What is Alternative Dispute Resolution? Is it right for your problem? What types of ADR exist? How are they used?Continue reading
This guide covers… This guide deals with the special things that you will need to take into account when choosing commercial property. By commercial property, we mean things such as offices, shops, bars, restaurants and warehouses. It is best read in conjunction with our country specific guides to Choosing Commercial Property but we have produced this global version to deal …Continue reading
Disclaimer: as an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Travel guides for Bulgaria Lonely Planet Romania & Bulgaria “Lonely Planet Romania & Bulgaria is your passport to all the most relevant and up-to-date advice on what to see, what to skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Absorb the vibrant landscape by hiking the Carpathians, relax on Bulgaria’s Black …Continue reading
Insurance for your car is critical not just because the law requires you to have it but because of the devastating consequences of having an accident whilst not insured.
What is available and how do you get it?Continue reading
Social security arrangements in Spain are extensive and expensive. They are also rather complicated and, very likely, different from those to which you are accustomed. Yet it is well worth getting to grips with them before you need to make use of the services provided.Continue reading
You’ve decided to invest in international property – or perhaps you’ve already bought it. Sensibly (at least in my view) you have chosen to buy real estate that will generate income, rather than relying solely on the turbulent game of capital gains.Continue reading
For nearly 1,000 years Trusts have offered a useful tool to people who operate internationally.
They address some very practical problems in a straightforward and practical way and, at the same time, can offer opportunities for saving tax and getting round inconvenient legal restrictions in the place where you happen to be living.Continue reading
This guide deals with international Wills – Wills specifically written to be valid in multiple countries around the world. How do you make one? Where will it be recognised? Are they a good idea?Continue reading
Insuring your car is completely necessary. Not only is it illegal not to have car insurance in almost every country, it protects you from some of the most expensive mishaps you can experience – those to do with your vehicle!Continue reading
If you have bought a property that is purely for investment, you should be aware that it comes with its own sets of risks. For that reason, insurance is generally more complicated and almost always more expensive.Continue reading
Holiday home insurance may not be mandatory in many countries, but it is extremely important that you buy it. If you do not, you are leaving yourself open to thousands of dollars, euros or pounds in repair, loss of income or even litigation.Continue reading
In Spain, companies are taxes in a variety of ways. Understanding the system – and how it will work best for you – is essential if you want to do business in Spain via a company. This is an area where detailed professional advice is a must but it is still helpful to have a basic understanding of the system before you see your accountant.Continue reading
Spain has what looks like a relatively simple tax system, particularly if you are not tax-resident in Spain, but it is still important to understand how it works. It also offers lots of opportunities for fine tuning your tax position in order to reduce the taxes you will have to pay in Spain or elsewhere.Continue reading
Many people made a lot of money out of investing in property in Spain. Unfortunately, those who invested just before the 2007 crash lost a lot of money. Is now the time to look again at investing in property (real estate) in Spain? What and where should you buy? How should you do it?Continue reading
Property (home) insurance is what protects you when things go wrong. Flooding, theft, your building inexplicably sinking three feet into the ground – all of this can be covered by property insurance. It’s very important. Many people do not buy it and deeply regret it.Continue reading
Life insurance will probably not be at the top of your list of things you must do if you’re relocating to a foreign country, but it is worth using your move as an opportunity to check that your current arrangements are adequate and change them if necessary.Continue reading
Health insurance is vital if you are moving to a country with a private healthcare system – and often even if it has a socialised system. Many countries won’t even give you a visa until you’ve sorted your health insurance, and for good reason: medical care is expensive.Continue reading
Travel insurance is very important. It is human nature to think that everything will be fine, as it has been on every trip you’ve ever taken. But one day – inevitably – it won’t be fine.Continue reading
In the era from 2007 to 2010-ish, there were lots of failed developments in Spain. Whether you were a buyer in one of those developments or you are a fresh investor looking to profit from property development in Spain, it’s worth seeing if any of the disasters can be rescued.Continue reading
This guide is about what happens when a property development goes wrong: when it fails before the homes are delivered to their buyers and the buyers risk losing a lot of money. These situations arise at various times in almost every country and, whilst the solutions vary a little depending upon the legal framework in the country concerned, the main principles apply worldwide.Continue reading
This guide is an overview of the worldwide possibilities available to small and first-time property developers. It looks at the opportunities and challenges facing property developers working in a country that is not their own.Continue reading
I have a lot of experience with due diligence, having worked in international real estate law for well over 30 years. I know how important it is, and how badly a property deal can go wrong if it isn’t done properly.Continue reading
Real estate has long been a popular option for those wishing to invest their money. It is tangible, you can use it yourself and many of us have heard stories about people making their fortune through property investment.Continue reading
When you live and work in only one country and just go abroad for the odd short vacation, deciding on your investment strategy is complicated enough. When you are travelling the world and spending a lot of time in other countries it becomes much, much more complicated.Continue reading
We all need somewhere to live. Find out the rules about renting a property in Spain – and how to do it. Whether it is a holiday home, a permanent residence or something that falls between the two, the Spanish system can give you some surprises!Continue reading
Whether you are a professional landlord or somebody who lets their home when they are not using it, there is quite a lot to learn about letting property in Spain. It can be very expensive if you get it wrong. This guide looks at the essentials.Continue reading
The issue of who should be the legal owner of any property you buy may not be an obvious one but not asking the question can be a big mistake. By putting the property in the most appropriate names you can save tens of thousands of whatever currency you use to measure your wealth.Continue reading
Selling a property (real estate) in Spain is quite a simple process. Yet there are still things that can catch the unwary. This guide explains what they are and how to avoid them – as well as taking you through the process, step by step.Continue reading
A large part of the economy of Spain is based on construction and property development. In the past, it has proved very profitable. Is it still a great opportunity or is the market over-cooked? Should you get involved? If so, how – and how can you do so safely?Continue reading
Timeshare and fractional ownership are both concepts that strike fear in many people. In some cases, they should! In other cases, they can be a great way of sharing the use (and the cost) of a holiday home. What are they? How do they work? What are the dangers to look out for?Continue reading
