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March 17, 2020 Notice to Public

Mar 0

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In view of the ongoing COVID-19 situation we would like to inform all existing clients and the general public that Hansen & Company and our affiliate FingerCheck Plus will remain operating during regular business hours:

Monday-Friday: 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM;
Saturday: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM; and
Sundays: CLOSED

The 10 Most Start-Up Friendly Countries In The World (Infographic)

The 10 Most Start-Up Friendly Countries In The World-Featured Image
Jan 0

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These 10 countries make it a little bit easier for entrepreneurs to get their business off the ground.

1. Japan

The Japanese marketplace has a reputation for being conservative, old-fashioned, and risk-averse. However, this mindset is beginning to change, and this has contributed to the rapid growth of a start-up ecosystem. In 2018, the Japanese government launched the ambitious J-Startup programme which aims to produce 20 unicorns or listed companies by 2023. According to the Japanese Ministry of the Economy, there are currently 10,000 start-ups in the country. Japan stands out for its sizeable expat community, its highly educated and technically advanced workforce, and strong reputation as leaders in the fields of automotive production and electronics. Some examples of Japanese start-up success stories include Mercari, Hachitama, and SmartNews.

Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo

2. Germany

“It is used to be: German business students building German companies for the German market with German investors. Now it is folks from all over the world, building global companies and backed by some of the best investors from around the world.” – Ciaran O’Leary, Earlybird VC

Germany is the world’s fourth-largest economy and the largest European economy. The country offers start-ups a favourable financing environment as well as a transparent business culture and a highly educated workforce. English is widely spoken throughout, and this makes it easier to build a multinational company and attract diverse talent. Some examples of German start-up success stories include SoundCloud, Clue, and Trivago.

3. United States

“The American Dream is still alive out there, and hard work will get you there. You don’t necessarily need to have an Ivy League education or to have millions of dollars start-up money. It can be done with an idea, hard work and determination.” – Bill Rancic, Entrepreneur

The US has a long history and a well-developed culture of entrepreneurship. In addition to Silicon Valley, there are plenty of start-up hubs throughout the country including San Francisco, Austin, New York, San Diego and Atlanta. There has been a positive uptick in the amount of funding being granted to businesses and this has contributed to recent growth in entrepreneurialism. As a result, many people are choosing to immigrate into the US with the intention of starting a business. Some of the best examples of American start-up success stories include Google, Uber, and Facebook.

4. Switzerland

Ranked as the most innovative country in the world in the 2017 Global Innovation Index, Switzerland boasts a long history of investing in research and development. The country benefits from a central location within Europe and this makes trade and recruitment easier for start-ups. In recent years, the city of Zug has become a hub for cryptocurrency and blockchain-based start-ups such as Ethereum and Dfinity, earning it the nickname ‘Crypto Valley.’ According to Business Insider, there are now over 400 companies with a presence in Zug who are members of the Crypto Valley Association.

5. United Kingdom

Did you know that seven out of Europe’s ten VC funds are based in the UK (Source: TechNation)? The UK is home to 37% of Europe’s total unicorn companies. There is a wealth of talent to choose from, with 2.1 million people working in the British digital tech economy. Despite shaky Brexit negotiations and an uncertain future, the UK start-up ecosystem has not stopped producing innovative companies such as Revolut, TransferWise and Perkbox. Start-ups in the UK benefit from the largest English-speaking population in the EU, easy access to European markets, and a highly-educated and technically-qualified workforce.

Canary Wharf in London, UK

6. Canada

Canada offers entrepreneurs a robust support system with its ever-increasing group of start-up organizations, events and initiatives. The country has six top innovation regions – Toronto-Waterloo, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Quebec City and Edmonton. Canada has excelled in a number of specific sub-sectors including:

  • Fintech
  • Life science and health
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Big data and analytics
  • Advanced manufacturing and robotics
  • Gaming
  • Blockchain
  • Cybersecurity

Canadian start-ups also benefit from a strong talent pool, favourable foreign exchange rate, easy access to the US market, and R&D tax credits. Some top Canadian start-ups include Hootsuite, Shopify, and Kik.

If you would like to learn more about business law in Canada, get in touch with our Corporate Lawyers today.

