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One of the brilliant aspects of internet marketing is the inherent mobility of your business. Internet businesses, by definition, do not tie you to a particular area in the same way that brick and mortar enterprises can. Internet marketing can be done while you backpack around the country, but if you aim to settle down somewhere there are a few criteria that you should look for in your adopted country.
The best locations for internet marketing have a combination of permissive economic rules (including low personal taxes) and developed infrastructure. An ideal country would allow self-employed individuals and those with small businesses to pay relatively low tax rates, but it would also have an educated workforce that supports a good-sized technology sector with high internet speeds and consistent electricity and financial institutions. For the purposes of this list, we have not considered the cultural and personal elements of each country that might influence your own decision, as those will come down to your own preferences.
1. The United States
Despite its many flaws, the United States remains one of the best places in the world to engage in internet marketing. A relatively low cost of living outside the major cities, combined with highly developed infrastructure and low personal/corporate tax rates, add up to a generally permissive environment where internet marketers can find employees and partners in spades. The different states within the country have vastly different conditions for business, however, so look mostly at states like Florida with no state income tax.
On the other hand, the United States can be somewhat unfriendly to citizens of other countries that are looking to immigrate or stay for extended periods of time. Self-employed individuals have a great deal of difficulty obtaining initial entry VISAs as they do not have sponsors that can attest to their skills.
Honduras is a fantastic country for internet marketing, as long as you find an area with a good internet connection and in one of the few relatively stable/crime free neighborhoods. The government of Honduras is actively encouraging businesses to move into their country as part of a new initiative towards technological growth. However, life in Honduras comes with a few caveats. While you will certainly be able to live on a much lower amount of money than nearly anywhere else in the world, Honduras has one of the highest crime rates in the world and the disparity between the rich and the poor is extreme. Most internet marketers who live and work in Honduras do so in gated communities where private security maintains peace and order, and where they associate mostly with other expatriates. Look mostly at cities like Roatan for their beautiful weather, impressive infrastructure, and their relative freedom from the crime that has shaken the rest of the country.
Thailand is at the top of the list for its great value, but also for the capitalist-loving government and the proximity to numerous other East Asian countries where technology schools are churning out legions of cheap developers, programmers, and content producers. Many people in Thailand speak English, and there is a huge network of expatriates within the country from all over the world. Thailand sometimes seems like a British territory for the number of English people that retire there ore move there to work. Thailand receives somewhat lower marks for access to education and healthcare, important components of the overall country’s living environment if you will be relocating with children or a spouse. Thailand also does not allow foreigners to own property, although you can sign a 99 year lease should you find a particular area that you want to stay in for the rest of your life.
Believe it or not, China is actually a great country to live in for internet marketers… but it can be a difficult country in which to register a business. The government of China is progressively overturning the communist legislation that previously made the country so hostile to business, and the country has a growing tech sector that is itching to be taken seriously by the global community. China is not necessarily a cheap country to live in though, and many comforts of the Western world demand a high premium in the big Chinese cities.
If you are dead-set on living in Europe, Germany is the place to be. Salaries in Germany remain high for foreigners, while expenses are low thanks to broad growth and a healthy economy. Germany is friendly to internet marketing, with fast internet speeds and numerous cities (including Berlin) that offer free wireless throughout the city. Like all European countries, however, Germany has relatively high taxes both on personal and corporate incomes, but those taxes also come with a higher level of social programs such as medical care and comprehensive welfare.