I am thinking of relocating to Ukraine instead of going through the Uk Visa route and see how things work out
Obviously the big problem is making a living. Has anyone invested in a business in Ukraine?
Obviously the economy isnít conducive to making a fortune and the skills I have would not be useful over there.
Has anyone invested in buying and selling property or is it a poor market? I thought maybe buying cheap apartments and modernizing them and selling at a profit, most apartments would need quite a bit of money spending on them from what I have seen and then of course you need to find a buyer. The other option is to rent but unless they are going to increase in value it would not be worthwhile. My Girl lives in Nikopol, Dnepropetrovsk. Which is a small town with a population of about 95k. I am not looking to make a fortune, just a decent living.
The other option would be to take a Tefl course and work on a self employed basis but Itís not an ideal choice for me.
Any advice from anyone who has gone down that route would be appreciated, thanks
I had a friend that was looking at it a while back. His wife is from Sevastopol and worked in a branch of the government. But the tax structure on a legitimate business was prohibitive. Not only the tax itself but the time preparing the accounting required would take a significant amount of time. He looked at a piece of property to develop. It would have been a substantial investment by the time he developed it. In digging deeper he found that there was a referendum prohibiting the sale of agricultural property which this was until a year or two in the future. The Realtor insisted that if the right bribes were paid it would be ok. Needless to say he abandoned the idea.
The tax structure and the banking system needs to get a lot friendlier and the law more uniform before Ukraine will attract a lot of the foreign investors.
I have started my own companies, one in UK and one offshore, I did look at, rather than offshore, a company registered in UKraine as I plan to open an office there as soon as cashflow permits.
My wife's best friend in Ukraine is a businesswoman and she put me onto her accountant, well her accountant put me off the idea straight away, heavy taxes and just trying to get anything done in Ukraine can take a mountain of paperwork.
Also, as far as property renovation goes, i.e. if you want to turn off the water in the apartment, to change the loo, radiators or whatever, then you need to turn off the water in the whole apartment block, obviously the authority have to do this and there is a lot of paperwork involved.
There is nothing that ressembles a B&Q in Ukraine, you simply can't go to one store and fill the trolley up, you have to go one place for this, another place for that, and they'll all give 5% discount if you know how to ask for it, indeed on the wallpaper and laminate flooring we got 10% discount in exchange for a 'back hander' bottle of wine, take a pretty lady shopping with you, it helps :)
If you're thinking of employing Ukrainian men to do some work then you will need to monitor them constantly, they'll happily sit there drinking beer all day, on your money, and any deliveries of DIY materials will need to be accepted by you, and you only, otherwise materials will go walkabout.
And any rubble, old loo, bath, furniture, whatever will need to be manhandled down flights of stairs or an elevator (if it is working). It's not like renovating a house where you put a skip in the front drive and throw it all in.
Anyone would think I'd recently renovated an apartment in Ukraine :) I'm very good at DIY and it goes against the grain to employ people to do something that I enjoy doing myself but that's exactly what I had to do in Ukraine and these are just a few of the problems we encountered.
Personally.....I hear anything you do in ukraine will take bribes to get done along with paying the taxes.
I would think it involves busineses as well as real estate. I was told this by girl that works in government when I said there is a possibility of me moving to ukraine.
Martin,That is an eye opener regarding the water situation.
I guess we take all these things for granted in the Uk, DIY is relatively
easy with everything to hand, obviously not so over there.
At the moment it is looking to be impossible to do anything
I know you can get a entrepreneur/business visa and I believe pay a set
amount of tax, but finding a business to do is another matter.
To say this is getting frustrating is an understatement.
There seems to be a lack of opportunities in Ukraine.
In Uk and US you can always go down the franchise route, which has it's critics but I
had a good franchised business for many years.
I may must go over there for 6/12 months and see what I can find.
The FSU was land(s) of opportunity after the fall of the Soviet Union, the wife's best friend's other half has become a millionaire in the past few years, at the last count he was a dollar millionaire, he's probably a Euro milionaire by now.
But, because of a lack of people with money to invest there still are opportunities there, I speak of Ukraine because it is where I know, indeed I've travelled through Nikopol on 3 occasions, and definately renting out apartments is a money maker.
If your place is Nikopol then try googling, you probably have done already, I haven't, for 'Nikopol apartment', see what is out there, perhaps nothing, perhaps a dozen, if there is nothing then you could be the first. Whilst there are not flocks of men travelling to Nikopol it only takes a few to be looking for accommodation via the internet and your apartment could be booked almost constantly.
I don't know about prices in Nikopol but in Zaporozhye I could buy an apartment, and renovate it, for circa $40,000, there are bills to pay of circa $50 a month but if it could be rented out for circa $50 a night, and only occupied just half of the year, then that would bring in $9,000 a year, OK pay someone to clean the place but in 5 years the apartment could be paid for.
