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Best International Company Registration Providers in 2024

Best International Company Registration Providers in 2024

Best International Company Registration Providers

Of the 44 International Company Registration Service Providers I examined, these are the 5 best:

VERDICT: MSA is the best international company registration agent in 2024, rated 9.5/10. It stands apart from other providers through its genuine local expertise and competitive pricing.  

International company registration means formalizing your company’s presence in a foreign country, allowing you to conduct business within that jurisdiction. This process can open new markets, diversify company assets, and access new customer bases.

Here, we set out the key things you need to know about international company registration and assess the top 5 global company registration services providers

What Is International Company Registration? 

There are several options when registering a company internationally:

  • Limited Liability Company/Corporation Incorporation. International enterprises can incorporate a limited liability company overseas. This company could be a joint venture or a wholly-owned subsidiary. You will need to appoint members/shareholders, directors, and usually, a company secretary. Once incorporated, the company can then be registered for tax, employment, and other purposes. 
  • Branch Registration. With branch registration, no separate legal entity is created in the overseas location. Instead, the international company is registered with the authorities and becomes liable for corporate tax and other matters in that location. Note that one disadvantage of branch registration is that the international company/parent remains liable for the activities of its foreign branch. 
  • Register a partnership: Involve two or more individuals sharing profits, losses, and management duties.
  • Register a Sole Proprietorship: Owned and managed by one person, with no distinction between personal and business assets. It is uncommon to register international businesses in this way as they generally have an incorporated structure, and this registration means unlimited liability. 

Each registration type comes with distinct tax obligations and liability exposure and demands careful selection based on business goals.

Key Legal Considerations

Legal considerations are central to the international company registration process. These often include:

  • Compliance: Adhering to the local laws and regulations, including tax laws and employment legislation.
  • Intellectual Property: Ensuring trademarks, patents, and other intellectual property are protected in the foreign jurisdiction.
  • Due Diligence: Conducting thorough research on legal constraints that may affect business operations abroad, such as trade restrictions.

This demands a comprehensive understanding of the laws governing business operations in the target country.

Registration Processes & Requirements

The registration processes differ by country but typically involve several steps:

  1. Name Check and Reservation: Ensuring the company name is available and reserving it.
  2. Documentation: Submitting crucial documents, which may include articles of incorporation, business licenses, and permits.

Requirements can also encompass designating a local registered agent, obtaining local bank accounts, and providing proof of a local office address. Depending on the country, the process may be completed within a few days or take several months.

Video: How to Set Up Your Business Overseas

Top 5 International Company Registration Providers

To ensure your global company registration goes smoothly, we recommend you partner with an international company registration provider or agent. I assessed the top 44 providers and arrived at the following 5 finalists for best international company registration agent

Best for Startups and SMEs

1. MSA 

MSA is a leading strategic partner for foreign companies expanding overseas, emphasizing a blend of accounting, financial, and business advisory services.

MSA has garnered a reputation for delivering high-quality solutions tailored to the unique requirements of small to medium-sized enteprises (SMEs) and startups. Their service portfolio is extensive: In addition to international company incorporation, they provide assurance and auditing, tax advisory, corporate services, payroll outsourcing and more, all designed to meet the comprehensive needs of their clients.

MSA company registration
Incorporate Overseas with MSA (Image: MSA)

Key Features

Full ServiceMSA offers a broad spectrum of services, including accounting and tax filing, HR and payroll, financial advisory, ERP & accounting access, alongside its international company incorporation services.
SME SupportMSA serves SMEs, startups, and large multinational corporations, offering them a full suite of services to manage their administrative and financial needs in Asia and worldwide.
International AllianceAs members of GGI, one of the top international accounting, consulting, and law firm alliances, MSA can deliver advice on a global scale, ensuring clients have access to expert advice on local regulations, compliance, and go-to-market strategies worldwide.

Pricing

Company Registration Services Available by custom quote.

Pros

Extensive ExperienceDecades of experience assisting foreign companies to register their companies in Asia and throughout the world. 
Wide Range of Services: From accounting to financial advisory and beyond, they offer comprehensive services to meet diverse business needs. 
✓  Cost-EffectiveWith a focus on supporting SMEs, MSA is more affordable than many of its competitors.

Cons

  Incomplete Coverage MSA does not yet cover every country, but plans to do so in the future. 