New property is very popular, especially with investors. What are the special things to look out for when buying a new – previously unoccupied – property in Spain? How do you guard against the risks?Continue reading
Many people like the idea of buying property before it has been completed. There are good reasons for doing so. But what about the risks? What are they and how can you control them? This guide looks at those issues.Continue reading
If you want to set up a business in Spain there are plenty of opportunities to do so, especially if you are going to create employment in Spain. However, the processes can be quite complex. This guide will hep you make the right choices.Continue reading
There are two group of people who buy commercial property. Those who need it for their own use and those who like it as an investment vehicle. Both groups need to make sure they buy the right property.Continue reading
For any business or individual, debt collecting is sometimes a tedious necessity. In Spain, it can be very slow and, all too often, unproductive. You can maximise your chances of success by taking some basic and inexpensive precautions and planning ahead. This guide covers what to do and how to do it.Continue reading
Do you need a company in Spain? If so, which type? What are your options and what are their respective advantages and disadvantages? This guide sets out, briefly and simply, some of the issues concerned.Continue reading
Starting a business in a new country is exciting and it can be very profitable. It will certainly change your life! However, if you get it wrong it can prove to be a financial disaster and could change your life in all the wrong ways. Getting it right needs a bit of luck but, much more, hard work and thorough preparation. This guide will help you make the most out of this opportunity.Continue reading
Buying a home or other property (real estate) costs a lot of money and so is worrying. It is also something that that has been done, literally, millions of times and can be completely safe. How do you do it? How do you make it safe?Continue reading
Spanish politics is a complex and fractious subject. You’ll learn more about the average Spaniard’s views by sitting in a bar and chatting than you will from guides like this, but I hope this overview is useful (it might prepare you for the pub conversations).Continue reading
Whenever you are married, certain rules govern how your finances are going to be treated. These are the rules in Spain. They may be very different from the rules in your country – and failure to understand them can prove very costly.Continue reading
Let’s be clear. If you have any assets in Spain – a house, a business, a car, a bank account or pretty much anything else – you should make a Will valid for use in Spain. If you live in Spain this is even more important. This guide tells you how to go about making a Will in Spain.Continue reading
Retiring to a foreign country is a dream for many people around the world. If you are going to live that dream, your life will be made much easier if you take some basic steps before moving to retire abroad.Continue reading
The reality often turns out very differently. Hard work. Crippling losses. No spare time. Descent into alcoholism. Sorry to sound a little grim, but the risks are real. A huge number of bars fail within their first couple of years. Yet running a bar can be, for the right person with the right drive, a profitable and fulfilling business. One …Continue reading
Many people consider taking over an existing business rather than starting their own, brand new one. There are several advantages to doing this but there can also be significant risk.Continue reading
Some people work for the same employer, without incident or trouble, for years or decades. Others are not so lucky and encounter difficulties from unsafe working practices to racial or sexual harassment.
This guide gives you initial guidance as to what to do if things go wrong.Continue reading
Funding international businesses – especially small international businesses – can be tricky. Some would say nearly impossible. Funding them without falling into the hands of the crooks and charlatans who populate the internet is harder still.Continue reading
This guide is about the steps you need to take when preparing to work in a foreign country. It covers both people seeking international jobs and people being sent overseas by their employer. It details the preparation needed by the employee and also looks at the things that should be done by the family of someone who will be working abroad.Continue reading
Family law is immensely complex because families are immensely complex. It also – together with criminal law – reflects the nature of the historic and cultural basis of a society much more clearly than any other aspect of law. How a society deals with the family is absolutely central to that society’s core values.Continue reading
Divorce is one of the most common risks associated with living in another country. The reason why is subject to some debate but meeting new people, drink, sunshine and the fact that you are not under the immediate eye of your family or neighbours probably all contribute. So, in some cases, do lurking problems that existed before the move. Whatever the reason, lots of people end up seeing a Spanish lawyer about divorce. Fortunately, the system works well.Continue reading
This guide deals with moving money from one country to another.
To help you understand the opportunities, it also gives a brief explanation of how the foreign exchange (Forex or FX) market works and looks at the most secure and cheapest ways of moving money from one country and currency to another.Continue reading
The concept of international banking gives rise to a lot of confusion. As is so often the case when you work in several countries, the terms used can means different things to different people.Continue reading
Nobody wants to face up to the inevitability of death and so most people never do any inheritance planning. That’s a great pity. It could not only save them and their heirs a fortune but it should also greatly reduce the stress when you die. Inheritance planning is one of the most cost-effective things you can do. Whatever your age, do it now!Continue reading
Nowhere can a bit of forward planning produce such simple and dramatic results as in the area of inheritance. It can save you untold grief and inconvenience – and tens or hundreds of thousands of whatever currency you use to define your wealth. To think about this planning, you need to understand the inheritance rules in your part of Spain.Continue reading
Every country and culture has its own way of dealing with a death. From the bureaucracy to the ritual and the conventions surrounding bereavement, the process in Spain is likely to be different from what you are used to. Depending upon where you come from, it could be very different indeed.Continue reading
Crime and criminal cases in Spain should be of interest to everybody who lives there, however honest you may be. What happens if you are arrested? Will you be locked up before your trial? Will you be entitled to legal representation – and how can you get it? What punishments do you face? This guide seeks to cover these issues.Continue reading
Powers of Attorney are really useful documents allowing somebody else to do things on your behalf. When should you make one? Who should you appoint? How do you make a Power? What does it cost? How long does it take?Continue reading
Notaries are a crucial part of the legal system in Spain. They validate, witness and store all sorts of important documents. They can even marry or divorce you! What else can they do? How do you find one?Continue reading
If you are going to live, work or do business in a foreign country one of the most important factors in ensuring a trouble and stress free time is having a good legal system. How does the system in Spain work? Where does it rank when compared to other countries?Continue reading
Disputes occur in any country.