7. Sweden

In 2015, the Wharton School of Business dubbed Sweden a “unicorn factory”. A Creandum study noted that between 2000 and 2014, Sweden produced 263 exits valued at $23.7 billion. Sweden boasts vibrant start-up hubs in Stockholm, Malmö and Gothenburg. The Swedish talent pool is well-educated, multilingual, and has a high level of technological literacy. While taxes in Sweden are expensive, they do mean that there is a strong social welfare safety net which allows entrepreneurs to take bigger risks. The country’s small domestic market forces start-ups to think internationally from the start. Some inspiring start-up success stories from Sweden include Spotify, Klarna, and Mojang (the creator of Minecraft).

8. South Korea

Since the 1960s, South Korea has seen steady growth and it is now the world’s seventh largest exporter and the 11th largest economy overall. South Korea’s start-up ecosystem is booming, with the total number of start-ups growing from just 2,000 in 1999 to 30,000 in 2015 (Source: The Vanguard). Start-up investments are also rising steadily. In 2017 2.38 trillion was invested in start-ups, growing to 3.42 trillion in 2018. In 2019, the government announced its ambition to bring this figure to 5 trillion by 2022. In 2018, the government launched a regulation “sandbox” that would allow start-ups to apply for a 2-year waiver from the rules to test their products in the market. Examples of successful start-ups from South Korea include Coupang, Bluehole and L&P Cosmetic.

9. Australia

According to the 2019 StartupBlink Startup Ecosystem Rankings, Australia is the fifth most start-up friendly country in the world. It also boasts the fifth highest rate of female entrepreneurship in the world. Between 2016 and 2017, start-up investments grew faster in Australia than in Europe or the USA. There are many start-up government grants available at Federal and State levels. Australia’s start-up ecosystem offers plenty of opportunity for immigrants. 57% of start-ups were founded by immigrants or their children and 20% of the start-up workforce is comprised of international talent (Source: Business Insider). Some top examples of Australian start-up successes include Canva, Atlassian, and Airwallex.

10. Singapore

This small island state was dubbed a “start-up paradise” by Entrepreneur magazine in 2018. With its a highly convenient location, Singapore offers a gateway to the nearly 600 million people living in the Southeast Asian region. The government offers positive support to start-ups through innovative policies and significant subsidies. Singapore has a well-developed start-up community with over 100 incubators and accelerators, as well as more than 150 venture capital investors. Some of the most successful start-ups from Singapore include Grab, Garena, and Lazada.

Read the infographic below to discover the 10 most start-up friendly countries in the world.

the 10 most start up friendly countries in the world infographic

Click here to learn more about our business and corporate law services.

Moving Abroad With A Family (Infographic)

Moving Abroad With A Family-Featured
Jul 0

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If you have a young family and are planning to relocate to another country, there are a number of extra factors you will need to consider. Our infographic contains a handy list of 18 top tips to help make the move abroad that little easier for all the family.

How To Tell Your Kids About Your Plans to Move

In terms of timing, try to inform your children of your plans to move as soon as possible. This will give them plenty of time to process the news, prepare for the move and to say their goodbyes. Choose a moment when everyone is relaxed, and you have enough time to explain the situation.

When breaking the news, tell them why you are relocating and when you plan to move. Don’t forget to tell them why the move is exciting, but don’t make any promises you can’t keep. Encourage your kids to ask questions and if you can’t answer something, involve them while you research the answer.

Family Life Index 2016


Before You Relocate

Make an effort to involve your children as much as possible in your moving preparations. Listen to their opinions and include them in decisions about accommodation and school. Be sure to encourage them as well to learn about the language and culture of their new home. For younger children, consider using pictures, stories and games may to tell them about their new home.

Settling In & Making Friends

Routine is important for kids… especially when moving to a country where everything is new. When relocating, try to hold on to a few home comforts (e.g. blankets, toys, bed linen). It’s also a good idea to make an effort to keep up family traditions and routines.

Help your kids make new friends by arranging playdates and parties. If your child attends an international school, enrol them in extracurricular activities so they can make friends with local children and learn the language and culture.
Two young girls doing schoolwork

Finding a New School Abroad

According to the 2016 Internations Expat Insider Survey 32% of expats send their children to an international school. International schools are great because they offer English-laguage instruction and follow a globally recognised curriculum – thereby ensuring continuity of education for your child. On the other hand, international schools are very popular among expats and as such you may have to endure long waiting lists and expensive fees. What’s more, international schools are not an ideal choice for a long-term move as they may make assimilation more difficult.

