Europe free zones comparisons in 2023

Summary at a GlanceUnited KingdomFranceGermanyBulgariaSpain
Europe free zone nameLiverpool Free ZoneFreezone of VerdonDuisburg Free PortBourgas Free ZoneFree Zone of Barcelona
Corporate tax payable19%-25%25%15%10%25%
Average monthly salary skilled labourUS$4,000US$3,700US$4,200US$4,100US$3,000
Average monthly salary unskilled labourUS$2,500US$2,000US$1,400US$3,600US$1,200
Office rental square meter per monthUS$16US$12US$14US$8US$6.5
Total Europe company set up costs£5,790€14,240€10,990€8,360€8,040
Subsequent annual costs (excl accounting and tax)£1,100€6,780€2,400€2,330€3,830
How long to set the company up in Europe free zone?1 week2 weeks8 weeks2 weeks4 weeks
How long to open Europe company bank account?4 weeks2 weeks4 weeks4 weeks3 weeks
Issued share capital requiredNo€1€25,000€1€3,000
Corporate bank accountHSBC LondonHSBC or SCBDeutsche Bank, CommerzbankCitibank BulgariaCitibank, Barclays Bank
Tenancy agreement required before Europe company incorporation?NoNoNoNoNo
Do you visit the country for Europe company incorporation?NoNoNoNoNo
Resident director required?YesNoNoNoNo
Resident agent requiredNoNoNoNoNo
Legal considerations
Resident shareholder required?NoNoNoNoNo
Minimum number of directors for Europe company11111
Minimum number of shareholders for Europe company11111
Resident company secretaryYesNoNoNoYes
Individual shareholders allowedYesYesYesYesYes
Corporate shareholders allowedYesYesYesYesYes
Corporate director(s) allowedYesYesYesYesYes
Public register of shareholders and directorsYesYesYesYesNo
All business permitted for foreignersYesYesYesYesYes
Tax and accounting considerations
Corporate tax payable19%-25%25%15%10%25%
Statutory audit requiredNoNoYesYesNo
Annual tax return to be submittedYesYesYesYesYes
Access to how many double tax treaties12028806510
Withholding tax payable20%30%15%-25%5%19%-21%
How long to get Europe work permit approved4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks
Can the entity hire expatriate staff in the country?YesYesYesYesYes
Logistic considerations
Allowed to invoice/sign sales contracts with local clientsYesYesYesYesYes
Can rent office premises in the countryYesYesYesYesYes
Allowed to import raw materials?YesYesYesYesYes
Allowed to export goods?YesYesYesYesYes
Europe employment visa feesGBP3,950US$3,950US$3,950US$3,950US$3,950
What % of population speak English100%40%56%24%27%
Literacy rate (%)99%99%99%98%97%
Computer literacy rate (%)85%72%80%70%75%
Country credit ratingAAAAAAAAAAAAA
Internet connectivity ratingExcellentGoodGoodFairFair
Global business efficiency index score (higher better)1228214032
Ease of doing business global ranking (lower better)1534206644
GDP per capita (US$)45,83639,77241,5146,98629,195
Europe population (in million)63 million65 million81 million7 million47 million
Europe unemployment rate7%11%5%12%27%
Inflation rate (2013)2.7%2.3%2%2.4%2.5%
GDP 2012 (US$ billion)US$2,435 billionUS$2,613 billionUS$3,400 billionUS$51 billionUS$1,349 billion
Real GDP Growth rate (2012)0.3%0%0.7%0.8%-1.4%
Estimate of Europe business engagement costs
Healy Consultants engagement fees£1,450€3,850€5,500€3,400€3,519
Company secretary and legal registered office fees£1,450€2,800€1,100€1,100£1,100
Estimate of government registration fees£40€96€700€60€1,071
Corporate bank account opening£4,950€5,950€2,950€2,950€3,950
Estimate of total outgoings in Year 1$8,990€13,946€10,990€8,360€9,640
Draft sales invoice attachedView invoice PDFView invoice PDFView invoice PDFView invoice PDFView invoice PDF

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