“Hi team Korporatio,
I am a permanent traveler. Sold my business 3 years ago and been ‘on the go’ ever since. No fixed address at the moment, travel a lot and looking to set up a new holding company for a few different projects. Digital business (software devs) and clients from different countries. I’ve heard about you guys being fully cross-border and paperless.

Can you share more? Any thoughts on where to best incorporate my next company?”


Global citizens, digital nomads, permanent travelers and nomadic entrepreneurs… those of you who are location-independent and gravitate towards the idea of a borderless world, this one’s for you. 

It’s been estimated that there will be 1 billion digital nomads by 2035. Our world is more connected than ever before but when it comes to this – living the life of a location-independent entrepreneur – things are far more complex and nuanced than visible on the surface. With no permanent place of residence, what are the legal requirements you need to comply with? Where do you pay your taxes? How do you manage a business while constantly on the move?

This article is about nomadic business setups. We get a good amount of inquiries covering a wide range of topics from jurisdictions to alternatives in corporate banking. And not surprisingly, the ones that top our charts are often related to multinational lifestyles, cross-border businesses and cost-effective solutions. The sweet spot seems to be somewhere between full compliance yet not being bound by national borders. Sounds oddly familiar right? 

They say the world is your oyster. Now let’s see how this oyster can run a business in today’s life of a nomadic entrepreneur: 


“I am location-independent. How do I run a business if I am constantly on the go?”

To run your business while constantly on the go means you most likely don’t have a permanent address. While your place of residency itself doesn’t necessarily need to have anything to do with where or how you run your business, it will determine things such as your personal income tax, personal banking, social security systems and so on. 

If you are location-independent, you’ll probably want a company set up that requires minimal paperwork and bureaucratic burden. Smart Companies do exactly that.

From incorporation to corporate governance, having your own dashboard means you can manage it virtually from anywhere and any time zone in the world. It saves time and money with immutability, trackability and traceability.

And you own all the data with full control. So regardless of if your business is online or offline, you’ll certainly benefit from a paperless entity that allows you to run it while you’re on the move.

Therefore, the question isn’t perhaps so much about how to run a location-independent business as much as it’s about where to set it up. And for this, understanding the jurisdiction landscape will help. 


“As a digital nomad, should I incorporate my company according to my citizenship?” 

This is a common misconception. And the answer in simple is no. Of course you can, but you don’t need to. Where you choose to set up your business isn’t tied to your citizenship. That said, the lines between personal residency and corporate incorporation have overlapping layers of information, so we can’t blame you for feeling confused. 

One of the things most people get confused with is the place of incorporation vs. place of business operation. The reality is that both can happen in the same jurisdiction but they don’t have to be. It isn’t uncommon to see a business incorporated in Singapore, with actual business income coming from Europe and the founders themselves residing across the globe. As long as your legal requirements are met, you are compliant to go. 

In a nutshell, here’s our take: 

Brick and mortar business
→ If the physical location of your business matters (bars and restaurants, car repair shop etc.), you’ll want to consider the market, the industry and the regulations of the respective jurisdiction you’re operating in. This is regardless of whether or not you personally reside in the same physical location or not. 

As long as you’re dealing with local customers, local teams and operations in one country, choosing to incorporate in that specific jurisdiction may be a wiser option. This is simply because you wouldn’t exactly benefit from any attractive policies from other jurisdictions if your main business activities are sourced locally. 

Digital business → If your business is not tied to a physical location (software, online consulting, trading etc.) and you’re operating across borders, your clients are likely coming from all over the planet. This also applies to holding companies (assets, real estate, IPs, licences etc.) that may hold multiple entities within one legal structure. 

For such businesses, and their nomadic owners, your company setup could be virtually incorporated anywhere in the world. Generally speaking, your company formation in this case would be called offshoring. By definition, an offshore company is a foreign-based entity that is geographically located elsewhere than your home country. The reason why offshores are typically referred to as tropical islands with attractive tax policies is because when you’re a non-resident founder and have the option to choose from any jurisdictions in the world, those offering light bureaucracy and tax exemption will likely rank high on your list. 

Didn’t understand a word of what we just said? Learn more here.

Hybrid models → Most nomadic entrepreneurs run an online business, something they can easily manage on the move. But what we’re trying to elaborate is that it doesn’t have to necessarily be that way. Perhaps the easiest way to think of this is to segregate 

a) your company’s place of incorporation
b) your company’s actual business activities and
c) your personal self

Legally speaking, these  are all different legal identities with different possibilities, requirements and liabilities. While the traditional concept is to have all three in the same physical location (incorporation, operation and residence), our modern lifestyles offer many more options to mix and match according to our own preferences. 


Say, you’d like to set up a hospitality business that teaches surfing: Surf Hostel. Amongst numerous options, you could play it out like this: 

a) Place of incorporation → Singapore. Simple and easy company setup in a reputable and economically stable jurisdiction. This company setup acts as a holding entity for your hostel, its trademarks, intangibles and assets. For corporate banking, external funding etc., this offers a safe and secure legal framework for your needs. 

b) Place of business activities → Indonesia. This is where your hostel is physically located, therefore your actual business activities are here. Your suppliers, clients as well as teams. Your annual auditing will be required in accordance with your Singapore entity, but your corporate tax is based on the income sourced in Indonesia. 

c) Place of residence → This depends completely on you. As a nomadic entrepreneur, you don’t need to be a resident of Singapore nor Indonesia yourself, although you run a brick and mortar business tied to a physical location. 

The things that typically tie your feet down the most are your personal place of tax residency, corporate tax residency and banking. Having these figured out set the framework within which you’ll be able to navigate further.


“What is the best company type for a nomadic entrepreneur?”