Often they are the result of genuine misunderstandings. Even more often they are the result of badly prepared contracts. Occasionally they are the result of bad faith. Very infrequently they are the result of fraud or other criminal activity.Continue reading
When you buy any product, things can go wrong with it. In Spain, the law deals quite comprehensively with your rights in these circumstances. this guide sets out what you can do in these circumstances.Continue reading
Contracts – written or verbal, large or small – are pretty much central to large parts of our personal and business lives. How do they work in Spain? How do I know if a contract is legally valid? What happens if things go wrong?Continue reading
What happens when you buy something and it doesn’t work? Or which is dangerous? Or which works for a short time and then breaks? Or which is just a million miles from what was described when you bought it? Or when someone supplies you with a shoddy service?
Spain has a number of ways of helping you.Continue reading
There is nothing more frightening or distressing than for your child to be abducted: taken away from you. This guides covers what to do if this happens and if it is the child’s other parent who takes the child.Continue reading
Human development, as set out by the United Nations, comprises three core areas: leading a long and healthy life, receiving a good education and enjoying a decent standard of living (a high income per capita).Continue reading
This guide deals with the thorny and very topical question of global healthcare for expats. Whether you are retiring to a foreign country or living there to work or run a business, this will be an issue of concern to you.Continue reading
Marriage is still a major part of our culture – and where better to do it than a vibrant country with, generally, good weather. This guides explains who can marry in Spain and the formalities involved.Continue reading
Tax is a subject that seems to be of endless fascination to those people who live, work or do business in more than one country. In fact, it is a topic of almost equal fascination and concern to people and companies who do not have to pay tax in more than one country!Continue reading
Immigration, and its sister emigration, have never been of greater interest. As I write this guide (July 2018) we remain in the throes of a huge global migration triggered by the various wars and conflicts in the Middle East.Continue reading
You’ll find a full list of national and regional holidays here. However, don’t forget that each municipality will have two additional public holidays; often celebrating the local saint or an event of local importance. Some notes about the major holidays, mainly for our readers in the East:Continue reading
Cards are issued by your national health insurance provider. How do you obtain a card? You obtain a card by contacting the health insurance institution where you are insured and which is therefore responsible for assuming your healthcare costs. For more information, see this website. Who can benefit from the card? To be eligible for a card, you must be insured by or covered by a …Continue reading
Click where you see for more information Emergency numbers Call 112 – the general emergency number or 061 for an ambulance Languages spoken: Spanish, English, French and German. The quality of healthcare in Spain Spain has an excellent quality of healthcare. It’s routinely ranked amongst the world’s best. The WHO Healthcare Index put Spain 7th of 191 countries ranked. Of course, if you live in …Continue reading
This short guide looks at the relevance of the global economy to people living, working or doing business in a country that is not their own. It also looks at reliable places where you can obtain further information about the countries of interest to you.Continue reading
Education in Spain is often very good, but can sometimes leave a lot to be desired. Whether your child receives a good education will be, in the main, down to the school you choose for them. Whether you go down the route of private or state education, there is a good selection of schools available in Spain.Continue reading
Almost every adult who wants to live or work in Spain will also want to drive in Spain. They need to understand what type of licence they need in order to do so. This guides explains that – and how to obtain a licence in Spain if you need one.Continue reading
Every year, hundreds of thousands of foreigners drive in Spain. Many worry about it before they do it for the first time. Very few worry the second time. This guide sets out some common-sense preparations and precautions to keep you safe.Continue reading
Doing business in Spain is an enticing prospect. It is a large market (46 million people) and a trillion dollar economy. It has a very large expat population and over 75 million tourists per year, which opens a number of unique opportunities. So how do you do business in Spain?Continue reading
Common legal terms and their meanings: Abstract (Of Title) A summary of the public records relating to the title to a particular piece of land. An attorney or title insurance company reviews an abstract of title to determine whether there are any title defects which must be cleared before a buyer can purchase clear, marketable, and insurable title. Acceleration Clause …Continue reading
A couple of decades ago, drinking and driving in Spain was commonplace. Today it is not.
As in many countries, this reflects a change in the public perception of what is acceptable conduct but in Spain it also reflects much more police activity and substantial penalties – including disqualification from driving – for those arrested and convicted.Continue reading
Despite what some expats will tell you, learning Spanish is important if you’re going to be spending a lot of time in Spain. It makes you life much easier and your time in Spain both more productive and more fun.Continue reading
The cultural differences between various countries are fascinating and, often, surprising. Understanding them is hugely important if you want to survive – and thrive – in a country that is not your own. Recognise them. Understand them. But don’t be frightened by them.Continue reading
Many people come to work in Spain on a short-term basis. Sometimes this will be a young person wanting a vacation job. On other occasions it might be a more senior person coming to Spain to carry out a short project.Continue reading
Our other guides to immigration cover the vast majority of cases where people wish to come and live in Spain. However, the world is always complicated and there are many other circumstances in which people have the right to enter and stay in the country. This guide covers some of them.Continue reading
Spain is home to a reasonably small number of the world’s 68million-plus refugees (2018). But Europe as a whole is in the midst of a refugee crisis, and Spain is not unaffected by it.Continue reading
One way to get the right to live in Spain is via its “residence by investment” (‘golden visa’) programme. This is, obviously, fairly expensive but if you have the money it can be a simple and cost-effective solution to the visa problem.Continue reading
Hundreds of foreigners retire to Spain each year. The weather is warm, the food is good and there are already many thriving communities of expats! Even better, it’s really easy to do.Continue reading
Spanish further (tertiary) education is high-quality and its courses are relatively cheap. Spain has embraced the idea of the international student, so it is fairly easy to study there.Continue reading
Thousands of people visit Spain every year. This isn’t surprising – it is a beautiful region with beautiful climate and a great range of tourist accommodation.