It's something that I might get in to in due course but, as they say, one thing at a time. It's not impossible to do things in Ukraine but it's a case of getting to know the lie of the land and having a knowledgable Ukrainian by your side. My wife is reasonably knowledgable regarding these matters but if in doubt I can ask her best friend who is a businesswoman.
How is property title search done, and once you agree... guaranteed? I don't imagine any western title companies operate in Ukraine. Also since many apt's were gov't owned and controlled previously who actually owns them? was title ever passed to occupants in writing, and if so does Gov't have to approve resale??
Please don't hit me with too many negative vibes, as Donald Sutherland once said :)
The missus handled most of this, it was a learning process as she went along, but she's not to hand at the moment, busy working away, for me to enquire of.
The Soviet Union demised circa 18 years ago so what might have been once government property is long past, do not forget that Russia was the ruling/owning power thus they have bugger all in Ukraine now, indeed Ukraine are stealing the EU gas, yes they are, since Russia turned off their gas supply.
As I indicated previously, if one has a knowledgable Ukrainian by their side then things will get done but you're unlikely to do it by tourself.
My advise is like Martins, Have trusted partners in ukraine, whether it is your lady or not. I am planning on the apartment rental idea myself. I also am planning to look for a young man with entrepreneurial spirit that might want to be a private taxi driver. This will give me an on demand driver as well as some income for the cost of a used car. As far as the apartment income I plan to have potential renters pay by credit card over the net. This will go direct to my US account and I will pay the cleaning babushka by debit card.
1. Initially go to Baker & Mckenzie website....it is an international Law Firm..they have an office in the Ukraine....they have a PDF guide "How to do business in UKraine" it is a pretty substantial document...and goes through all the topics you need concerning tax, employees...etc...it's a good starting point. go to the Ukrainian office site...and you will find the link for the PDF file.
2. Please remember that this is not the UK....for instance if you take a lease out on a business....it will be short term....maybe max 3 years....at any time the landlord can pull the rug from underneath you....unless of course you comply with his demands of double/triple/quadruple rent!!!! You will not be able to enforce the contract...welcome to the third world!!!!!
3. You need to pay off local mafia or police (same thing in my humble opinion)if you dont they will close you down by various means...eg...extortionate gas/water/elec bill!!! if you dont pay you have bto leave...all goods siezed...you get the picture...Also you dont contact the local mafia...they contact you!!!
4. This is a country where the majority of people earn a living of a deception....ie you as a westerner will get a different price...because the difference shall be the deception..understand?
Local people always say they can do everything for you....because they are looking for a commission....it is a land of sub commissions....it is all linked....your request for something may filter through 4 chains before it gets to its destination...ie 4 sets of commision paid with in a blink of an eye lid.
5. also if you do something on your own...ie go to the source and get a good deal....everyone will be negative....and try to cloud your judgement because they want you to come to them all the time when you want something...it is almost certain that they will tell you that you have been ripped off..but in reality you have not.
6. I could go on forever...however if you need more info...please let me know your email address.
I'll take a look at that site Sushi thanks.
I am aware Ukraine has a reputation for corruption, mafia etc.
It's my intention to be low profile, I have a native speaker who I can trust, That is why property
investment would be ideal, although that is looking unlikely given the area I will be living. I rented
a 1 bed apartment for $75 a week, so not much potential there unless we relocate.
So retailing is also out as that can hardly be low profile.
It's certainly a frustrating time, there is also things like pensions, medical insurance, bank accounts to sort out, unless you can keep your Uk bank account without a Uk address, but that's another isssue.
There is one particular apartment, not a very nice one, that I have rented previously for circa $50 a night but more recently, with the view to requiring a permanent apartment/office there, I was offered it for $80 a month.
Don't confuse yourself with long term rentals vs 'per night' rentals, the money is to be made by 'per night' rentals.
you wont be able to buy a old apt renovate it and make money unless your very lucky, probebrly break even if you do most of the work yourself,
If you buy in the very center of the city you can make reasonable rent doing nightly rent , but its hard work ,
the tax is low if get residency,much lower than in the UK, but its not easy to get, and not many have it , manly the ones that have married here , and many forms anddocuments to do
most of the local labour here is abosolutly use less and you need to be able to do most of the work yourself, but as Martin says finding the materials is a art in its own , you can spend all day trying to find what you want,
what normall take a hour to do i the UK will take you all day here for shore,
If you keep to property you wont have any big problems from anyone,
you can make money here, property has trebbled in the last 3 years and its actually more expensive to buy here than in many parts of the UK
a 1 bed room apt in the center of Sevastopol sells for $120,000 upwards, 4 years ago the same apt would set you back around $35,000,
its hard to see the prices rising much more, they have leveled off in the last year,