Company IncorporationPrivate Limited

Why Would a Company Set Up a Foreign Subsidiary?

When expanding into new nations, one option is to incorporate a foreign subsidiary. This choice offers various benefits, including the ability to take advantage of local prospects and engage in more business activities. However, there are substantial drawbacks to establishing a foreign subsidiary.

Evaluating the benefits and drawbacks of establishing a foreign subsidiary is essential so that you could form an opinion about whether you should set up a foreign subsidiary or not.

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Advantages of setting up a Foreign Subsidiary

Some of the many advantages of establishing an overseas subsidiary are:

Getting your products and services Into new markets ,a foreign subsidiary forms a legal existence in another country i.e  Legal entities can promote their services as well as goods to the local society. They can also trade with other countries’ items.

Furthermore, businesses having a local presence can increase brand recognition to other locations, thus improving revenue. Foreign countries offer significant growth potential, and even some of the lesser-known ‘middle economies’ offer  feasible markets for corporate expansion.

Manufacturing Options Which Are More Affordable

In certain markets, establishing a foreign subsidiary might provide you with access to lower-cost goods and labor. Many international markets also have a highly developed manufacturing infrastructure, which allows for not just reduced material costs, but also lower costs to make things in volume, which can help you reduce overall production costs.

Access to Technical Knowledge

Many foreign countries, particularly those in Asia, offer excellent access to innovative technology and new ways of thinking about technological difficulties. Japan, for example, continues to draw international investment due to its high degree of technical knowledge. International businesses can build a truly global staff by establishing foreign subsidiaries.

Using a foreign subsidiary may also make issuing stock compensation to international employees easier. More information can be found at the ultimate guide on granting stock options to foreign employees.

Access to Local Information

A business can develop new commercial relationships with local companions and set up joint ventures that yield advantage of native knowledge by creating a legal organisation in a foreign country.

Increased Expansion Possibilities

In some cases, expanding into a new country can promote higher business growth and income that would not have been viable in the home country, particularly when the current market is saturated with competitors.

Process Improvements and Incentives

Some governments actively welcome foreign investment and make the incorporation procedure uncomplicated.

They could perhaps provide opportunities to promote foreign investment, which includes :

  • Tax breaks
  • No minimum capital needed
  • SEZs (Special Economic Zones)
  • Zones of free trade
  • More rapid incorporation processes
  • There are no or few limitations on foreign ownership of corporations. 

The Drawbacks of Establishing a Foreign Subsidiary

The following are some of the disadvantages of setting up a foreign subsidiary

Cost and time increase

Establishing a foreign subsidiary can involve a significant amount of time and money, which prevents many foreign enterprises from making this investment.

The paid-up capital need differs by country and sector, but it can be extremely high at times. In Singapore, for example, an insurance intermediary firm must have $300,000 in paid-up capital, and travel agencies must have $100,000.

Foreign ownership restrictions

Certain industries are regulated in some nations, and foreign ownership is prohibited. In some cases, no foreign ownership is permissible, and in others, ownership must be largely local, although a foreigner may invest a specified amount.

Some countries have historically been wary of enterprises that are entirely owned by foreigners. For example, until the rule was altered in 2019, the UAE needed a foreign investor to get a local partner with at least a 51 percent ownership position before incorporating a foreign subsidiary. Certain industries in the UAE continue to restrict the participation of foreign workers.

Difficult Immigration Requirements

Working in a foreign country frequently necessitates complex immigration formalities. It may be tough for you or your employees to secure a work visa or permission. Approval could take several weeks. Visas may only allow for short-term visits, and business activities are frequently restricted.

Complying with Complicated Requirements

One of the most difficult aspects of establishing a foreign subsidiary is ensuring compliance. Hiring employees, managing payroll, complying with tax regulations, and declaring your company’s operations can all be complicated.

Why would a company set up a foreign subsidiary?

In addition to the advantages discussed above, setting up a foreign subsidiary has several disadvantages as well. A company that plans to stay in a foreign country for a long time may choose to set up a foreign subsidiary because of the benefits that often outweigh the risks.


We can help you For company registration in a foreign country and establish a foreign subsidiary. We provide both short- and long-term legal and employment solutions that will help your company flourish in the country of operation.

VakilSearch is your global partner who can assist you in achieving your global expansion goals. Our team includes tax, legal, human resources, and employment professionals with industry experience.

We can supply you with legally binding contracts, set up your payroll process, and help you with compliance issues. If you are starting a global expansion, please contact us to learn how we can help you shift the risks of employer liability to us and benefit from swiftly deployed professionals in your preferred country. To begin your global expansion, please contact us.

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