Top 3 Countries for Entrepreneurs to Obtain Dual Citizenship

As a business owner looking to expand your company globally, obtaining a second passport can be a strategic move. It enhances mobility, reduces tax burdens, and provides security against volatility back home. But with over a dozen countries now offering investor citizenship programs, selecting the best option can be challenging.

In this guide, we compare the top contenders based on critical factors for entrepreneurs:

Malta

Benefits for Entrepreneurs:

  • Full access to the EU single market – able to freely establish and run businesses across Europe
  • Visa-free travel to over 180 countries including Canada, UK, Europe, Singapore etc.
  • Favorable tax regime with many exemptions available to foreign investors
  • Highly reputable program eligible for eventual Schengen residency

Investment Required:

  • €750,000 one-time contribution to the National Development Fund
  • €600,000 investment in real estate or government bonds held for 5 years
  • Plus due diligence and admin fees of ~€40k

Time to Citizenship: 12-14 months with one year of residency required

Approval Success Rate: Over 95% of applicants since launch in 2014

Portugal

Benefits for Entrepreneurs:

  • Business-friendly economy with some of the lowest operating costs in Western Europe
  • Flexible residency program with visa-free access to 170+ countries
  • No requirement to live full-time in Portugal
  • Low tax rates of around 20% maximum on foreign income

Investment Required:

  • €280,000 into real estate OR
  • €350,000 for establishing/participating in local businesses OR
  • €500,000 passive public/private funds

Time to Citizenship: 5 years of residence

Approval Success Rate: Over 90% approval for real estate option

St. Kitts & Nevis

Benefits for Entrepreneurs:

  • Fastest route to second citizenship in just 60-90 days
  • Visa-free travel to nearly 160 countries
  • Full residence and tax benefitsPossible to include families

Investment Required:

  • $150,000 one-time contribution to the Sustainable Growth Fund

Time to Citizenship: 60 to 90 days

Approval Success Rate: Over 95% of applicants get approved

Comparison of Top 3 Citizenship Programs

Country Investment Required Processing Time Visa-free Travel Tax Rates
Malta €600k-€750k 12-14 months 180+ countries Highly competitive
Portugal €280k-€500k 5 years 170+ countries As low as 20%
St. Kitts $150k 60-90 days 160 countries No tax on foreign income

Choosing the Best Country for Your Goals

With a range of competitive citizenship by investment programs now available worldwide, the key is choosing the option strategically tailored to your entrepreneurial objectives.

Critical questions to consider:

  • Which regions offer the most business, investment and growth opportunities?
  • How often will you need to travel there to manage existing operations?
  • Is it easy to import/export goods and services from that country?
  • What is the tax burden on foreign vs. local income?

Discussing these factors with an immigration lawyer can help determine if Malta, Portugal, St. Kitts, or another country offers the optimal route for expanding your business abroad with a second passport.

As a business owner myself, I’m happy to share additional insight from my own experience taking companies global. Feel free to get in touch to explore your options further!