I have a personal project that's doing pretty well (over 370k downloads), but with no monetizing solution so far. Before I go in for monetization, I'm trying to browse the different options out there that would allow me to create a brand name/business for this product and a few others so to make them look more authentic.

I eventually came across E-Residency in Estonia, applied for it, got my card then started the process with LeapIn. Everything was going smooth until I learned there's no guarantee Paypal would approve my business, to then learn that I have no right to enter an email address with my business domain name as my contact information in the Estonian Business Registry, it had to be an @leapin.eu address that I had no access to, this sounded too odd and intrusive to me so I canceled the entire process with LeapIn and got a refund.

I'm rather a technical person (software engineer), I have very shallow knowledge when it comes to taxes, accounting and the legal aspects of starting a business and so I'm seeking advice.

To summarize my situation, I'm currently working as a software engineer in France, I have a resident card which expires in November 2020 (status is renewable), and I'm looking for the best alternatives to start my business while keeping my salarial activity in parallel.

Ideally the business would be location independent, similarly to what the E-residency program in Estonia offers. The goal being to quit my day job and go live somewhere else should the business do well. The key factors for my choice would be driven by:

  • Ease/low fees of company creation (in the form of a one-person Ltd)
  • Lower taxes
  • Unique remote physical address for the company (The program in Estonia uses the same physical address for hundreds/thousands of applicants, which is the major reason I guess for Paypal denying them access to their service)
  • No intrusive policies from the physical address provider/contact person
  • Lower fees for accounting, tax filing, and company creation.

Any hints/recommendations would be appreciated.

  • 2
    My hint: Get counsel from a professional! This can have a huge impact on your financial future! I mean, thanks for the trust you put in us, but do you really want to make these decisions based on advice from random strangers on the internet? – Daniel Sep 6 at 11:22
  • Thanks Daniel, I already did this and ended up deciding to change my country of residence before making the move. My status in France is very restrictive, and would need a year before I can change it... a change that would have other limiting restrictions. I'm avoiding the details but I can elaborate if needed. – ALTN Sep 6 at 15:52
  • 1
    What does E-Residency in Estonia get you for your Eur 50 to 99/month? And, be aware that their FAQ clearly states "It’s your own responsibility to pay the relevant personal taxes in your actual location in your country of residence ". In fact, that will be the case no matter what solution you adopt. Where you live is where you pay your taxes, no matter where you earn your money (unless you are Google, of course :-) – Mawg Oct 1 at 14:41
  • E-residency gives you the right to open a company in Estonia. The monthly fee is for service providers (eg. LeapIn) which would take care of all the paperwork for company creation, accounting and tax filing in Estonia. Unfortunately those services come with the limitations I stated in my post. You mentioned taxes are to be paid in my country of residence... not true. The company and owner are 2 separate entities, taxes on revenue made by the company must be paid in the company's country not the owner's. – ALTN Oct 2 at 16:19
  • Pay the taxes in the country you are receiving services from and owe something to. – Harry Cover Oct 3 at 14:08

You could contact a french "portage" company and offer services as an adviser to implement and use your software. It sticks to your criterion and will permit you to start monetize your app.

Could you tell us a bit more about your business model (pay as you go ? subscription ?).

You could also start a limited or a partnership (and become a silent partner) in UK.

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