So you’ll be pleased to hear that Spain is very easy to visit!Continue reading
EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within its internal market. Twenty-two member-countries – plus four that are not members of the EU – have abolished passport controls for movement between those countries. The area covered by these arrangements is known as the Schengen area. Nineteen member-countries have adopted the euro as their currency. …Continue reading
This guide gives details of the immigration rules in Spain. It covers immigration for settlement when joining relatives, immigration to work or do business, immigration based on investment in Spain and immigration for retirement. It also covers short-term visits to Spain, whether as tourists or to do business.Continue reading
Getting to the Costa del Sol Getting to the Costa del Sol by air If you’re flying into the Costa del Sol, chances are you’ll be landing in Malaga International Airport (AGP). The airport is made up of three terminals. It handled over 14million passengers in 2015. You’ll find plenty of places to load up on shopping or feed and water …Continue reading
With nearly 200 ethnic groups generally recognised in the world (from 1.3 billion Han Chinese to 200,000 Laz, Gaguaz & Abkhaz), we are certainly a very diverse place. Yet ethnicity still creates nearly as many problems as religion: in some places, more.Continue reading
The figures for life expectancy at birth come from a variety of sources and, surprisingly, vary quite a lot. Nonetheless, they remind us about how startlingly different things can be depending upon the place where you were born. Japan 83.7, Swaziland 49.2.Continue reading
The number of people living below the poverty line is difficult to establish: partly because the definition of poverty varies so much from country to country – or isn’t even defined at all. However, these figures are a starting point for your thought process.Continue reading
Increasingly, we see two different measurements for unemployment: overall unemployment and youth unemployment. Both are important and will influence you: whether you are trying to find work or thinking of setting up in business.Continue reading
There is a great debate about whether public (government) debt matters. Is it a good idea to ‘borrow to invest’? How much? How should it be spent?
At Guides.Global we are pretty set in our opinion that too much borrowing is a bad thing: landing your children and grand-children with debt is immoral. You may, of course, disagree. Whatever your view, the level of public debt in the countries where you might live or do business is a factor to take into account.Continue reading
GDP and GNI, possibly adjusted for inflation and/or for PPP, sometimes shown as an amount per person (per capita) and sometimes as a simple total, are constantly used as a measure of a country’s wealth. What do they mean? How do countries compare across the world?Continue reading
For most people living, working or doing business is a foreign country, corruption is a major enemy. Of course, a few businesses – and individuals – thrive on corruption. They are not your friend!
The Corruption Perception Index from Transparency International has been around for a long time can help you a lot when it comes to risk assessment. Whilst nowhere is perfect, you need very good reasons to be dealing with the countries way down the list!Continue reading
The Rule of Law Index – produced by the World Justice Project – is one of the most useful indicators about what it is like to live or operate in a country. If there is no rule of law, why would you want to be – or do business – there?Continue reading
All over the world, expenditure on health is on the rise. In most developed countries, it had more than doubled since 1970. However, and not surprisingly, there are huge inequalities. In 2016, the US spent $9,636 per person: Zambia $203.Continue reading
With populations from 1.4 billion (China) down to 800 (Vatican City) there is no shortage of variety. Equally, with some countries still growing at nearly 5% per year and others shrinking by 1% per year, the future could look very different.Continue reading
Spain is a hugely popular destination for both expats and tourists. It has been a world power for over 500 years. Its huge empire has left its mark across the world. More than 400 million people speak Spanish as a native language – a number surpassed only by Mandarin.Continue reading
Introduction Spain is fairly well served by internet providers, though service can be patchy outside of urban areas. Shopping around is paramount if you want to get a good deal – many providers offer promotional prices for new customers, or waive installation fees for a limited time. Internet penetration in Spain According to Internet Live Stats, 82.2% of the Spanish population …Continue reading
The euro is a relative newcomer to the world stage, having been introduced in 1999. It was rapidly taken up by countries in the EU, surprising many with the speed in which it replaced old currencies.Continue reading
Spain is the most climatically diverse country in Europe and in the world’s top ten. Generally, on the coast, it enjoys warm weather all year round and, inland, hot summers and cold winters, especially at higher altitude.Continue reading
Accidents on the road are an all-too-frequent occurrence and, even though the rate of accidents has been significantly reduced by increasing safety regulations and by creating stricter rules, there is still a high number of such accidents in Spain. In 2016 there were over 100,000: 9,755 involving hospitalisation and 1,810 fatal.Continue reading
All accidents are bad. Accidents at work are usually surrounded by lots of regulatory and reporting requirements. Spain is no exception. Failure to comply with the rules – or to take action swiftly – can have serious consequences.Continue reading
“Autonomous communities” (comunidad autónomas) are the political and administrative regions of Spain into which the whole of Spain is divided. There are 17 of them – plus two “autonomous cities” – Ceuta & Melilla in North Africa.Continue reading
If you’re hoping to live or work in Italy, look closely at the climate in the city you’re considering – and, if possible, visit at different times of year. A warm, sunny spring can turn fast into an unpleasantly hot summer. Winters are generally bearable across the country, but some places come with risks of storms.Continue reading
Germany is one of the big players in the European Union. It’s often referred to as the EU’s de facto leader, or the economic powerhouse of the union. It’s got the biggest population, the largest GDP, and the most exported and imported goods in the EU.Continue reading
Bulgaria is an Orthodox Catholic country, but it doesn’t celebrate the swathe of Saints’ days that some other Catholic countries (e.g. Spain) do. As well as the major Christian holidays, Bulgaria focuses on its own history, culture and military talent.Continue reading
Bulgaria does not have a large percentage of foreign-born residents – in fact, it’s one of the lowest in the EU. Those expats who have found their way to Bulgaria, though, have choices to suit most lifestyles.Continue reading
Joining a few Facebook groups is a good way to get a feel for the expat community in Turkey. Find expat events in Turkey and chat and share ideas, experiences and – occasionally – frustrations with like-minded people. Tell us if you’re part of a group that you’d like us to add.Continue reading
Dealing with the administration in any new country is tough. Turkey is better than some, and worse than others.
