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This 86 message thread spans 3 pages: 86 ( [1] 2 3 > >     
Which country is best for webmasters?

 12:58 am on Jan 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

Which country do people recommend for webmasters with no ties and income derived from a website advertising - ie no need for premises, employees, etc?

Taking into account Tax, Standard of Living, Security, etc.




 9:02 am on Jan 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm partial to Japan, but it is a tad expensive and there can be a steep learning curve on the language side for some...but the Standard of Living and Security issues you mentioned are quite impressive.


 9:06 am on Jan 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

Does it have to be an english-speaking country? Else I'd say Switzerland.


 9:18 am on Jan 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sure, Switzerland, Luxembourg has known for being a tax-heaven.



 11:55 am on Jan 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

Preferably English speaking, but could try learning a new language - Japanese might be a bit tricky.

I've thought about - Malta, Caribbean, Canada, New Zealand, US.

Anyone living in Eastern Europe - Prague looks nice!


 12:13 pm on Jan 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

Japan has the best Internet access in the world -for less than 50 USD you can have 100M fttp or 46M ADSL.


 12:27 pm on Jan 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

try the us... florida hsa no personal incmoe tax,i believe


 2:17 pm on Jan 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well, I chose to come back to Halifax, Nova Scotia last year because of standard of living. Things are just far more laid back here. It's a university city (several of them), so the music/ night life is great.

Any wage here is easily less than half what I could have made in a larger area, and the cost of living is also much lower. The taxes are higher here, but you do get your money's worth (healthcare, etc...). Obviously, being self-employed in this situation is ideal.

In a couple years, as soon as business stabilizes, I'll be wanting to travel, likely around the world :)


 2:20 pm on Jan 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

Japan has the best Internet access in the world -for less than 50 USD you can have 100M fttp or 46M ADSL.

I know someone in Japan who has 46m ADSL and it's slower than mine (1mb down, 400kbs up) in the UK.

I think it is *massively* contended.



 2:54 pm on Jan 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

I live currently in Malta, DO NOT COME HERE! The business side of things makes yxou feel liek a 3 year old playing "business" in a sandbox. Your average bank manager knows less about banking and business then a stuffed teddy bear. I've spend more time on stuff AFTER the money was earned, then on earning the money in the first place.

I'm currently Looking at Dubai. The tax situation (none) is a dream, and it's REALLY trying hard to attrackt high-tech business.

If you don't mind some sand in the air and somewhat pricey living (well by malta standards, prolly cheap by US standards) it sounds pretty damn good.



 3:02 pm on Jan 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

What about the Cayman Islands? They have no income tax-- nor corporation tax, capital gains tax, gift tax, or estate tax-- yet along with Bermuda and Malta and a tiny handful of other such countries have avoided an OECD blacklist. It's English-speaking, cheaper than Bermuda, and has connectivity through Cable & Wireless.


 3:11 pm on Jan 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

The Cayman Islands have an enormous cost of living - ostensibly to keep out certain groups of people:





 3:14 pm on Jan 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

How difficult is it to move to a 'tax haven' like the Cayman islands. I have heard that it's not worth doing unless you have a very high income. Also what are the security and standard of living issues in this kind of place - is it a safe place to live? is healthcare good? etc.


 3:27 pm on Jan 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

All well and good but Islands such as the Cayman or British Virgin have a very high cost of living. Cos they have to fly/sail in all of life's necessities (well mod cons and the ‘good stuff’ anyway) - but who would really care with coastline like that?

I have a friend who lives in Jersey - No tax, and plenty of small rich businesses to design for :) - she says it's a haven for small design firms.

IMO you're best avoid England, hard life to lead with the job market so crammed with competition. I have to work 2 jobs to keep me in the manner I have become accustomed. An aquaintance advertised a webmaster/developer position in a local paper and recived over 300 CV's for 1 vacancy. That's an awful lot of out of work people/people hunting better jobs.

East Africa is relatively buoyant and is most definitely 'online' although the infrastructure for e-commerce is unstable – but from a web developers point of view it has lots of potential.



<added: 2 posts too late>

Looks like the caymans are very expensive then ;)


 6:18 pm on Jan 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm also in Canada and it's fantastic living, but not what you would call a tax haven :) Generally good connectivity throughout the country and culturally diverse from one end to the other so there's a little something for everyone. Does get a bit cold though...


 8:53 pm on Jan 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks for all your help.

I'm not too worried about lack of jobs, low wages, etc, as I run some websites of my own and earn my money through advertising revenue.

I like the idea of the Cayman's as it sounds like a nice place to live. Also like the sound of Canada, as although the tax is higher, housing is cheaper.


