Multinational companies and governments around the world are increasingly looking to Africa as a new business destination. Africa's economy has grown at a rate of around 5.3% per year over the last decade and six of the world's ten fastest growing economies are located here. These countries have a fast-growing middle class that contributes to rapid urbanization that is increasing faster than their cities' infrastructure can keep up. It is a common misconception that many economies in Africa are heavily dependent on energy production. In reality, the oil and gas sector accounted for only 11% of Nigeria's GDP in 2014, while the construction sector accounted for 20%.
When considering doing business in Africa, it is not a matter of choosing just one country or all 54; A regional approach makes more sense. Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, refers to sub-Saharan countries such as Angola, Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria. Many companies already doing business in Africa are separating their businesses in North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa due to the stark economic, linguistic and cultural differences between the two regions. Here are our top 5 African countries for doing business:
Mauritius Mauritius is known for offering an extremely favorable business environment for investment and business growth. The process of incorporating a company and starting new business activities in Mauritius is believed to be straightforward and relatively easy. Mauritius' economy is mainly based on textiles, tourism, sugar and financial services, although recently other sectors such as renewable energy and information technology are expanding rapidly. The World Bank ranked Mauritius 49th in its Doing Business 2017 ranking, largely due to its pro-business approach to dealing with building permits, enforcing contracts and protecting minority investors. Another ranking of African countries places Mauritius first based on factors such as law and security, economy, human development and human rights.
Rwanda Despite nearly a decade of Rwanda's civil war, the country's leaders and citizens alike have worked to achieve a healthy business climate and a strong overall economy. According to the World Bank, Rwanda is the second easiest place to do business in Africa and ranks 56th in the Doing Business ranking. This is because the procedures for registering a property, obtaining credit and trading across borders have been greatly simplified. Tourism is currently the fastest growing sector in Rwanda. According to our research, businesses can be incorporated and operating in as little as three days.
Botswana Since gaining independence, Botswana has had one of the fastest per capita economic growth rates in the world. As the government works to diversify the country's profitable industries, the mining of diamonds and other precious metals is currently the main contributor to the country's economy. Recently, Botswana has managed to reduce the time it takes for various processes including import and export and business formation procedures. In addition, technological upgrades have reduced the average court length for commercial disputes to 625 days (from 987 days in 2008). Thanks to these improvements, Botswana ranks 71st in the World Bank's Doing Business 2017 ranking.
South Africa South Africa's key industries are automobile manufacturing, tourism, mining and information and communication technologies. South Africa has managed to simplify its import and export procedures, resulting in less time and fewer documents required. In addition, the South African authorities have simplified tax legislation, reducing the number of hours required to prepare tax reports. The World Bank ranked South Africa 74th for ease of doing business in 2017.
Kenya Another country to keep an eye on is Kenya, which is currently making huge investments in sectors such as telecom, transport and energy. With a tech-savvy workforce and high-speed internet, Kenya stands out as one of the top countries in Africa for tech startups, while its diversified economy, strong ownership rights, excellent tourism sector and improving infrastructure make it a great location for general start a new company. If you have further questions about company formation or banking in Africa. Please contact us now.
Sweden has a corporate tax rate of 22%. Companies that operate under VAT have to pay tax on purchases at 25%. Certain services, like those related to some foodstuffs, hotel accommodation, restaurants, benefit from a 12% VAT rate.
A shelf company, sometimes called a shelf or legacy company, is a company that was formed some time ago but was non-operative, i.e. put on the shelf. While a ready-made society shares similar characteristics, the main difference between the two is that the ready-made society has only recently been registered as opposed to a shelf society.
Shelf companies are generally divided into two categories: a new shelf company or a legacy company:
Buying a new shelf company gives you the guarantee that this company is not doing business, is debt free and has a perfectly clear history. The investor can be assured that business operations can begin without the administrative or financial hassles that might have occurred prior to purchase. As a rule, these companies were founded in the past only with the aim of later selling them as a finished company. In this case, the seller can provide a certificate that no trade has taken place and the company is clear of business debts and liabilities; By acquiring an aging shelf company, you get a previously active company with its trading history and possible liabilities. It is therefore imperative to obtain a letter of confirmation from the seller that all obligations - including debts - prior to purchase are the responsibility of the seller and not the buyer. Aged shelf companies are preferred for commercial and branding purposes.