It’s probably worth remembering during the more trying moments that you will experience that there will probably be some Turk in your country at that very moment having exactly the same difficulties with your administration.Continue reading
As in many countries, Trusts can be a very useful tool when managing your affairs in Turkey. They’re useful for both foreigners and native Turks. They are especially useful when managing your inheritance but they have other applications too.Continue reading
Inheritance planning (sometimes known as ‘estate planning’) is a concept that does not have a universally agreed definition. Here, the two terms are used interchangeably. It is different from, but related to, general financial planning.Continue reading
Nowhere on this website is our oft-repeated disclaimer more important than in this guide. When thinking about your investment plans, everything depends upon your personal circumstances. There is, most definitely, no ‘right’ answer: no ‘one size fits all’.Continue reading
Making a Will is one of the most important things that you need to do, especially if you own any property in Turkey. It can save you a huge amount of money. It costs very little. It gives you peace of mind. It is easy.Continue reading
It’s possible to make a good profit by letting (renting out) a property in Turkey. Just make sure you’re aware of the issues. As always, we recommend seeking advice from your lawyer and accountant before going ahead with any big plans!Continue reading
Many people coming to Turkey decide to rent a property here. There are several reasons. They may just prefer renting property. They may be sent to Turkey for a fairly short time in connection with their work and find that renting a property in Turkey is more cost-effective than buying. They may decide to rent for a year whilst they look for a property to buy. They may decide to put their cash into a business rather than into a property in which to live.Continue reading
The process of selling a property in Turkey is much more straightforward than the process of buying a property in Turkey. So much so that most Turks would simply choose an estate agent and then, with the agent, look after the rest themselves.Continue reading
Property development is the process of building new property: homes, hotels, factories etc. It can either be the development of land into buildings – in which case it can either be previously undeveloped land (green field sites) or land that has previously been used for some other purpose – or it can be the re-development of existing buildingsContinue reading
To build or alter a house in Turkey, as in any country, there are various requirements that must be satisfied. Many people ignore these regulations, but we strongly recommend you are not one of them!Continue reading
In the past, many foreign buyers of property in Turkey used to take a mortgage from a bank in Turkey to help with the cost of the purchase.
As you will see, the position has now become more complicated, but it is still possible to obtain mortgage finance in Turkey.
Buying commercial property can be a little more complicated than buying residential property.
Commercial property is, in essence, anything that is not residential or agricultural. The definition includes shops, bars, restaurants, hotels, warehouses, car parks and the like.Continue reading
An off-plan property is a property that you agree to buy before it is fully constructed. You might be buying when no work at all has been done: when it is a mere concept or architect’s drawing. Alternatively, you could be buying when the building works are partly completed.Continue reading
The abduction of a child is every parent’s worst nightmare. Not only is it extremely distressing but it is also going to be difficult to fix the problem, particularly when you may be living many thousands of miles away from the place to which the child has been taken.Continue reading
There are many reasons that parents choose to adopt children. Whatever the reason, the ease and security of the process depends massively on the country. Is it possible to adopt a child in Turkey?Continue reading
Disputes occur in any country.
Often, they are the result of genuine misunderstandings. Very often, they are the result of poorly prepared contracts. Occasionally, they are the result of bad faith. Very infrequently, they are the result of fraud or other criminal activity.Continue reading
Many people are injured each year as a result of defective premises in Turkey. Some of the injuries can be extremely serious: even life-changing. Others can be less dramatic but still cause you significant pain and financial loss. For example:Continue reading
Accidents on the road are a sadly common phenomenon, particularly in Turkey where the combination of badly-maintained roads and a tendency to ignore for the traffic laws leads to a higher-than-average rate of collisions.Continue reading
Unfortunately, accidents happen. When they do you need not only to take the correct action but also to do so swiftly.
This guide focuses on road accidents, but many of the principles apply to accidents of all kinds.Continue reading
In Turkey, defective products are dealt with under the general law and, in particular, under the Code of Obligations and the Consumer Code.
However, there are some issues regarding claims arising out of defective products which are worth grouping together and it is those issues that form the substance of this guide.Continue reading
Most countries have laws intended to protect the consumer. Turkey is no exception. The need for consumer protection arises because of the usual imbalance between the power of the trader and the power of the consumer.Continue reading
Most countries in the world use one of two basic systems when it comes to contracts: the Continental European (Roman Law/Napoleonic Law) system or the Anglo-American system. The system in Turkey is modelled on the Continental European system but has been updated and (in some respects) simplified.Continue reading
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that authorises another person to do something such as signing a document, opening a bank account, or attending a meeting on your behalf and with your full (or, at least, some limited but defined) authority.
The contents of a Power vary a lot depending upon what it is to be used for. However, the process of making one is always the same.Continue reading
Mediation and arbitration are both alternatives to going to court if you have a dispute. They’re intended to be much cheaper alternatives. They are different from each other and it’s important to understand the differences if you’re thinking of using either service.Continue reading
Notaries play an important role within the Turkish legal system. This will be of no surprise if you come from a mainland European country but quite surprising if you’re used only to systems in places such as the US and the UK: the so-called Anglo-Saxon legal tradition.Continue reading
The main source of professional legal help available in Turkey is the lawyer (avukat). There are about 95,000 practising lawyers in Turkey. About 90% are generalists, covering most or all aspects of the law. All of them are professionally qualified and regulated by the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (Türkiye Barolar Birliği or TBB).Continue reading
Turkey has a very effective legal system: sometimes slow, but fully functioning.
