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Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Merx, Feb 17, 2010.
You seem to be contradicting yourself in that sentence there
VERY interesting info Tersi
Too bad Bahamas I need craploads of money (I have 30.000 negative...)
I was thinking in going to Japan, but their immigration laws make almost impossible to move there (you need a employer or a wife to sponsor you, and even with that you need to keep renewing your documents for several years until you can get citizenship, and sometimes you may die of old age before getting citizenship... also if you get fired/divorced you are kicked out of the country, if you have kids when you divorce, your wife keep the kids and all your stuff).
Canada I tought of maybe going there, but it is not a place that I feel turned on by... It is like a "average" nice place. Also they ask for some specific degrees (and I don't have any of them).
Scandinavia is really cold, and I have no clue on Scandinavia language (to me even Japanese is easier).
People suggested to me, but I don't checked yet: tax heavens (I don't even know what countries are one of this), rising asiatic countries (like Korea, Indonesia, etc...), but from what I've heard they have more racism issues than Japan.
For now I am keeping West europe and US as last resort, and Mediterran as really last resort (their are having serious problems, even if they are "less worse" than here, but they may welcome me, as I am descent of Portuguese, Spanish and Italian).
Generally visas based on Ancestry usually require either one or both of your parents are nationals of that country. Very few countries will consider a grandparent.
If you have zero degrees and zero cash then it is not about what countries you want to emigrate to, but what countries are going to take you.
I have a associates in digital animation and soon (some months or a 1 year max) I will get a bachelor in design.
Those Canada have no interest. (reason why I mentioned it).
And cash is way negative, it is not even zero (I've got a huge loan to pay a insanely expensive university).
Bryce and I have often thought about moving to NZ. Weather is good, prices are decent, and the cities look nice.
I thought about it too, but it is VERY remote. Plus I was strangely distressed by the thought of buying a wooden house.
Great scenery though. And very generous to people moving an existing small business.
+1 for considering New Zealand. Although what we may end up doing is having the UK as our "base" and trying out other places for several months at a time, like France, Spain, Italy etc. especially in the Winter when it's crappy in the UK.
Got to also add that Vancouver is stuffed full of so many Indies that it's a great place to be Indie just from a networking and teaming up point of view. Probably Seattle and some other US/Canadian cities are the same. Anyone know if there's a big Indie scene in London? I certainly never hear about it. Perhaps because it's TOO big and sprawling compared with Vancouver where it's easy for everyone to meet centrally.
There seem to be a lot of pissups happening in london. Once you get back, send me an email and I'll see if I can get you on the list I keep getting sent (even if I can never bloody make it).
I'd think about NZ too. I also quite like OZ and I've thought about Malaysia before too. Mainly due to the "my second home" programme. 10 year visa is a good plan and only need around 30k to stick in a bank.
Upside of europe of course, is that technically we can go and work anywhere in the EU we feel like. Never tried it, but theoretically it would work.
I think you've hit on the singally most awesome part about being an independent developer: the ability to work from anywhere. If you go to Spain, check out Rhonda and the southern coast.
Problem with "trying out" is that as tourist is one thing, as place to setup a business is completely different (taxation rate, absurd laws, and so on that you only discover with time...)
Sounds good thanks Will do!
Yep agreed. My wife is a freelance Science writer and so we had discussed this plan of hanging out in Europe several years ago before BFG shipped me over to Vancouver. Now we can get back on with the plan, although going to Vancouver was as fine diversion of course.
Tell me about it, the double taxation in Canada of my UK company dividends was quite a shock. So in the future if I try anywhere out, the idea will be to keep working for Grey Alien Games which is UK-based but NOT take out any dividends until I get back home, thus avoiding horrid tax things. It's also what I'm doing in 2011 in Canada until I move back to the UK i.e. living off savings and let my company store up the cash until I get back.
I thought Canada would have had double taxation treaties with the UK?
It does, but here's the catch. When you take out a dividend from a UK company, on your UK tax return you get a "tax credit" for the dividends because HM Revenue & Customs knows that your company has already paid about 20% tax on the profits. So the net effect is you don't get charged any extra tax unless your earnings go over a certain threshold. HOWEVER, in Canada they just see your dividends as extra income and the tax credit is not applicable so they charge you tax on the dividends. Because I had been paid by BFG it meant that the dividends were in a high tax bracket. I ended up paying 20% on them via corporation tax in the UK then nearly another 40% on them in Canada. It was a *horrible* situation, and a fairly unusual one. Since then I've decided to not take out any dividends until I get home.
Ah wow, that does sound quite painful. We moved to a ltd format about a year ago but I'm considering moving back to sole-trader or partnership to avoid horrible situations like that. Companies have some minor benefits, especially if you're making less than 40k/year, but it's not worth the massive tax rape you'll suffer once you start to get bigger. Then there is all the extra paperwork and red tape. For someone like me who doesn't want to employ 50+ people it's really not worth it.
Being a Ltd. company was useful in my earlier years but all those gains were wiped out by the tax situation over here. If I had just paid myself the money as a salary instead of a dividend then the company wouldn't have had to pay much corporation tax, I'd have just paid it on my salary and THEN the Canada double taxation treaty would've have worked as I could have told them I'd already paid tax on that salaried income in the UK. Let this be a lesson for others who might find themselves in a similar situation.
I noticed that to a indie, what matters is have internet and decent tax laws...
Someone know some nice countries with those properties? Like, how much tax exists in NZ for example?
I would never be a sole trader or partnership.
I can never, ever, under any circumstances lose my home because of my business. That is what being a limited company gives you.
If some maniac multinational decides your zombie game was a rip off of their zombie game, or someone who is addicted to your game goes and beheads someone and blames you, then you are fucked. You could lose everything.
That peace of mind is worth a lot to me.
Liability insurance isn't all that expensive. Plus, being an Ltd doesn't give you anything close to 100% protection. If you were personally at fault they can try and come after you personally as well.
Oh, and there is such thing as a limited liability partnership. Same protection but taxed as a sole-trader/partnership.
EU nationals can consider Cyprus: Great weather all the year around, not very expensive, corporate tax is 10%, highest bracket of personal income tax (above 36000 EUR) is 30%, till 19500 EUR the tax rate is 0. National currency: EUR. Cyprus is a former english territory and lot's of people speak good english.
I'd like to throw this onto the table, for those considering Canada. Immigration in Canada is only 50% federal, so moving to Canada is highly dependent on which Province you are considering. Each Province has it's own programs for entry, but in general Canada is trying to attract game developers.
If you're looking to move someplace where costs are low, verses indie income, Canada isn't going to be much better than the US. I spent 10 yrs in Minnesota before coming home. Costs are about the same, in the US you get "nibbled to death by baby ducks" in Canada, we throw you to the wolves The reality is when sumed up housing, medical, etc... costs are about even (taxes and all factored), with retail goods being higher in Canada (for no good reason I'll add...).