Why internet entrepreneurs need offshore corporations, and where to go

Last year I moved to Germany and for the first time changed my tax residence. Imagine my surprise when the Swedish tax authority tried to foreclose my Corporation on me.

It turns out that while companies are legal entities in themselves, many countries require company owners to have a physical address in that same nation. In Sweden the reason is apparently that if the company was sued, I need to accept the legal paperwork in person. On paper. In 2023. Why can’t they just send me an email?

This outdated idea means that if you are an expat, or a nomad, and need a company for your side projects, like I do, you need incorporate offshore.

My requirements

These are most of the things I’m thinking about that has lead me to start investigating this. In order of priority:

  • Electronic signatures and no local presence required.
    This is the most important thing.

  • Low administration costs.
    Tax compliance etc needs to be cheap. as this is for experiments, not an established company.

  • Great tax compliance laws.
    I care less about the tax rate, and more about how much time I need to spend filing taxes and learning taxation regulation. The simpler the better.
    If it can be fully automated, I will gladly pay a higher tax rate.

  • Good banking.
    It turns out not all nations and corporations are treated equally by banks. Wherever I incorporate it needs to have great banking services. Preferably by neobanks like Revolut, so no one asks me to “come to the office”.

  • Legal system.
    The company must be an LLC. Should someone try to attack me, the company must not leak any liability to me personally. There’s just too much risk of griefers Must have english speaking lawyers.

  • Great business expense system.
    Ability to deduct digital services, business trips, and gear without a ton of extra work. It’s business expenses, but I cannot spend a ton of time hunting down receipt formatting errors on €10/month services…

  • Region.
    Not a requirement, but I would prefer to be outside the EU. The EU is making up anti-internet laws faster than I can code, so I’d rather not have a small company within the EU. Dealing with EU internet rules is already a significant cost, and it’s likely to get much much worse.

  • Insurance.
    Possibility to buy health care insurance for myself and my wife. Contrary to popular belief, health care is not a solved problem with the EU either.

Possibilities for offshore corporations

Feeling a little bit like I’m doing something wrong I started looking into my options and found a few different options. Each one has it’s own unique pro’s and con’s.

Bahamas, the Seychelles, and Panama

Has been popular with tax dodging politicians and other criminals. So the big banks find them suspicious, making them nearly hard to use for internet services.

Malta & Cyprus

Online gambling has made Malta its home which unfortunately makes it a little shady. Which is sad, because Malta has a lot going for it!

Cyprus used to be a good bet. But they did seize foreign bank accounts a few years ago to pay off debt…

Hong Kong & Singapore

Hong Kong used to be a great bet. But China is taking a closer interest for each years, making Hong Kong a bad political risk.

Singapore seems like a great place to incorporate! But it is expensive, so unless you already have a cashflow business it’s probably not a good fit. As I’m running experiments, this is not an option.

Isle of Man

Another classic “tax haven”, which unfortunately means it’s considered a bit shady. But Revolut recently released support, so maybe it’s improving? The Isle of Man actually checks almost all the boxes.


The nomad capital of Europe currently thanks to aggressive tax rebates to boost their population. Unfortunately corporation regulation still looks quite old school.


Estonia has specifically invested in making it easy to be a nomad resident and corporation owner, betting heavily on the digital economy. I love that! Also checks most of the boxes, but I haven’t been able to figure out how easy tax compliance is yet.

So where did I end up?

I haven’t decided. I need to spend more time on this. But I also realised it doesn’t matter until I have something generating cash again. And currently my old company can stay in Sweden with my parents acting like gate keepers. That is not sustainable over 5 years, but for now it’s fine.