Advantages of a shelf company takeover The new shareholders can benefit from various advantages if they prefer to take over an already established company instead of starting a new one. Below are the most common benefits:
This can often be done remotely - in principle, a completed company can also be acquired from abroad - the shareholders do not have to personally participate in the acquisition process. In this case, the buyer will receive a sample power of attorney by e-mail, which must then be signed and notarized and sent back by post. With the power of attorney issued by the power of attorney, new shareholders are registered in the company and all company documents are sent to the acquirer by mail. After that, the bank account can also be opened remotely. This procedure may vary by country and service provider; Less Time – One of the key benefits is the time saved by purchasing a shelf company. While the average time to start a new business varies greatly from country to country, the average time to start a business globally in 2016 was almost 21 days. The acquisition process is considered to be simple and straightforward. The company can start operations immediately. In addition, all service providers advise on any uncertainties to facilitate the acquisition process; Can be bought as an entire package - one of the reasons why acquiring a ready-made business takes less time is the fact that the buyer can acquire a fully registered business with VAT and registration numbers, particularly licenses if required, and even a bank account . In addition, the new owner usually receives all the documents and tax returns that were filed with the office before the purchase. While acquiring a shelf company will cost more than opening a new company, this option can be even more cost-effective given the time saved and the opportunity to start making money almost immediately.
In terms of political and civil liberties, Austria is 1. The citizens of Austria experience absolute freedom. The majority of countries where citizens enjoy wide civil liberties and political liberties are representative democracies, where officials are directly elected by the citizens to advocate for their needs and wants. Free countries are often empowered by healthy economies and well-functioning governments. Austria's companies are 2 in terms of economic freedom. Citizens in Austria are largely free in their economic decisions. While the government exercises some control over trade, citizens can still control their own finances and property. Corruption may exist, but it does not greatly impede economic growth or freedom. In terms of journalistic freedom, the media in Austria are number one. In Austria, journalists are generally allowed to express a variety of opinions and there are a number of news sources. However, the government can criticize or disapprove of certain subjects or publications. This is considered satisfactory.
Germany is a social market economy with a large capital stock, a highly qualified workforce, a high level of innovation and low levels of corruption. It is the largest economy in Europe and the fourth largest nation in the world in terms of nominal GDP. In addition to the intelligent economy and productive market structure, Germany also offers investment opportunities in its real estate segment.
What influences the German real estate market? The volatility of the real estate market can be explained by numerous macroeconomic and social factors in the country. Due to the zero interest rate policy of the European Central Bank, mortgage interest rates remain at record lows and offer historically favorable financing conditions. In addition, the quantitative easing (QE) policy being pursued by the ECB is leading to higher liquidity, increasing investment pressure as investors seek potential investment opportunities with above-average returns in relatively safe sectors. QE is also weakening the euro, making the German real estate market even more attractive to investors from outside the eurozone.
New projects and construction activities lag far behind the growing demand, which leads to rising property prices. The German Property Index (GPI), which measures the return on all real estate investments in Germany, reached 14.7% in 2016, a record level since German reunification. The demand for high-quality real estate is increasing due to the demographic and overall economic development in Germany – ongoing urbanization and growing metropolitan areas. Germany is experiencing a positive reversal in birth rates and other demographic factors. The birth rate rose from 1.39 to 1.50 per woman between 2011 and 2015. In addition, Germany has a persistent migration surplus, which can partially compensate for the demographic imbalance.
Commercial real estate, especially office space, is also in high demand due to record employment and the low unemployment rate, and is also benefiting from increasing purchasing power and high consumer spending. Logistic and warehouse real estate is crucial for growing businesses and therefore in high demand due to the increase in wholesale and retail trade. Below you will find an overview of the most important sectors of the German real estate market.
Residential real estate The residential real estate market was able to recover from the financial crisis and market stagnation in the years after 2009. Residential property construction projects have risen steadily in recent years, resulting in around 277,000 completed residential units in 2016. 2015 Residential real estate With a total investment of EUR 170 billion, 60% of the total construction volume in Germany went into construction. Despite a significant increase in building permits issued (375,400 permits issued in 2016) and a record level of completed projects, demand still significantly exceeds the volume of completed residential projects.
