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What's the best way to set up captive development team in Eastern Europe?

We've been working with a large offshore development firm for the past 18 months with developers in Ukraine and Poland. We're now looking to set up our own office in Krakow, Poland, and transition these engineers to our payroll (we set up our contract with the outsourcer to facilitate this).

Based on our initial research, there are many ways to do this, with each having its own distasteful drawback (thanks to the business-unfriendly EU legal system). However, there are great engineers there, a vibrant start-up scene, and there are plenty of advantages. Anyone have experience setting up a development team in that part of the world. Any hacks we should know about that could (legally) circumvent the EU nastiness or good resources you could point us to?

6 Replies

Eric Rogness
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Eric Rogness Entrepreneur
Technical Product Manager
Speak to my Ukrainian cofounder, Ihor Pidruchny.
Ben Sharir
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Ben Sharir Entrepreneur
Sr. eCommerce Consultant
Joseph, Germany makes no distinction between citizen and not citizens when it comes to facilitate a business there. They even have a government agencies to help you do it for free. Once you have a business inside the EU your life might be somewhat easier. Check out www.gtai.de -Ben Sharir Sent from my iPhone
Lawrence I Lerner
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Lawrence I Lerner Entrepreneur • Advisor
Digitalization and Transformation Coach
I set up a center in the Czech Republic (Praha/Prague) and have done centers in other parts of the world. In addition to the legal needs of doing things properly, as you are aware there is the people side of the equation. Many countries do not require employees to stay on after a transition. Therefore you could build a center and potentially still lose a lot of talent.

Much will depend on the size and scope of your center. That might help to guide you as well. Please share to the list or feel free to ping me offlist.

Lawrence
Joanan Hernandez
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Joanan Hernandez Entrepreneur
CEO & Founder at Mollejuo
Well,

What about becoming a electronic Estonian resident?

I'm not sure on what stage that project is, but it sure is a legitimate alternative.

Please, let us know how it went.

Cheers!
Eric Rogness
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Eric Rogness Entrepreneur
Technical Product Manager
So I guess the moderator didn't want me to provide my cofounder's contact information. PM me for it. Ihor's run a dev shop in Ukraine for the last 12 years and can share his own knowledge, as well as his rolodex of consultants that help him.
Joseph Galarneau
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Joseph Galarneau Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder and CEO at Mezzobit, creating transparency and control for Internet data
Thanks everyone for your help. I find it particularly interesting to try to establish a beachhead in another part of the EU that has lower barriers to foreign business investment and leveraging this to set up my office in Krakow. I'll pursue that with the folks who brought it up.

Incidentally, while I appreciate some folks' offers to help pull together a team (messages since deleted by the moderator), I'm already OK in that department in that I have a group of solid engineers who are eager to transition to my company's payroll.
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