investment programs.
Such start-up residency visas are not only helping entrepreneurs but also aiding countries attract talent from across the world, thus stimulating their economy and creating employment opportunities for local residents.
Investment size, ease of setting up a company, residency benefits, tax regulations, legal compliances are some of the common factors that Indian entrepreneurs and start-ups should consider while choosing a specific country or residency program. One must also gather insights on the future prospects of the industry or line of business while choosing a country to invest in.
Also Read: Why buy real estate property in the US, Dubai, London and other top global cities?
Austria: Business Investor Residency Program
Austria has become one of the prime destinations for investment and innovative entrepreneurs from across the world. Easy access to EU market, trade benefits, affluent population, a vibrant investment culture and reasonable laws and regulations have made Austria a favourable place to reside and start a venture.
The Austria Business Investor Residency program helps immigration entrepreneurs to live and work in Austria if they can prove their ability to set up a viable business leading to job creation in the country . A minimum investment amount of 150,000 Euros (INR 1.3 crores) is required for approval of the permit. There is also a special residency permit for young entrepreneurs (<35 years age) who have businesses which are classified as innovative or have an investment in social or ecological ventures.
This special residency permit for young entrepreneurs requires an investment amount of 50,000 to 1,00,000 Euros (Rs 50 lakh – Rs 90 lakh).
Canada Start-up Visa Program
Canada has always been the most popular destination for attaining residency. The Canada Start-up visa program gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to immigrate to Canada with the purpose of setting up their business. There is no minimum investment involved, however the business idea should be unique and be able to create jobs for locals. Entrepreneurs seeking this program should also be able to show proof of funds for setting up the business in Canada.
UAE Business Residency Visa
With business friendly regulations, easy taxation, business connectivity and mobility and world class infrastructure, UAE is a hub for many flourishing businesses from across the world. The business residency visa allows individuals to set up their business in mainland Dubai or free zone with 100% ownership and attain UAE residency. The process is short and requires no minimum investment in the business. The cost of setting up a business is about AED 20,000 (Rs 5 Lakh).
Germany Business Investor Residence Program
As one of the most industrialised nations in Europe, Germany offers a good quality of life and great opportunities for entrepreneurs via the Business Investor Residency program. A business with a great value proposition, a strong educational background of the founder, scope for job creation are key factors considered by the government to grant business residency. The investment amount required for setting up the business is 250,000 to 500,000 Euros (Rs 2.5 crore to Rs 5 crore). Germany also offers a special business residency program for young entrepreneurs having innovative and meticulous business plans with a investment amount of only 50,000 to 100,000 Euros (Rs 50 lakh to Rs 90 lakh).
UK Innovator Visa
The UK innovator visa programs allows entrepreneurs and businesses to set up/expand their business to UK and attain UK residency. The business idea proposed should be unique, innovative, viable and scalable. This program requires an entrepreneur to have access to minimum 50,000 Pounds (about Rs 5 crore) for investment in the business. The residency visa granted is for 3 years, extendable for another 3 years.
Apart from the above programs, countries such as Malta, Singapore, Netherlands are also becoming attractive destinations for entrepreneurs, especially for those in the technology, fintech and gaming sector.
(Author is Director of International Real Estate Expo & IREX Residency & Citizenship Conclave)