Future prospects call for applications for new building permits to increase to 272,000 units per year by 2020 and further slow down to 230,000 units per year by 2030. Meanwhile, the number of residential properties could increase to 380,000 units in the short term due to increasing immigration.
However, the demand for residential real estate differs greatly from region to region. In some regions, the gap between demand and supply could close soon, especially in eastern Germany. In some regions, especially in prosperous metropolitan areas, the available housing units will remain very scarce.
Along with the insufficient supply, the asking rents have risen accordingly. In large cities in particular, the trend towards rising rents is quite dynamic. For example, the annual growth rate of residential rents in Germany has been around 1.7% since 2004. In the meantime, rents in Berlin and Munich have risen by 3.9% and 3.5% annually, respectively. Both cities recorded an annual growth in purchase prices of 6% in this real estate sector.
Office properties Similar to residential real estate, the office real estate market is in good and future-oriented shape, mainly due to a positive migration balance and historically low unemployment rates. In 2016, around 3.9 million square meters of office space was let in the top 7 cities in Germany. This indicates a growth of 12% in comparison to the previous period. A particularly dynamic development was observed in Frankfurt, Cologne and Stuttgart with growth rates ranging between 25% and 48.4%. Meanwhile, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Munich and Berlin have experienced a cool-down in floor-space turnover in comparison to previous years.
The overall vacancy rate of office properties has decreased due to several factors: a dynamic demand, a slow expansion of floor space and high pre-letting rates. Across the top 7 cities mentioned above, the vacancy rate decreased by 0.7% points to 4.9%. In the top 7 real estate locations in Germany, the prime office rents range between 21 EUR/m2 and 37.50 EUR/m2 giving an attractive potential for investment return. This especially applies to Berlin, where rents have increased by more than 17% in comparison to 2015 reaching 28.7 EUR/m2. Currently, the highest office rents are in Frankfurt and Munich (37.50 EUR/m2 and 35 EUR/m2 accordingly).
Local investors retain the dominant market position accounting for around 60% of the total transaction activity in office property market. Meanwhile, foreign investors account for approximately two fifths (or 20.9 billion EUR) of the transaction volume.
Lesotho's logistics performance index is 2.37. It indicates mediocre performance - transit procedures are relatively unreliable, punctuality and safety of transported goods are often an issue, although such a system can work relatively well when traffic is not too heavy.
Customs performance is rated at 2.22. This indicates mediocre performance - although somewhat ineffective, clearing processes do not unduly deter international business activity, occasionally required fees and/or documents required can be unpredictable, long clearing times can also be an issue.
The infrastructure quality in Lesotho is rated at 2.35. It indicates mediocre quality - roads, railways, ports and other facilities are capable of handling some significant traffic, but not enough to ensure smooth transit at all times.
The quality of international shipping is 2.48. It indicates a mediocre performance - the services provided are reasonably attractive to foreign customers, and the price is right up there with the quality, which is still not very competitive.
The competence of logistics service providers is rated at 2.23. The providers are of mediocre competence - they can ensure a certain quality of their services, sometimes even outstanding, although their overall performance can still be deficient in many aspects.
Tracking options for shipments are rated at 2.35. It indicates mediocre performance - the tracking systems provide some information, which usually includes the most necessary subjects, such as the current location of a shipment, the arrival and departure dates and the status of a shipment; however, there is usually a lack of more detailed information on the status and multilingual accessibility options.
Tracking options for shipments are rated at 2.6. This indicates satisfactory performance - most shipments arrive on time and within scheduled time frames; late arrivals are still possible, albeit uncommon.
In Lesotho, 20.6% of the population has access to electricity. Lesotho has 24 airports nationwide. There are 11,030 internet hosts in Lesotho. The number of road motor vehicles per 1000 population in Lesotho is 3.
Road network The total road length in Lesotho is 5,940 km (3,692 miles). Of these, 0 km (0 miles) of roads are classified as freeways, dual carriageways, or freeways.
Gas price On average, a liter of petrol costs USD 1.03 in Lesotho. A liter of diesel would cost $0.7.