52% of expats choose to send their children to a local private or state school. These tend to be much cheaper and easier to get into than international schools. Going local is a good option if you are emigrating permanently, as they allow your child to become friends with local kids and develop their language skills. However, the unfamiliar language, culture and teaching methods may make your child feel like an outsider. Another key point is that any educational qualifications they attain may not be transferable should you decide to move back home.

Top Tips for Choosing a School Abroad:

1. When choosing a school, don’t forget to factor in the proximity of the school to your home and workplace.

2. Research local state schools by consulting with individual schools, fellow expats and with families who have children currently attending local schools.

3. Thoroughly research how your choice of school will affect entry into third-level education.

The Best Apps for Living & Travelling Abroad (Infographic)

May 0

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Planning on emigrating? Why not download one of these top apps to develop your language skills, make friends and stay safe.

Woman in café looking at her mobile phone

Best Language Learning Apps

Duolingo

A great language learning app for beginners, Duolingo offers 85 different language courses in 24 languages. This app uses microlearning techniques to break down lessons into bite-sized chunks and claims that just 34 hours will give you the same level of education as one university semester. Duolingo’s game-like language lessons provide a variety of exercises to perfect your reading, writing and listening skills.

TANDEM

More advanced speakers seeking a step up may want to try out Tandem. This free app supports almost 150 different languages. Tandem helps you develop conversational skills by setting you up with an exchange partner who is a native speaker of your chosen language. Pairings are set up according to shared interests to ensure that you will never run out of things to talk about. Users can also arrange 1-to-1 practice sessions with “Tandem Tutors” who are certified language instructors.

Top Maps & Navigation Apps

Waze

If you intend to use a car to get around, you may want to think about supplementing Google Maps with Waze. This app pulls together real-time, crowdsourced information from locals about traffic accidents, road conditions, police, hazards and more. The app will then automatically reroute your journey to avoid any disruptions.

Moovit: Public Transit

Understanding the ins and outs of public transport can be hard when you relocate to a different country. The Moovit: Public Transit app helps users plan their train, subway, bus or bike trips across 1,400 cities around the world.

Three people looking at their mobile phones while waiting at a train station

Best Apps To Meet People

MeetUp

When you move to a new country it can be difficult to make friends. The free app MeetUp not only helps users meet new people, but it also allows you to explore your new home. Through the app you can join or create groups based around certain interests (e.g. “Motorcycle Riding” and “Ghost Tracking,”) and arrange relevant outings and activities.

CitySocializer

Much like MeetUp, CitySocializer helps bring people together in certain urban areas such as New York, London and 30 other cities. This app lets users discover and join in with group activities happening in their area. You can create groups with similarly-minded people and organise social outings.

Best Safety & Personal Security Apps

Prey Anti-Theft: Find My Phone & Mobile Security

If you are worried about crime in your area, you may want to try out Prey Anti-Theft: Find My Phone & Mobile Security. This app boasts a comprehensive selection of anti-theft tools and features specifically designed to protect your phone, laptop and tablet. For example, if your device is lost or stolen you can use the app’s GPS tool to locate it. If your device is stolen, the app will place a security lock on it, rendering the device useless to the thief. Prey also generates reports that can be used as police evidence if reporting on a crime.

TripWhistle Global SOS

TripWhistle Global SOS gives users access to over 70 different emergency numbers, local emergency police, fire, and ambulance phone numbers for 196 countries around the world. If you find yourself in an emergency, the app will provide important information to emergency respondents such as your street address and GPS coordinates.

For a handy overview of all the apps listed above, take a look at this infographic guide below.

The Most Peaceful Countries in the World (Infographic)

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Jan 0

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Our latest infographic lists the top ten most peaceful countries in the world.

Personal safety and security are two of the most important considerations you will need to make when moving abroad. When researching your destination, you will need to factor in the overall peacefulness of the country. Our infographic lists the top ten safest, most secure destinations across the world according to the latest Global Peace Index.

What is the Global Peace Index?

Analysing 99.7% of the world’s population, The Global Peace Index (GPI) is the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness. It is compiled by the Institute for Economics and Peace who use 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators to measure the state of peace in each country according to three key criteria:

1. Societal safety and security
2. Ongoing domestic and international conflict
3. Degree of militarisation


What are the Top 5 Most Peaceful Countries in the World?

