Where to open an IT company so you don’t lose out on exchange rate differences when paying into Ukraine?
The war has caused tangible damage to all sectors of the economy. Among them, the IT sphere has fallen into particularly unfavorable conditions due to the peculiarities of currency regulation in the country. Since 21 July, the National Bank has adjusted the dollar and euro exchange rates, which has improved the situation slightly. However, there is still a difference between the official and market exchange rates.
Many owners of Ukrainian IT-companies are searching for an answer to the question of how not to lose on exchange rate differences, accepting foreign currency payments from Europe and the world. However, the experts of Lawyers Association Lawrange know the answers. The priority solution now is to set up a foreign (non-resident) company to deal with foreign customers. Please note: this solution is suitable not only for IT-business, but also for companies engaged in foreign economic activities (FEA), in particular – export-import operations.
In this overview, we will take a detailed look at where to open a company for IT or the other above-mentioned activities. Read on and then contact us to put the solutions discussed into practice.
Exchange rate losses
In the first months after the introduction of martial law, the difference between the official dollar and euro exchange rate and the black market exchange rate of these currencies reached 25%. Representatives of the IT sector were losing millions. An eloquent example of this are the figures that were made public by the international IT company EPAM.
In 2021 the company lost 2.4 million dollars in half a year and 108.7 million dollars in the same period in 2022. The difference is enormous, so while the company’s revenue is growing, its net profit is shrinking. And this picture is typical of most IT firms, which inevitably focus on foreign markets, and receive payments for services from there.
Important! In order to avoid foreign exchange losses when receiving payments from foreign clients we suggest the following solution:
- incorporation of the company in our recommended jurisdiction;
- maintenance of non-resident status – incomes received from sources outside the country will not be subject to income tax;
- opening of an account in a foreign bank or payment system in order to ensure the full operation of the company.
In order to successfully implement this solution, a number of nuances must be taken into account. In particular, not all jurisdictions in Europe are suitable. But with Lawyers Association Lawrange you don’t have to navigate through the intricacies of international legislation on your own. All you need to do is submit an application to us and we will provide you with a ready-to-use firm, which will provide you with a convenient platform from which to deal with foreign counterparties. What’s more, you will be able to use this company for a range of other business tasks. If you like, the experts of Lawrange can tell you what it is all about and how to do it.
Top jurisdictions where best to open an IT company
When selecting jurisdictions to incorporate an IT business, we prioritize the possibility of tax savings in case the company will not provide services to counterparties in the country of incorporation. At the same time, when deciding where to open an IT company, we take into account a number of other criteria and tax nuances.
Option No.1 – United Kingdom.
Contrary to popular belief, a company in the UK is an affordable option for running an IT business, especially if you have the right legal approach. Among the main advantages of the jurisdiction:
- the possibility of not paying VAT if the company provides services outside the country;
- if the Ukrainian shareholders decide to distribute part of the profits in the form of dividends and then withdraw them, these dividends will not be taxed;
- here it is possible to use a special business structure – Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) to avoid paying tax if profits are generated outside the country.
Registering a company in England with representatives of Lawyers Association Lawrange provides closure of the whole set of issues that arise at the start of business activities. So that the company can immediately accept payments and send payments to counterparties, we arrange accounts with payment systems of your choice (e.g. Wise, Payoneer, Genome).
Once registered, the presence of the business in the UK can be maintained formally, as the management of businesses remotely is legally allowed. In particular, online shareholder meetings can be held.
Option No.2 – Cyprus.
Although Cyprus and Malta have been affected in recent years by the many upheavals associated with global deoffshorization, these jurisdictions have not lost their relevance for running an IT business. Among the main advantages of Cyprus:
- the ability to register a firm in just two weeks;
- no residency requirements for shareholders;
- rather loyal and clear taxation system.
If company registration in Cyprus is accompanied by representatives of Lawyers Association Lawrange, the list of services immediately includes opening a corporate account at a bank or payment system. In other words, the problem of receiving payments from foreign customers is solved.
Option No.3 – Poland.
It is to Poland that the majority of Ukrainian companies, which decided to leave Ukraine because of the war, have relocated. There are a number of tax incentives for IT companies in Poland. For example, it is possible to reduce the tax base for software development by taking advantage of B+R (ulga badawczo-rozwojowa). If a company provides services to counterparties outside the country, certain benefits are also available.
Among the main advantages of the jurisdiction:
- the company can be registered remotely;
- the company can be managed without a local director, as a non-resident is allowed to manage the company;
- if the company supplies IT services to other countries, the VAT rate is 0%.
The Lawyers Association Lawrange team will help you set up a company in Poland quickly and without hassle. If required, we will provide advice on how to use such a legal entity for maximum benefit.
Option No.4 – Malta.