Unique Selling Point

MSA’s unique selling point is its commitment to startups and SMEs. MSA provides a full international expansion solution for smaller enterprises through its affordable solutions and extensive add-ons (such as payroll and PEO services). 

Verdict

With its wide range of international expansion, accounting, and HR support services, MSA is the ideal international support partner for smaller enterprises and startups. MSA is our pick for the Best International Company Registration Provider

Best for Large Enterprises

2. PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC)

PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is a global network of firms delivering world-class assurance, tax, and consulting services for businesses across various industries. As one of the Big Four accounting firms, PwC offers a comprehensive suite of services to support companies through every stage of their business lifecycle, including international company registration and global expansion.

Register your company with PriceWaterhouseCoopers
PwC Professional Services (Image: PwC)

Key Features

Integrated ServicesAs well as company incorporation, PwC offers a wide range of services, including audit and assurance, consulting, risk and regulatory, deals, digital assurance, financial statement audit, and tax services. 
Industry ExpertisePwC boasts significant expertise across consumer markets, energy, utilities and resources, financial services, health industries, industrial products, technology, media, and telecommunications. 
Legal and Tax Services PwC provides comprehensive legal services for international business reorganizations, including pre-deal separations and carve-outs, post-deal integrations, and general corporate transaction support.

Pricing

International Company RegistrationAvailable by custom quote.

Pros

  Global NetworkWith offices in hundreds of locations globally, PwC offers extensive global coverage, ensuring support for international expansion and operation
  InnovationLeveraging technology-driven innovations and a deep understanding of digital transformation, PwC addresses cross-border issues effectively
✓  Wide Range of ServicesPwC’s wide array of services and industry expertise ensures that businesses receive all-encompassing support, from legal and tax services to consulting and strategy.

Cons

ExpensiveAs one of the world’s leading professional services networks, PwC’s pricing reflects its premium market positioning, which can be a problem for SMEs and startups.

Unique Selling Point

PwC distinguishes itself through its integrated approach, combining cross-border tax and business consultancy with a strong emphasis on technology and innovation. This positions PwC uniquely to support companies not just with compliance and setup but also in leveraging digital transformation for international growth. 

Verdict

PwC stands out as a premier choice for businesses looking to navigate the complexities of international company registration and expansion. With its global reach, industry expertise, and integrated service offerings, PwC is well-equipped to support companies in achieving sustained outcomes and navigating the regulatory, tax, and operational challenges of global business operations. 

For their premium company incorporation support, PwC is our pick as the Best Provider for Large Enterprises.

Best for Full Expansion Services

3. Deloitte 

Deloitte is a global powerhouse in professional services, offering a vast array of consulting, audit, tax, and advisory solutions to clients across multiple industries. With a history that dates back to the 19th century, Deloitte has established a reputation for excellence, innovation, and an in-depth understanding of the complex business landscape. Another Big Four accounting organization, Deloitte has a network that spans more than 150 countries, making it a formidable presence in the international business world.

Incorporate overseas with Deloitte
Deloitte Consulting and Professional Services (Image: Deloitte))

Key Features

CoverageDeloitte offers a broad international presence, which is crucial for navigating the regulatory and business environments of different countries.
Industry ExpertiseTheir team consists of seasoned professionals with specialized knowledge in international law, tax, and compliance, ensuring that clients receive informed guidance
Customized SolutionsDeloitte provides tailored services to meet the unique needs of each business, recognizing the diversity in structure, size, and sector.

Pricing

Company RegistrationAvailable by custom quote.

Pros

Full SupportClients benefit from end-to-end assistance, from initial consultation to post-registration compliance.
ReputationDeloitte’s brand and reputation can lend credibility to newly registered companies.
Industry InsightsAccess to Deloitte’s research and insights can provide companies with a competitive edge in their respective markets.

Cons

CostPremium services come at a premium cost, which might not be feasible for all businesses, particularly small startups.
 StandardizationWhile Deloitte offers customized solutions, their global footprint may lead to a more standardized approach that may not fit all local nuances.

Unique Selling Point

Deloitte’s unique selling point in international company registration services lies in its unparalleled global reach combined with local expertise. This blend of global and local perspectives is instrumental in helping companies navigate the complexities of establishing a presence in new markets with confidence and strategic insight.

