For companies with ambitions to expand globally, especially those in the US, Europe is a natural first choice given its maturity and large consumer market. However, expanding into Europe isn’t without its challenges, and an expansion can make or break a company’s ability to survive.
Where to set up
Europe is always the second largest market after the US, and in particular the United Kingdom, Europe’s premier ecosystem. Expanding your business into Europe brings so many great opportunities to grow your business.
When it comes to setting up a company headquarters in Europe, the most common destination is London. The UK’s capital city is not only Europe’s wealthiest and most cosmopolitan, but its high concentration of financial companies and other big corporations with large IT budgets make it the obvious choice for companies in the fintech, enterprise or tech sector. London also boosts the deepest pool of tech talent in all of Europe, and because of it’s shared language, culture and legal characteristics with the U.S, it is the most attractive relocation destination for talent from the U.S. There are downsides however, such as high costs, high salaries, expensive office space, as well as Brexit induced worries, which weigh heavily on London.
Other popular choices include Dublin and Amsterdam, which tend to compete head to head given their similar strengths and weaknesses. Dublin counts Google, Facebook and LinkedIn among the companies with sizable local operations. Similarly, Amsterdam is home to the EMEA headquarters of both Uber and Netflix. Both countries are also relatively easy to do business within, whether it be hiring, firing, data privacy regulations, visa approvals, or relocation.
Managing international employees and access to workforce
Europe is home to a highly talented skilled workforce, and by hiring local workers who know the European market and culture can help establish business growth quicker. The reason London is such a popular choice when countries are looking to expand into Europe is access to talent. When it comes to access to a skilled workforce, the mega cities of London and Paris, both with a population of over 10 million, have a young workforce with high educational attainment.
It is important to note that every country in Europe has its own rules when it comes to employment laws. While there are similarities across some European countries regarding how they employ, each country will have their differences, in line with their own countries laws. Operating compliantly is vital when hiring employees for a global expansion, and the failure to remain compliant can lead to serious consequences. It is advisable to hire an international HR expert to ensure that your workers are legally and compliantly working in a new country.
The best way to find talent is to hire a European leader that can be on the ground, rather than relying on say the CEO trying to recruit talent from the other side of the world. Lack of talent networks on the ground can make the first round of hiring particularly difficult, which is why it is so important.
The most important aspect of expanding is doing so strategically. Tailoring your expansion approach to selectively address gap areas, as well as creating a balance between local and imported leadership, such as a mix of colleagues with significant company experience and significant market experience, is vital to success.
Other key factors you should consider are – how much to invest, the cost and time frames involved in setting up in a new country, as well as how to organise local payroll and manage compliance, taxation, and immigration regulations in a new country.
How TCP can help
TCP Solutions is part of the People 2.0 group of companies, who is the leading provider of contingent workforce engagement solutions within the U.S. and globally.
Operating compliantly is vital when hiring employees in different countries, and if you are looking to hire employees in a country before having a registered entity there, then TCP can help. We have registered entities in all the countries where we operate and can support work visa applications as well as act as the employer of record and manage the payroll according to local legislation, allowing TCP to manage the risks involved and indemnify our clients.
If you would like to find out more about what we do, please contact and call a member of our sales team on +44 (0)208 5800 800, or send us a message via our contact page. We would be delighted to speak to you regarding the possibilities.