Some recent events made us think seriously about relocating our headquarters. Six years ago, starting a business within the European Union in one of the economically rising and most promising countries seemed like a great idea. During the last few years however EU suffered from numerous issues and lost all its credibility in our eyes: economical instability, growing unemployment, critical economical situation in Greece, Spain, now Cyprus, probably with other countries next on the list.
The Great Recession that started in 2007 had both economical and social impact. Despite the promising 2013 US employment statistics, we might see the recession in some EU countries for a few more years. We are afraid that EU is entering a very difficult period and will suffer from another, much deeper recession dip.
We are seriously thinking about relocating to another country. We have studied numerous "Best Places to Live" lists and found them highly biased. After long debates we constructed a list of requirements:
#1 Economically stable
A few years back Cyprus was one of our favorites. Not any more. Given the economical downturn we would be looking outside of European Union.
#2 No winter
This is a picture I have taken this very morning. April. It is Spring and Eastern already, but it is still snowing damn it!
#3 Stable, but independent legal system
Do you know how much time we spend reading all DMCA takedown requests? In a perfect independent system we could just drop them to Trash like the PirateBay does ;-)
#4 Low and fair taxes
This is obvious. But at the same time "tax heaven" countries like Bahama, Cyprus, Monaco do not satisfy condition #1.
#5 Geographical location
New headquarters should be conveniently located and allow us to reach "rest of the world" in reasonable time. Right now we need 18 hours to reach east coast of USA, which is far too much.
#6 Politically stable
There is no way we would look into China or Middle East countries. Obviously the risk of being involved in a military conflict should be literally zero.
#7 Broadband internet
This is a must. We are spoiled with our multi-GB uplink and anything lower than that would be a serious drawback. This rules out lonely islands on Pacific Ocean with a satellite uplink only :-(
Based on the conditions we have a few solid candidates, listed in random order:
One of the "best places to live" in USA. Economy on the rise again, no winter. Quite far away from the mainland, but come on. No winter!
Although it is a cold country, it is outside of EU, has its own enormous oil and gas resources which makes the economy extremely stable. Great social care. Unfortunately… Norsk språk er komplekst. And stay away from Surströmming.
Somewhere in California
USA east coast might be great for similar reasons as Hawaii.
Switzerland or Luxembourg
Although located in the center of EU, they are independent and stable as hell.
It might be cold out there, but we would have a lot of time to work on Wikidot. Did you know they have only a few sunny days a year? That's when everyone takes time off work, go out and take the photos.
Why haven't we thought about it earlier? Edoras, River Anduin, Fangorn Forest, Gardens of Isengard…
The discussion is still open and we would really like to hear your opinion! Are there any places you would recommend and why? Maybe you live in a country we could move to?