And it's working fine: after less than a year of work, our reveneu reached $4.6. Here are the steps I consider important when starteing in a new region.
First, do a market analysis and verify the bottleneck. How can you manage challenges in this country? For instance, our bottlenecks were finding a bank/fintech partner and reaching the required speed of hiring. So, before we enter a new market, it's important to make sure that there are highly professional bank/fintech partners with the capacity for our business needs and find the company donors from whom we can hire people and understand the hiring process.
Second, it's important to understand how deals are done in this country. Can a foreigner simply come to this country and start a business or is it better to hire someone local who knows the cultural intricacies? Can it be solved by local business development managers or should we find a local co-founder?
Third, determine what laws exist regarding equity, specifically if it's possible to be a foreign majority shareholder. If there is no way to do this, how will your contractual relationship be formalised?
It's necessary to talk to the funder in each location. We had talked to at least ten IT professionals before we started in the Philippines. We asked them for advice and insights. It is also important to talk to venture funds, because they often have various kinds of analytical materials and macroeconomic forecasts, which may also be beneficial to you.
Fourth, define whether it is necessary to have a legal entity in the country to be legally allowed to operate. If it is required, what are the implications to obtain the correct legal documentation? Also, consider the jurisdiction within which you will be attracting investments.
Fifth, you will need to study tax issues to ensure the liquidity of cash flows between jurisdictions. For example, in Indonesia, it is easy to bring money in, however, it's considerably more complicated to withdraw it. For withdrawal, you need to pay high taxes, and in general, withdrawal of money from an emerging country often includes unexpected surprises and difficulties.
Last but not least, identify the nuances of the country's payroll taxes. Some countries have extensive benefits and therefore higher employment costs. VAT/sales tax is often another surprise that affects a company's corporate structure. High sales taxes should be intentionally offset with expenses in the same country to reduce, at least in part, the amount of sales tax to be paid. And the most important - some countries have good special programs for startups, that help you pay less taxes.
I think it might be useful for many warriors here!