Unlike in some countries, you do not need to ‘buy’ the judges, but you do have to be diligent and pursue your case to make sure things happen without any unnecessary delay.
Recent changes following the 2016 ‘coup’ have not helped either its efficiency or credibility.Continue reading
However, some degree of tax planning is usually a good idea and it can, surprisingly often, allow you to make substantial savings in tax by making some relatively small adjustments to the ways in which you might otherwise have organised your affairs.
What is tax planning?
Tax planning is the analysis of your financial situation – or your proposed plans of action – from a tax perspective. Its purpose is to ensure tax efficiency. Ideally, it is part of a broader financial or business plan which works to deliver what you want to do in the most tax-efficient way possible. It is about arranging your affairs to produce the smallest amount of tax liability.
In a way, you can think of tax planning as being a means of avoiding tax wastage. Governments intentionally create many legitimate opportunities for you to reduce the amount that you pay in tax. They may give you incentives to make investments of certain types or they may allow you to claim allowances for doing things that align with their policy – for example, giving to charity, research and development in a company or educating your children.
Two examples applicable to Turkey, at the opposite ends of the tax planning spectrum, would be:
• Opting for a small engine in a car to avoid paying more car tax
• Investing millions in a government-supported industry for big tax exemptions
In every country, even local people are not familiar with these quite legitimate opportunities. For example, in the UK in 2016 official estimates indicated that about €5billion of tax was paid to the government by people who didn’t need to pay it or who wouldn’t have had to pay it if they’d known about all the allowances they could have claimed.
The position is even worse for people who have moved to a new country. They will very rarely know about all the opportunities that exist in that new country and they will usually not be familiar with the other opportunities (often just as big) that exist because of the interaction between the tax rules in their new country and those in the place where they used to live.
Some of these tax planning opportunities arising because of the interaction of tax systems are transient: they may only be available for a short period as you make your move from your original country to Turkey, so to take advantage of these it is important to take prompt advice.
So, tax planning is about arranging or rearranging your affairs to take advantage of all these things.
What tax planning is NOT
Tax planning is not about concealing your activity from the tax authorities. Nor is it about lying to the tax authorities about your affairs. Both are illegal and can be heavily punished.
Tax avoidance vs tax evasion
Tax avoidance is arranging your affairs to reduce the amount of tax that you must pay. Extreme examples would be choosing to have more children to reduce the overall inheritance tax payable or paying your employees more to reduce your profit and so your taxes. There are countless examples of tax avoidance used on a day-to-day basis.
In Turkey, as in most other countries, tax avoidance – more sensibly called tax reduction through planning – is perfectly legal and considered to be part of good business planning.
Recently, politicians around the world have started to talk about ‘aggressive tax avoidance’. This is pushing the existing rules up to their very limit and sometimes beyond. The Turkish Tax Department is concerned about this and spends some time trying to clamp down on it.
Generally, with the relatively simple tax regime in Turkey and the relatively low rates of tax payable, aggressive tax avoidance should not be necessary.
Tax evasion is not paying the taxes that the law requires you to pay.
This might be by not declaring part of your income. It might be by claiming more expenses than your business legitimately incurred. It might be failing to tell the Tax Department when you sell your Picasso for a large profit or when you win a lot of money at the casino.
Tax evasion is illegal.
The enforcement division at the Turkish Tax Department employs many people checking people’s tax returns and chasing tax evasion. For foreigners, they also work closely with the tax departments in the foreigner’s own country.
If you are caught trying to evade your taxes, then the following will happen:
1. You will have to pay double the tax originally due.
2. You will have to pay interest at 16.8% per year from the date when the tax should have been paid to the date when it actually was paid.
3. If the issue is considered an organised tax fraud by the tax inspector, the case will be taken to the local criminal court for sentencing, which is likely to result in imprisonment.
When you first arrive in Turkey and you start talking to all the ‘old hands’ – particularly, the old hands who you meet in bars or at the golf club – they will probably tell you that you don’t need to bother with the tax man. They will tell you that they have lived in Turkey for 20/30/40 years, that they’ve worked illegally for much of that time, and that they don’t tell the tax man about any of their earnings, at home or abroad.
They will tell you that there is no way that the tax man can know how much time you’ve spent in Turkey or what you have earned whilst you’ve been there.
This might have been true 20 years ago, but it is definitely not true today.
The advent of the computer and a greater emphasis on collecting tax has changed everything. The Tax Department is under great political pressure to collect the taxes due from foreigners. Remember that no politician ever lost votes by taxing foreigners!
It is now very simple for the tax man to know whether you are in the country or not. Your mobile phone record will disclose this in a few minutes. The tax department also has the power to require you to produce your bank account and credit cards records, which will also show where and when you have withdrawn money.
Turkey has a sophisticated tax computer system so that the information received from businesses and individuals on the island is collated and any discrepancies identified.
It is simply not worth taking the risk of evading paying the taxes that you owe, particularly when the tax system is so generous and the taxes due so small.
Remember that the difference between tax avoidance (legal tax planning) and tax evasion is the thickness of a prison wall.
Do not underestimate the amount of money that can be saved by simple but effective tax planning. Private individuals can often save hundreds of thousands by minor adjustments to their plans and the savings for companies could easily run into millions. This is why tax advisers are well-paid!
Tax planning is a part, and a very important part, of financial planning – but financial planning is a much broader subject. For example, your financial plan would deal with things such as making sure that you are likely to have enough in the way of savings to see you through your retirement and investing your savings in ways that reflect your personal attitude to risk and reward.
Your tax advice should complement your financial plan but it should not dominate it. In other words, your broader financial objectives must take priority and the purpose of the tax planning is to tweak those objectives and the ways of delivering them to make sure that you do not pay more tax than is absolutely necessary – either in Turkey or in any other country.