Similar to the aforementioned Cyprus, Malta continues to be a welcoming jurisdiction for foreign business. The country is not included in the official blacklists of offshore jurisdictions, so, among other advantages, it provides the entrepreneur with a good reputation as a place of incorporation.
Among the major advantages of Malta are:
- the possibility of redomiciliation – the re-registration of a local company into a foreign company and vice versa;
- for firms operating internationally, the corporate tax rate can be reduced to 3.75%;
- the tax on dividends is 0%.
Registering a company in Malta with Lawrange enables you to quickly secure a European platform for your IT business. The company can then be opened for an account with a local financial institution or any other reputable bank in the world (e.g. Luxembourg, Switzerland, Denmark).
Option No.5 – Ireland.
Ireland was one of the first countries to announce support for Ukrainian IT specialists, who were granted temporary protection status. In Ireland, irrespective of the length of stay, IT professionals do not face tax residency status.
For legal entities working in the sphere of information technologies “The Emerald Isle” offers rather tempting conditions. Among the main advantages of the jurisdiction:
- the possibility of both registering a company and filing reports, online;
- if the company’s employees are non-residents, no personal income tax is due;
- the status of one of the most technologically advanced countries in Europe.
You can contact the international business support experts at Lawrange to ensure the successful registration of the company in Ireland. We will competently answer all your questions and quickly prepare the necessary documents.
Option No.6 – USA.
As in the case of Britain, many IT entrepreneurs look at the United States with apprehension because they consider it too expensive for business. Moreover, some are put off by the legal complexities involved in setting up a business. However, we would like to remind you of Delaware, one of the most welcoming IT marinas in the world.
Among the major perks of the United States, Delaware in particular:
- tempting tax conditions for IT companies;
- ample opportunities to open accounts with payment systems;
- strong legal protection of business and intellectual property in the country.
For non-resident companies the legal form of LLCs in Delaware can be considered as one of the best legal tools for IT-business. The members of the Lawyers Association Lawrange team will help you with all the paperwork and filing issues when registering your company.
Option No.7 – Estonia.
Like Ireland, in the Baltic states, it is not necessary for Ukrainian IT workers under temporary protection to think about tax residency status if it goes against their interests. At the same time, Estonia has in recent years been eagerly welcoming IT businesses from all corners of the world.
Among the main advantages of the jurisdiction:
- the possibility of mega-fast company registration – in just 48 hours, with all the necessary procedures online;
- transparent and easy to understand accounting terms;
- as long as the firm does not wish to transfer profits abroad the tax is 0%.
The experts at Lawrange, based on their practical experience, believe that registering a company in Estonia is suitable for many tasks in the IT business. In particular, it is a good option to work with European counterparties, receiving payments for services and work from them.
Option No.8 – Bulgaria.
As an alternative to the above mentioned countries Bulgaria is suitable for many businessmen as it is a country with a favorable tax regime and a welcoming attitude to foreign entrepreneurs. Among the main advantages of Bulgaria:
- relatively quick and cheap company registration procedure;
- the tax residency status of the company founder does not play any role;
- the minimum registered capital is only 2 leva, which is a little more than 1 euro.
Incorporation of a company in Bulgaria is an option worth discussing with the experts of Lawyers Association Lawrange. During the consultation, taking into account the peculiarities and scale of your IT business, we will determine whether this solution is suitable for you.
Help from professional lawyers at Lawrange to open your company in order to avoid losing money on exchange rates
A key advantage of obtaining legal advice from Lawrange is that we develop personalized solutions for every client request. The days of “plain and simple offshore” are a thing of the past. It is now customary to work in prestigious jurisdictions. And it is not as expensive and complicated as it may seem at first glance.
Note! Company registration in Europe or the USA, among other things, effectively solves the problem of payment transactions with foreign counterparties. If an IT-entrepreneur accepts payments in Ukraine, he will lose a large percentage of his profits on the exchange rate. By opening a company abroad, such losses can be avoided. At the same time, taxes will not be an obstacle to profitable business with a competent legal approach either.
How quickly can an IT company be set up to avoid losing money on exchange rate differences?
The time needed to register a business depends on the jurisdiction chosen. On average the procedure takes only one or two weeks. In some countries, incorporation can be completed in as little as a few days, provided that specialists with experience of such tasks are involved.
How much would it cost to open an IT company by the professional lawyers of Lawrange?
Send us a request for the service and we will promptly send you a personal quote. If you are not quite sure about the nuances of opening a company abroad, we invite you to a consultation, the cost of which can be found on the website.
Will I have to pay higher taxes if I open a company in Europe to avoid foreign exchange losses?
With proper tax planning, no. We are prepared to tell you about options where the maintenance of a business abroad will cost minimal. In particular, if you do not provide services to counterparties within the country.