Verdict

Deloitte’s ability to offer a full spectrum of related services under one roof simplifies the process for clients, making it a convenient and reliable choice. While the cost of their services may be a consideration for some, the value derived from their comprehensive support, prestigious reputation, and strategic insights often justifies the investment.

Deloitte is our pick as the Best Provider for Full Expansion Services

Best for Innovation

4. EY (Ernst & Young)

EY (Ernst & Young) offers its clients a wide range of services, including assurance, tax, consulting, and advisory services. Founded over a century ago, EY has built a robust global presence, operating in over 150 countries. 

EY has a strong track record for helping companies navigate international business through the power of cutting-edge technology

 
Register your company overseas with EY
EY Innovative Expansion (Image: EY)

Key Features

Company registrationEY can incorporate and register your company in most locations.
Broad Service OfferingAs with other major providers, EY offers the full range of professional services and consulting, including managed services.
Sustainability FocusEY advises clients on how to incorporate sustainable practices into their business models, aligning with global trends and regulations.

Pricing

Company Registration Available by custom quote.

Pros

Efficiency G2 reviews consistently praise EY services for their efficiency
Full support EY can support you with all your international accounting and consulting needs, including managed services.
A la Carte Options The firm prides itself on tailoring its services to the specific needs and goals of each client.

Cons

ExpensiveAs a major provider, EY charges premium prices, including for company registration. 
Staff SupportIt has been reported that EY outsource work to junior staff without sufficient supervision. 

Unique Selling Point

EY’s focus focus on innovation and sustainability positions it as a leader in helping companies to not only register internationally but also to thrive in an evolving business landscape.

Our verdict

EY stands out as a partner that not only helps businesses with the initial steps of international company registration but also supports them in achieving long-term success in the global marketplace.

For its commitment to deploying innovative tech through all of its services, EY is our pick as Best for Innovation

Best for Flexibility

5. Grant Thornton

Grant Thornton offers a wide range of services, including audit and assurance, tax, advisory, and specialized services for various industries, alongside its company registration services.

Their approach focuses on delivering actionable insights and strategic guidance to help businesses navigate complex financial landscapes and achieve sustainable growth.

register overseas with Grant Thornton
Grant Thornton Business and Audit Services (Image: Grant Thornton))

Key Features

Global CoverageGrant Thornton supports companies with its incorporation and business support services worldwide. 
Specialized Industry SupportBroad service coverage includes advisory, CFO advisory, risk advisory, and transaction advisory alongside its core offerings.
Technology FocusGrant Thornton integrates tech through all its processes and supports companies with their tech adoption. 

Pricing 

Company Registration By custom quote.

Pros

Industry KnowledgeGrant Thornton has industry specialists who can support you with services tailored to your business.
Multiple EntitiesGrant Thornton has subsidiaries/regional offices all over the world, so can support your business wherever it is based
Additional ServicesGrant Thornton offers a complete range of professional and accounting services, 

Cons

Cost Grant Thornton’s pricing is similar to that charged by the Big Four and is therefore not affordable for many small businesses and startups.
Patchy Service Some Grant Thornton subsidiaries have a better reputation than others. For example, their New Zealand subsidiary only has a score of 1.4/5 on TrustPilot reflecting complaints about communication with the company. 

Unique Selling Point 

Grant Thornton has the service coverage and reputation of a Big Four firm, but a level of flexibility and customization in its services sets it apart from those other providers. 

Verdict

Grant Thornton is a leading provider for any company looking to expand and register in multiple countries, with the support of a major professional services firm. As with some other larger players, its pricing may make it intimidating to some small businesses and startups. 

For its customized support, Grant Thornton is our pick as the Best Provider for Flexibility

Should I Register a Company Overseas? 

Strategic planning is essential for businesses aiming to extend their operations internationally. Two critical aspects govern the success of such endeavors: Market Analysis and Entry Strategy Formulation.

1. Market Analysis

The first step toward international growth is a comprehensive Market Analysis. Businesses must analyze regional markets, demographics, consumer behavior, and local trends. Key components include:

  • Competitor Analysis: Identifying who the local and international competitors are.
  • Customer Segmentation: Understanding the needs and preferences of different customer groups.
  • Regulatory Environment: Assessing the legal and compliance requirements of the new market.