According to the 2018 Global Peace Index, the top five safest countries in the world are:

5. Denmark

Consistently voted as one of the happiest places in the world, the Scandinavian country of Denmark was placed fifth in the 2018 GPI. Danes enjoy low crime, excellent income equality and a deep respect for human rights.

4. Austria

The landlocked European nation of Austria has long boasted a top place in the GPI. This is due to its a low crime and homicide rate and positive performance in many areas of wellbeing.

3. Portugal

The pretty European country of Portugal has made enormous strides in the area of peacefulness over the past few decades. Portugal was ranked 3rd in the 2018 GPI due to its extremely low rate of crime and external conflict.

2. New Zealand

Scoring well across all three categories, New Zealand has maintained a top position in the GPI for many years. The country is renowned for its low crime rate and safe cities, and is an ideal location for those seeking a beacon of peace.

1. Iceland

The GPI has placed Iceland as the most peaceful country in the world since 2008. It’s not hard to see why Iceland has stayed top dog all these years, when you consider that its crime rate is close to zero, there is no military and the fact that the police force is unarmed. What’s more, Iceland also boasts a high level of gender equality, a low incarceration rate and a top-quality free education system.


See The Full List Of The World’s Most Peaceful Countries In The Infographic Below.

Liked this? Why not take a look at our infographic guide on the most cultural cities in the world?

The Most Cultural Cities in the World (Infographic)

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Nov 0

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Are you an artist or creative professional thinking about moving abroad? If so, you may want to check out our latest infographic which lays out the world’s top ten cultural capitals.

How Moving Abroad Enhances Your Creativity

It’s no secret that emigrating can be enormously beneficial for aspiring artists of all types. The right city can help provide the inspiration and opportunity that’s needed to kickstart a successful career in the arts. In fact, many of the world’s most celebrated artists, musicians, writers and filmmakers – Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Eddie Van Halen and Alfred Hitchcock to name just a few – were expatriates.

What’s more, scientific research has proven the positive correlation between creativity and immigration. A study from 2009 by psychologists William Maddux and Adam Galinsky discovered that when it comes to creative problem-solving, immigrants consistently outperform native populations. Galinsky reasons that this is because:

“There is some sort of psychological transformation that needs to occur when people are living in a foreign country in order to enhance creativity. This may happen when people work to adapt themselves to a new culture.”

The Top 5 Most Creative Cities in the World

5. Paris, France

The City of Lights has long been associated with expatriate artists; prompting the famed German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche to quip that “An artist has no home in Europe except in Paris.” Ranked 39th in the world for quality of life, Paris is well-known for its laid-back lifestyle, diverse cultural offerings and rich culinary scene (in fact the city is home to an impressive 100 Michelin star restaurants). What’s more, with its 245 theatres, the French Capital is also an ideal choice for budding actors, playwrights and directors.

4. Miami, US

Home to the world’s largest collection of art deco architecture, Miami in Florida is a top choice for artists and creatives seeking to immigrate into the US. In addition to its 72 theatres, the “Magic City” also boasts 27 art galleries and 18 museums.

3. Prague, Czech Republic

With a low cost of living of just $640 per month, Prague in the Czech Republic is an attractive option for artists who are just starting out. The Lonely Planet has sung the city’s praises as an underrated gem, saying “Prague is the equal of Paris in terms of beauty. Its history goes back a millennium. And the beer? The best in Europe.” Prague is a particularly good choice for professionals who work in the visual arts, as it has 201 art galleries and a lively arts scene.

2. Dublin, Ireland

Ranked 34th in the world for quality of life, the vibrant and welcoming city of Dublin in Ireland is a great option for artists thinking of relocating. Over the years, Ireland’s Fair City has built a reputation for literary excellence as it has been home to some of the world’s most famous novelists and playwrights (e.g. James Joyce, Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett for example). The city is also renowned for its lively music scene and as such is a great choice for aspiring musicians. As the LA Times put it, “Even a short stay in Dublin is like walking into literary history, accompanied by music”.

1. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Listed as 12th in the world for quality of life, Amsterdam in the Netherlands is the top destination for artists wishing to emigrate. With 96 theatres, 81 museums, 54 art galleries and 43 Michelin-starred restaurants; there is clearly plenty of inspiration to be found. What’s more, the city boasts a thriving creative scene which presents plenty of opportunities for aspiring artists of all types.