If your life isn’t tied to a single location, the last thing you probably want is to tie your company down to one. Maximum freedom, autonomy and flexibility are important to you. In other words, you’ll want a legal structure that supports your nomadic lifestyle. 

While there are numerous options to choose in setting up a business entity, some of the more common types are Sole Proprietorship, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Private Limited Company (LTD) and International Business Company (IBC). What makes these a suitable setup for nomadic entrepreneurs is how light their are on bureaucracy, legal requirements yet still offer the layer of liability protection between personal and professional. 

However, while all these entity structures are simple to set up, managing the business down the road may require more manual steps, physical visits and offline processes. What many incorporation agents don’t typically disclose upfront are exactly these types of things, resulting in extra costs on corporate governance and reporting. 

And it’s these kinds of frustrations that triggered us at Korporatio to build the Smart Company in the first place. An alternative, completely digital way of setting up a business and managing it in the long run.

As a nomadic founder, you’ll want to track, trace and own your history to be accessible from wherever you are, throughout office working hours as well as national holidays.

Therefore, we’ll certainly be biased answering this question with Smart Companies. But we’ve been sitting on this topic long enough to have witnessed the difference between traditional and smart entities. Having your corporate governance on a single platform does make a difference and will give you competitive leverage over other models. 


“For digital nomads, where is the best place to incorporate a Smart Company?”

If you’ve made it this far, it is probably quite clear that the best answer to this question is ‘it depends’. But it truly does. Following what we’ve discussed so far, it all comes down to your intended business activities and future projections. 

As of today, Smart Companies are available in the following jurisdictions. We’ll run through each to show the why’s and why not’s. 


Why choose this as a digital nomad? 

As the first jurisdiction that approved the Smart Company model, Seychelles offers a dynamic, versatile and cost-effective choice for a location-independent founder. To set up a business here, you only need one director and one shareholder (both can be you). You don’t need to be a resident of Seychelles either. No paid-up capital needed and full tax exemption on foreign-sourced income. This makes it light, easy and simple for you to build an international business. Basically, it’s an ideal setup for the nomadic lifestyle, light on requirements and flexible enough to accommodate your cross-border activities.

Why not choose this as a digital nomad? 

Because of its low legal requirements on ownership and high levels of confidentiality, traditional banks and external investors may consider your setup high-risk. This may limit certain business banking options, but if you’re legitimate and can prove your tax residency for instance, things will be much easier.



Why choose this as a digital nomad? 

Often referred to as the most popular offshore jurisdictions in the world, Panama Smart Companies enjoy its established jurisdiction and well-developed financial landscape. 

Seriously diverse, this suits the kind of nomadic founders that are looking to set up a holding entity to gather otherwise distributed assets. Similarly, if you’re in international trade, international logistics or supply chain, and real estate

Why not choose this as a digital nomad? 

Same as above. That said, Panama has an established banking and financial services sector. 



Why choose this as a digital nomad? 

This one needs no introduction. Ranking on top of the charts of a range of different measures from economic stability to ease of doing business and workforce productivity to its strong infrastructure, Singapore Smart Companies offer a solid setting to start a business. Popular amongst location-independent entrepreneurs, this jurisdiction offers a reputable jurisdiction that you can count on, especially if you’re traveling in the Asia Pacific region. 

Why not choose this as a digital nomad? 

Honestly, the only thing we can think of is perhaps the price tag. And even that’s not bad compared to all operative agents in the market. 


St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Why choose this as a digital nomad? 

Privacy, privacy and privacy. This one’s for those who value security, confidentiality and established financial services. In fact, Smart Companies in St. Vincent add an extra layer of security – our technology makes sure your data is tamper-proof, securely stored with all actions trackable and traceable to you and your company owners. This is on top of St. Vincent’s privacy law which is considered one of the strictest in the world.

Otherwise similar to Seychelles, only one director and one shareholder is required to get you started. Here you’ll get a light-weight entity structure, zero corporate tax on foreign-sourced income and a developed banking sector with multiple options.

Why not choose this as a digital nomad? 

Same as Seychelles and Panama. 


Wyoming, U.S. 

Why choose this as a digital nomad? 

One of the best things about Wyoming Smart Companies is how light the structure is. It offers the legal protection of limited liability yet it won’t suffocate entrepreneurs with a heavy burden of bureaucracy. As an owner of Wyoming Smart Company, you get to decide everything from whether or not you choose to reside in the state or not and even how you are taxed. Pretty special for a digital nomad. Also, it’s the cheapest jurisdiction we offer.


And – a special shout-out to all blockchain-enthusiasts out there. Thanks to Wyoming’s Blockchain Coalition, you’re yet to find a more blockchain-friendly jurisdiction than this one.

Why not choose this as a digital nomad? 

If you have business activities within the borders of the U.S, you’ll be subject to federal taxation. Navigating through this may seem complicated – but don’t worry, we’ll help 😉 


Concluding thoughts 

Starting a business as a nomadic entrepreneur or permanent traveller can be an amazing experience. More than anything, it is certainly a choice of lifestyle. While there is no simple one fits all – solution to where or how to run your business, these following questions should draw a pretty good picture of what will suit your situation the best:

  • What is your core business i.e. what do you sell?
  • Where do you plan to sell? 
  • What are your plans for fundraising (external/public/private/self)?
  • What are your requirements for banking? 
  • How do you get paid? 
  • What types of income will you generate? 
  • Will you have operations in regulated activities? (financial services, insurance etc.) 
  • How important is the reputation of the jurisdiction to you? 
  • What is your country of residence?
  • Tax treaties with other countries?

And to get there, we at Korporatio are more than happy to help. 


What is your take on this? Did we miss something you find relevant? Drop us a note at future@korporatio.com  and share your thoughts and questions!