 2:30 pm on Jan 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

New Zealand?
every thing cheap here. house, car, computers, hardware and so much more. Plus you get a LOT of SEO and Web Designing people here.

There are also many courses around related to computers on a "Zero Fee Scheme" bases, which also offer "Student Loan".

You could easily setup a living here, without worrying about how its gonna workout.



 3:18 pm on Jan 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I can second that, its very easy to set up business in NZ and standard of living is the best I'v experienced in the world.


 5:12 am on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Living in New Zealand is very easy. And if you're planning a company that is only you, then just register your Inland Revenue Number as GST (if above a certain income) and start doing business. In this case your income will be taxed as personal, and you'll have to pay GST in business revenue (12.5%). Quite simple really.


 6:13 am on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yeah, East Africa has a potential but it is still too early (bad infrastructure and no e-commerce) and it is not a "tax-heaven" : work permit are expensive, tax are high.

But IT development is there as there are many Indians.



 10:23 am on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

East Africa .... is not a "tax-heaven"

I was referring to Jersey ;)

Taxes are high in east africa but the cost of living is incredibly in-expensive in comparison to the UK. I spent a number of months there in 2001 and was amazed by the changes that have been made in Uganda since Amin.

The infrastructure for the buying and selling of goods via ecommerce is a way off - the postal service is lackadaisical and some might say a little corrupt, but the IT skills that the people possess would amaze you. From a development point of view Kampala, Kisumu, Jinja or Mombasa would be excellent places to live. While travelling I also found an enormous number of places to use the internet. AOL (Africa's On Line!)




 11:00 am on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

New Zealand, i have thought about that a lot

North or South?
I was thinking of going over for 6 months and checking it out, just need take my laptop and i am always on the job?.



 11:28 am on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sorry for being thick but what does GST stand for? Does this mean you would have to pay 12.5% on your business profits and then personal tax on your own salary derived.

Also is there any tax breaks for individuals wishing to set up business in NZ?

What kind of broadband access do you have in NZ? Would it be possible to get this in a rural location?

Thanks for your help everyone.


 11:45 am on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

GST stands for Goods and Sales Tax. It's like the European VAT, 12.5% on top of sales price. Your personal tax is on top of your revenue, so it already discounted the GST. Also, you'll get a return of the GST paid on business expenses.


 1:05 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>South or North?

I say South - Its much colder, quiter and pleasent :)
Of course, the north island webmasters will say north. But I would really prefer south, as its a much quiter and a friendly place.

>>What kind of broadband access do you have in NZ? Would it be possible to get this in a rural location?

Broadband can be accessed absolutely from anywhere here in NZ, there is one called "Jetstream [telecom.co.nz]" which is the most popular one and the most used one.



 1:26 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Isn't it a bit too chilly on the South island? Getting rather fed up with the cold british winters! Mind you the skiing would be nice.

Does this mean you can get broadband in rural areas as well? I was in NZ a few years ago and there was a problem with people getting fast access and having to use expense satellite services.


 5:07 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

USA - Its sure not a tax heaven but taxes are not high as Canada or Western Europe. Also standard of living is good if not the best..More importantly if you have a big vision (for furture projects) this is the place to be! .But getting a visa which permit you to work is kinda though though!

I am from india and i know i can save hundreds of thousands in taxes if i live there but rather i choose America to live


 5:52 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

gopi- I live in Canada and wouldn't trade it for the USA.

While it is true we pay more taxes here, it's actually below the G7 average, and if you add the percentage of GDP we spend on taxes, it is lower than the percentage the US spends on taxes + healthcare. We're not getting such a bad deal.

Cities like Montreal are vibrant with low rent, Atlantic Canada is very laid-back, BC is great for outdoors adventures (hiking, skiing...). While our material standard of living is not quite as high as the US, we also have less crime and other perks.

That's not to say there aren't great places in the US- Oregon certainly has some appeal for me, as do the Rocky Mountains. In fact, I likely will keep Atlantic Canada as my home base, but will go travel in several countries. Kerala sounds like one of India's jewels, and Sri Lanka, New Zealand as well as Australia all seem interesting.

Maybe an interesting variation on the original question would be: "Can you recommend a place where a webmaster can visit for 1-3 months?" It would have to be a place where there is good connectivity and facilities for people working remotely, affordable and fun.


 6:33 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

danieljean - For low/moderate income people i think canada is a best place as even though taxes are little high , govt sponsored healthcare and relatively low cost living more than make up for taxes.

But for high income people i doubt it


 6:55 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Many rich people register in the Caiman Islands but live in Canada. (It really only starts making sense over CAD$100k/yr).

I guess that opens up the discussion a bit: if you don't have to live where you pay taxes (at least not all of them, VAT is hard to avoid in some places), "Which country is best for webmasters?" can be answered differently.

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