See the full list in our infographic below.

What Makes Immigrants More Entrepreneurial? (Infographic)

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Jul 0

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What do Max Levchin (founder of Yelp), Elon Musk (Tesla), Arianna Huffington (The Huffington Post), Dietrich Mateschitz (Red Bull), and Sergey Brin (Google) have in common? At some point in their lives, each of these extraordinarily impressive people made the decision to leave their home country and start anew abroad, each of them going on to build enormously successful corporate empires.

Their stories of immigrant success in business are hardly unique however. Did you know that in the US, immigrants represent 27.5 percent of entrepreneurs? This is incredible given the fact that they only make up around 13 percent of the overall population. In fact, research conducted in many countries across the world have found that immigrants are many times more likely to start a business than the native population. This prompts us to ask, what lies behind this strong connection between immigration and entrepreneurship?

It seems that there is something inherently entrepreneurial about leaving your home to start a new life in another country. Having made the move from one country to another, means that many immigrants boast a particular set of qualities and skills which can be of enormous benefit when building up a new business.

In our latest infographic we investigate the reasons why immigrants are so entrepreneurial. Check out the complete infographic below to learn more about immigrants who came to America and found success.

The Best Places to Live as a Digital Nomad (Infographic)

Best Places to Live as a Digital Nomad
Jun 0

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What is a Digital Nomad?

Defined as “individuals that leverage wireless digital technologies to perform their work duties, and more generally conduct their lifestyle in a nomadic manner,” digital nomads are becoming increasingly more common in today’s tech-driven world.

Armed with just a laptop and a passport, this new vanguard of freelance workers represents the office-less workplace of the future. For these ‘citizens of the world,’ an office can be anything from a beachside hut in Barbados to a café in Cairo.

How Can Digital Nomad Workers Find a Destination Suiting their Unique Needs?

If you are considering digital nomadism, you will need to find locations that cater to your needs both as a freelance worker and as a traveller. Therefore, before setting off you will need to identify destinations that offer excellent access to technology and work spaces as well as excitement and adventure. The best locations seamlessly combine aspects that appeal to both the worker and the adventurer in you.

So how can you find a place that provides all of this? The first step would be to check out our latest infographic on the Best Places to Live as a Digital Nomad. We at Hansen & Company are fascinated by new immigration trends such as digital nomadism. In this infographic we break down the top digital nomad destinations in the world. We also examine just what it is that makes them ideal prospects for digital nomads. Listing wonderful cities from across the continents; it offers a global perspective on digital nomadism.

Read the below infographic now for more information!

The Most Employable Cities in America (Infographic)

The-Most-Employable-Cities-In-America
Jun 0

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The Most Employable Cities in America (Infographic)

Planning to emigrate to the US? Depending on where you choose to live, your job prospects can vary quite a lot. For the majority of migrants, job availability is a huge factor – if not a primary concern – when moving abroad. Therefore, it is absolutely key to factor this into your research when planning a move to the States.

May 2018 saw good news for job hunters in the US, with the unemployment rate falling to just 3.8 percent – the lowest level since 1969. With that in mind, we have created an infographic based on the findings of the personal finance site WalletHub regarding the most employable cities in the US. This list compares the 150 most populous US cities based on 17 metrics across two metrics – job market and socioeconomic environment. In our latest infographic, we look at the top ten most employable cities to highlight the cities where you stand the best chance of finding a job.

One state with particularly good prospects is Texas. This state dominates the list with three cities featuring in the top five. Historically well-known for its good employment opportunities, cities in the Lone Star state boast excellent median incomes and consistently positive employment growth rates.

While the US labour market has improved remarkably in recent years, employment levels in many cities have yet to fully return to pre-recession levels. For example, job hunters may want to steer clear of the likes of Newark in New Jersey and San Bernardino in California due to their very high unemployment rates. Our infographic features useful information about the US cities in which you will find the most difficulty in finding work.

If you are interested in moving to the US and would like to discover more about the most employable cities in the US, why not check out our infographic below.

The Most Employable Cities In America

Immigrants Who Became Successful in America (infographic)

Mar 0

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People who aren’t born in America but work hard to get here are more successful than the average American. This infographic looks at six amazing stories of people who came to America with nothing and were incredibly driven to find success. Read more now!
Immigrants Who Became Successful in America