2. Entry Strategy Formulation

Once the market is thoroughly examined, companies must craft an Entry Strategy Formulation. This includes deciding how to enter the market through a merger, acquisition, partnership, or the establishment of a new subsidiary. A successful expansion may include:

  • Mode of Entry: Whether direct investment, joint ventures, franchising, or exporting.
  • Resource Allocation: Determining what resources are required and where they should be deployed.
  • Timing: Strategically planning the timing of the entry to align with market conditions and business readiness.

Financial Aspects of Company Registration

The financial elements of international company registration are multifaceted, involving tax considerations and the allocation of capital. Companies must navigate the complexities of cross-border tax legislation and meet various investment thresholds.

1. Taxation and Double Tax Treaties

Tax obligations can significantly impact a company’s revenue and operations abroad. Businesses should be aware of the tax rates in the host country and any Double Tax Treaties that exist between the home and host countries to mitigate the burden of being taxed twice on the same income. Understanding these agreements is crucial for tax planning and can influence the decision on where to establish foreign operations.

2. Capital and Investment Requirements

Meeting the capital and investment requirements is a key financial aspect of registering an international company. Different jurisdictions may require varying minimum capital investments, which can influence the choice of country for registration. Additionally, companies should prepare for potential financial audits and adhere to local financial reporting standards. This could involve upfront costs and ongoing investment to maintain compliance and operational efficiency.

How to Register a Limited Liability Company Overseas

Registering a company overseas involves several steps, which can vary significantly depending on the country you choose for incorporation. Below is a general guide that outlines typical steps you might go through when setting up a company in a foreign country:

1. Choose a Country

As explained in detail above, research and select a country based on business goals, tax advantages, legal protections, market access, and other relevant factors.

2. Decide on the Business Entity Type

Determine the type of business or legal entity that suits your needs (e.g., limited liability company, corporation, partnership, etc.).

3. Name Your Business

Choose a unique company name that complies with the chosen country’s naming conventions and requirements. Perform a name search to ensure the name isn’t already in use or trademarked.

4. Hire a Registered Agent or Legal Representative (if required)

Some countries need you to have a local agent or representative who can handle legal documents on behalf of your company. Check out our top 5 company registration agents listed above to see who may be best to support your business. 

5. Prepare and File Incorporation Documents

Draft the Articles of Incorporation or Memorandum and Articles of Association, depending on the local requirements.

Then, submit the necessary documents to the relevant government authority (such as the Companies Registry or Commercial Register).

Finally, pay any applicable registration fees.

6. Obtain Necessary Licenses and Permits

Research and apply for any industry-specific licenses or permits required to legally operate in the chosen country.

7. Register for Taxes

Obtain a tax identification number from the local tax authority. Register for VAT, GST, or sales tax if applicable. For the future, set up a system for corporate tax compliance.

8. Open a Corporate Bank Account

Research banks that offer corporate banking services for foreign businesses. Then, gather required documents, which may include your incorporation papers, business license, passport copies of company directors, proof of address, and possibly a business plan. Finally, visit the bank in person if required, or complete the process online if the bank allows.

9. Register for an Employee Identification Number (EIN) or Equivalent

If you plan to hire employees, register with the relevant government agency to obtain an employer identification number or equivalent. Understand local labor laws and set up payroll systems to comply with tax withholding and reporting requirements.

10. Set Up a Local Office (if necessary)

Find a physical location if your business requires a local presence or if it is a legal requirement for incorporation (in some cases, a legal address rather than a physical address is sufficient). Put in place a compliance program to ensure the ongoing payment of corporate taxes, annual fees, and government fees

International Company Registration — Best Providers

Registering a company overseas is crucial for any business selling its goods or services or entering into contracts in overseas locations. Most commonly this is achieved by incorporating a subsidiary or entity in that country

The complexities of overseas corporate and business laws mean is wise to choose an international partner when making these decisions. Our picks for the best global company establishment partners in 2024 are MSA, PwC, Deloitte, EY, and Grant Thornton

Frequently Asked Questions

The requirements for international company registration vary by country, but generally include a registered business name, a local registered office address, and identification documents for the directors and shareholders. Compliance with local laws and regulations is mandatory.

Yes, a company can be registered in multiple countries simultaneously, provided it meets the legal requirements of each jurisdiction. This is common for businesses aiming for an international presence.

Article By
Managing Editor
Milly is an international lawyer and tech entrepreneur who has advised companies on expanding globally for over 5 years. She is an advocate of remote hiring and regularly consults on future of work matters. Milly founded RemotePad to help employers learn more about building and growing international teams.

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