Some businesses operate as sole traders. These businesses are not taxed separately as businesses (but do have to account for VAT). The profits that they make are simply treated as the income of the sole trader.
These are seldom used by foreigners.
Turkey is very welcoming when it comes to people wanting to set up new businesses. They realise that new business boosts the economy and creates local employment – and they also recognise that, for historical reasons, Turkey lacks some of the skills required by innovative businesses in the 21st Century.Continue reading
It is often difficult for a foreigner to find legal employment in Turkey and so the obvious question arises as to whether, if you can’t work for somebody else, you can set up your own business and work for yourself.Continue reading
There is a constant demand for people to teach English in Turkey. There is also some demand for people to teach other foreign languages such as French, Spanish, Russian, or Chinese – but the bulk of the demand is for people who can teach English.Continue reading
Working within the expat community is a tempting option for foreigners arriving in Turkey. It is, in many ways, simpler and more straight-forward than finding a job with a local employer. However, it does have its downsides…Continue reading
A knowledge of employment law will make your life much easier, whether you’re an employer or an employee. Every country’s employment law is different and the employment law in Turkey contains many unusual features.Continue reading
There may, for various reasons, come a time when you decide that you want to leave Turkey and return ‘home’. This is something that worries many people thinking of settling in the country but it is, in fact, a rare thing to happen.Continue reading
Dealing with the death of a loved one is always distressing. It can also be stressful, time consuming and expensive. The stress, time factor, and expense are often worsened by distance, language, and differences in procedure.Continue reading
When you live in Turkey there are no restrictions upon receiving any pension to which you are entitled in another country. It is, in essence, treated just like any other income – although it is sometimes taxed at a lower rate. The policy on this changes often.Continue reading
Religion in Turkey is as old as Turkey itself – which is very old. Islam is still a massively important part of Turkish culture, even though increasing numbers of Turks (and, in particular, of younger Turks living in the western part of the country) are becoming more secular and less strict in their observance of religion. At the same time, many in the centre and east of the country are becoming more religious and conservative.Continue reading
Turkey is rather schizophrenic when it comes to its attitude to alcohol and drugs. As a substantial wine producer it is, perhaps, not surprising that social attitudes to the consumption of alcohol are very relaxed. As an Islamic country, it is perhaps equally unsurprising that their attitudes towards drunken behaviour are unaccepting and uncompromising.Continue reading
Healthcare is right at the top of people’s concerns when moving to – or even visiting – a new country. Will it be of a good standard? How do I access it? What will it cost? Will the doctor – and the nurses and other health workers – speak my language?Continue reading
Your children will have a great time living in Turkey. Because of the climate and the freedom that children still enjoy in a country largely free of crime, they will probably lead a far more active and outdoor life than they would have done in your own country.Continue reading
This guide looks at short-term health insurance in Turkey (travel insurance), as well as health insurance for residents – going over options for state insurance and private insurance. Will I be able to obtain health insurance in Turkey? Fortunately, there are now many more products on the market than there were ten years ago. Just as fortunately, many offer good cover. …Continue reading
Your home in Turkey is a very expensive asset that you should think carefully about insuring. Whilst your contents are not as valuable as your home, they will still cost a lot to replace and so most people will also want to insure these. If you insure them at the same time as you insure your home, the extra cost is often small.Continue reading
Moving to or doing business in another country always throws up issues arising from the basic cultural differences between your ‘home’ country and the ‘new’ country. Turkey is no exception.Continue reading
Turkish media is varied and competitive on the surface – but much of the media, across all mediums, is owned by large conglomerates with other business interests. This means that Turkish news media, whilst it does cover stories from different angles, is somewhat restricted in its viewpoints.
Despite this, I would recommend that anybody living, working or doing business in another country makes an effort to consume local media. It is a great way to learn about the culture, as well as current events, and Turkey is no exception!Continue reading
This guide lists the national public holidays of Turkey, and gives a little background on the meaning and importance of the days.
Turkey is a secular country, but its population is almost entirely Muslim; so it is no surprise that this is reflected in their national holidays.Continue reading
So, instead, we’ll take a look at the seven regions of Turkey. Truth be told, even the regions are large enough and varied enough in weather and climate to make it worth your while to check out the average climate in specific cities – but this guide should give you some idea of what you’ll experience. The date below was …Continue reading
Turkey still has one of the highest rates of marriage in the world: about 7.75 women out of every thousand in the population get married each year. We’re also blessed with a low – but growing – divorce rate (20%).Continue reading
When you’re looking for property in Turkey, the first thing you need to know is what’s available: not the specific houses or apartments but the types of property commonly found. Just as important are the typical prices you will have to pay for any given type of property.Continue reading
This guide deals with some of the more stressful and upsetting times in a person’s life. As always, though, the more information you have, the better prepared you are for what lies ahead.Continue reading
In each country, the criminal system is unique: probably more so than any other part of the law except for family law. In both cases, this is because the law in these areas goes right to the heart of a nation’s values, traditions, and culture.Continue reading
Learning Turkish is important if you’re going to be spending a lot of time in Turkey.
The good news (if you’re a Westerner): it is written in the (slightly modified) latin alphabet. You won’t have to learn a completely new script.
The bad news: the language may not seem intuitive to most Europeans and Americans. Turkish base words can stand alone – prefixes are not part of the language – but are built in complexity by the addition of suffixes. Words can therefore get very long!Continue reading
When you move to Turkey you will have a major decision to make about what to do with your money.
Obviously, your day-to-day expenses will be in Turkish lira, but it will probably be that all or part of your income will be coming to you in another currency; and it will almost certainly be that your savings and investments will be in another currency.Continue reading
Many people worry more about how they’re going to take their pet to Turkey than they do about any other aspect of their move.
Fortunately, the rules aren’t complicated and most people don’t experience any major problems when importing a pet into Turkey.Continue reading
In Turkey, cars and fuel are expensive. The price of a car, both new and second hand, is likely to be much higher than ‘back home’.
