7 Reasons Nigerian Entrepreneurs Register Overseas Company

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It is no longer news that business investors from around the world look at entering foreign markets in order to expand their local business operations or

diversify their investments and establish new operations in the international market. Every year, hundreds of entrepreneurial and growing companies consider international expansion as a marketing and growth strategy.

If you have been successful in your business for some time and you have already mastered everything about running a business, overseas expansion may just be the logical next move you have to make.

On the flip side, for a majority of others, just having an overseas registered company and business address makes more sense to them than moving over to these foreign countries to establish a brick-and-mortar office.

Whichever the case is, there are at least 7 reasons Nigerian entrepreneurs incorporate an overseas company, subsidiary or a representative office.

1. Expansion. About 95% of the world's consumer's reside outside Nigeria. Entrepreneurs whose vision and target market is a global one would consider to enter new markets abroad thus increasing their company's overall market share and growth potentials.

2. Possible Untapped Market. The possibility of an untapped market in foreign jurisdictions may motivate a Nigerian entrepreneur to incorporate an overseas company, subsidiary or representative office of his/her local company. Nigerian enterpreneurs who produce and package local foodstuffs for sale abroad fall into this category.

3. Proximity to International Clients/Customers. Truth be told, the Internet has done enough to bring businesses closer to buyers. However, for some reasons, several business transactions may still warrant a traditional business presence in the city or country of operation. An overseas office of a local company need not be that big, and may be a home business address, a paid virtual office, or a small/liaison office just for the sake of getting customer feedback and linking back to the Nigerian office.

4. Corporate Image. In order to boost their corporate image in the eyes of customers, suppliers, investors and businesses, some enterpreneurs just register an overseas subsidiary of their Nigerian company. This gives their target audience an impression that they are a company with international networks. In situations like this, the "international entrepreneur" need not set up a brick-and-mortar office abroad, he/she only pays for a virtual registered office in such country plus a mailing and telephone forwarding service.

5. Competition. The fact that competing businesses or brands are entering the overseas market and are doing well motivates enterpreneurs in similar businesses to follow suit.

6. International Payment. There are quite a number of international banking options available to companies registered in overseas jurisdictions - whether you are currently established in the overseas country or operating the overseas company from Nigeria. Having a corporate checking account abroad makes international payment much more easier by direct deposits, cheques or international wire transfers.

7. Migration. Entrepreneurs considering a migration or move to an overseas country may incorporate a company in the destination country pending the time of their travel.

The United Kingdom, for instance, grants an Entrepreneur Visa to persons outside the European Union to gain entry to the UK for business reasons.

The initial visa will give you 3 years in the UK; and if during that 3 years you can show that you met certain criteria, you can then apply for a further 2 years extension visa. Following the 5 years, you'll have the option of applying for permanent residency in the UK.

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Ayokunle Bankole

He is a self-starter, Nigerian serial entrepreneur, a company formation specialist of about a decade, and a small business advisor. He is currently on the board of Directors of some few startups: Delivery Merchant Ltd, Furnishing Effects Retail & Installation Ltd, Citizens & Expats Agency Ltd, and Global Infosolutions Nigeria Ltd.

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