Entrepreneur

The ABCs of Starting a Business Overseas

Starting a business overseas may seem daunting, but the rewards can be great. Here's what you need to know to find success as an entrepreneurial expat.
Back in Bahrain: Ashley Hunter of HM Risk Group. Source: Leanne Mueller

After leaving her overseas insurance underwriting job in 2007, Ashley Hunter decided to return to the U.S. and hang her own shingle. There was just one problem: She wasn’t landing the types of large accounts she handled during the years she worked for large insurance companies such as AIG.  

Her former boss and mentor encouraged her to return to the Middle East, where she’d already built a reputation in the industry. So she moved to Bahrain and started her commercial insurance brokerage, HM Risk Group. The bet paid off: In 2014 her five-person company wrote several million dollars in annual insurance premiums for startups, as well as Fortune 500s and other large companies, in the Middle East, U.S., U.K. and Australia.

That’s not to say that launching a company abroad was easy. Despite Hunter’s familiarity with the local business landscape, there were international laws and tax regulations to decipher, corporate customs to adopt and countless hours

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