Being an international entrepreneur means you will be making deals from across the globe. This means you must be capable of accessing foreign markets with little hassle, or none at all. Sadly, however, the fact remains that not all passports come with this type of benefit.
In fact, there aren’t many passports – or citizenships – that offer visa-free travel. In entrepreneurial terms, this means the limitations of your country bind you in terms of business partnerships, investments, and even taxation.
Second citizenship can provide a lot of extra benefits that can remedy the complications mentioned above, especially when acquired from a country with a lot to offer.
There are programs, like the Caribbean citizenship by investment program, that can help bring entrepreneurs one step closer to global business success. This can also be considered the main reason behind the growing demand for dual citizenship among businesspersons.
Still unconvinced? Here are five more reasons why second citizenship is starting to become a necessity for entrepreneurs:
Expanded Travel Access
As mentioned earlier, travel access to different parts of the world is crucial in the success of an international entrepreneur. Fortunately, many second citizenships offer passports that come with visa-free travel to remove the hassle of doing so.
By holding the same document, entrepreneurs with second citizenship can achieve a new level of freedom in doing business in a foreign land — no need for grueling visa applications and costly extra fees for traveling abroad.
Of course, it is important to note that this will still depend on the second citizenship country you choose. For example, holders of a second passport from Antigua and Grenada have the opportunity to travel freely across more than 130 countries. Several other Caribbean nations also offer economic citizenship with similar visa-free travel benefits.
Another reason why many businesspersons apply for second citizenship is to expand their clientele. Market expansion, in a sense, is limited initially to the geographic reach of a company. However, this can be overcome with a second passport that offers visa-free travel.
Although an entrepreneur can expand his or her base beyond the national borders with the help of the internet, there are certain niches and industries that require face-to-face transactions, this will be easily facilitated with the help of second citizenship.
Lucrative Tax Benefits
One of the most attractive benefits dual citizenship can offer a businessman is tax benefits. Although these will probably still depend on the country where you acquire second citizenship, it still is one of the viable options for entrepreneurs who want to keep more of their profits.
Certain countries, like the Caribbean, offer a tax incentive program that is most appealing to business-oriented economic citizens.
Aside from enjoying lower tax rates, citizens of countries in this region can also enjoy tax exemptions, particularly zero income taxes, corporate taxes, and capital gains taxes (for Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda). Some of these countries also allow businesspersons to classify travel abroad as a business expense, thereby reducing their tax liabilities even more.
Alternative Gateway in Case of Economic and Political Instability
Instability in a country’s economy and political scene can affect a business’s capability to grow. If this happens, a wise entrepreneur should have a way out to avoid the effects of unrest from pulling his or her business down.
What better way to save your company than to shift your business to a more peaceful country? Remember that, as a businessman, you are responsible for taking care of your employees and your customers. This means that you should make sure that your business would thrive even amidst turmoil in your home country.
More Personal Business Transactions
Face-to-face transactions between businesses work better with expanded travel access granted to second passport holders. This is one of many reasons why most entrepreneurs covet second citizenship.
Aside from circumventing the painstaking procedure of acquiring a visa for every country you travel to, you also get to meet potential clients and business partners who may be able to help your business grow.
In fact, studies show that 67 percent of top-tier company officials see an improvement in overall productivity when executives speak with each other face-to-face. It is also believed that such personal interactions are critical in establishing solid trust and understanding between corporates.
Widen Your Business Horizon
Almost every entrepreneur dreams of making it to the global market. But in order to do so, he or she must pick the best way to travel overseas frequently. Although getting a visa may be the most obvious solution, doing so will not only take a lot of time but will also be very expensive.
This is where second citizenship can come in handy. You just have to make sure that you choose a second passport country that offers plenty of perks that your business can benefit from, be it visa-free travel and visa-on-arrival access or tax-related benefits.
Abire Mansoor is a Director and Licensed Agent at Citizens International, a white-glove specialist firm offering private client services necessary for citizenship, residency and investment into the Caribbean, North America, and Europe. Based in her home country of Antigua & Barbuda, she is an experienced consultant who works directly with many professional partners and advises clients worldwide.