It therefore looks an attractive option, especially if you live in Europe, to drive or otherwise import your car to Turkey. An added advantage is that you can take some of your possessions with you. Can this be done?Continue reading
When moving – especially when moving to another country – having your personal possessions with you can be comforting. Moreover, it can be less daunting to bring stuff with you than it is to sell or find storage old possessions – and buy everything again!Continue reading
Introduction Turkey is the world’s largest host country of registered refugees. Almost all of the refugees in the country come from Syria – there are some 2.7million displaced Syrian citizens currently in Turkey. Despite this, expats have, in the main, been largely unaffected by the refugee crisis. Firstly, the overwhelming majority of refugees are in the east of Turkey – …Continue reading
Foreigners wishing to join their family in Turkey will need to obtain a Family Residence Permit. See our Guide to Residence Permits in Turkey for information about residence permits. Can I get a Family Residence Permit? Family Residence Permits can be granted to: A foreign spouse (but not an unmarried partner) Foreign children (under 18) Dependent foreign children (typically, disabled) A spouse’s …Continue reading
Introduction People wishing to come to Turkey on a long-term basis in order to set up or run a business will need to apply for an Independent Working Permit. Independent working permits are very hard to obtain unless you are going to create lots of jobs for local people. Many people thinking of applying for such a visa might find …Continue reading
Introduction If you’re lucky enough to be skilled in the right field, you might find it relatively simple to get a working permit – if not, and if your heart is still set on it, a professional will be able to give you advice as to proceeding. Just to be clear, this guide does not apply if you merely wish …Continue reading
Retiring to Turkey – or simply living there as an ‘economically inactive person’ – is pretty easy. It’s worth talking to an immigration specialist to make sure you’re choosing the right sort of residence permit, and to ensure your application is properly filled in (especially if you aren’t fluent in Turkish).Continue reading
Introduction Turkish schools (primary & secondary education) and its colleges and universities (tertiary education) are of high quality and relatively cheap. Most international students come to Turkey from Western China (the Xinjiang Uyghur region, where Turkish is spoken) and other Turkic countries such as Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. There are very few Western students in Turkey specifically for the …Continue reading
In 2015, 41million people visited Turkey. In 2016, largely as a result of the combination of the conflict in Syria, political uncertainty in Turkey and terrorist attacks, the number fell to about 31million. Local reports suggest that tourist numbers increased sharply in 2017, mainly because of an influx of tourists from Russia and the former Soviet Union. Video guide to …Continue reading
This guide looks at Turkey’s brand new “Turquoise Visa”. We will be updating it as more information emerges. Introduction This new Turquoise Visa (turquoise being the national colour of Turkey) was announced on 14 March 2017. Who can get a Turquoise Visa? This visa is for highly skilled people. Highly skilled people means people who are one or more of …Continue reading
A person wishing to live in Turkey will, in many cases, need a special visa authorising entry to the country (see our other guides on immigration). However, in other cases, they will merely need a residence permit. Any person who wishes to stay in Turkey for more than 90 days in a 180-day period requires a residence permit. This is …Continue reading
Immigration into Turkey has changed a lot in recent years. Generally, it’s easier. We have a more settled system with only one department – the Department of Immigration – in charge. Thank goodness. A great deal of information is now available online. All of this is a huge change from only ten years ago!Continue reading
Getting to Turkey is simple. Getting around Turkey requires a little more thought, but the public transport system is fairly modern and the roads are improving all the time. If you don’t know the language, it is particularly important to plan ahead if you want to use public transport in Turkey. Work out your route from the comfort of your …Continue reading
Depending on where you are in Bulgaria, the internet can be surprisingly speedy or hair-pullingly slow. The popular expat city of Varna, for instance, has notoriously bad internet speeds – whilst little Pazardzhik (with around 70,000 occupants) has the fastest internet speeds in the country.Continue reading
Although Bulgaria is not a huge country (at 110,994 square km), it does straddle several climate zones.
Temperatures depend on where you are – the southwest, by the Mediterranean sea, is mildly subtropical. The plains of the country are temperate. The mountainous regions are much colder (great for skiing).Continue reading
Freedom of religion is enshrined in the US constitution, and the States – whilst being overwhelmingly Christian – are home to communities of many faiths.
As always, look carefully at the city of region you’re hoping to live or work in before making a decision. Will you be able to find somewhere to worship? Are the religious attitudes too conservative for you to be comfortable? Is there a high level of discrimination against your faith?
While the US is a developed nation, there are still some issues when it comes to sex and gender.
As with so many things in the US, the details are all at the state level. Carefully examine the state you’re considering for any ‘deal breakers’ when it comes to gender, sexuality or gender issues.
Click where you see for more information Introduction Whilst you might not see much of the Spanish population in church every Sunday, you’ll certainly experience some dramatic examples of religious culture in the form of parades, processions, costumes and rather a lot of days off work. If you’re of a different religion, fear not! Although communities of minority religions may be …Continue reading
For this see our Guide to Buying Off-Plan Property on the Costa del Sol. It describes, in particular, how to buy a new property in the area of Andalusia/Andalucía – which contains the Costa del Sol. See a map here. Please note that certain aspects of the law in Spain vary from one “autonomous community” (comunidad autónoma) to another. For …Continue reading
Getting to Italy is pretty easy. It’s a popular tourist destination and a country more and more people are visiting for business.
Italy is well known for a slightly scary driving experience – but many are unaware of its comprehensive public transport system.Continue reading
Bulgarian property has long been a popular investment – but the law in Bulgaria can make the process confusing for foreigners. Here, two experts take you through the process of buying real estate in Bulgaria.Continue reading
This guide is about the world’s climate and how it can impact upon your plans. Frankly, it will tell you little more than you could have found out yourself by spending a day on the internet, but it could save you a lot of time.Continue reading