Difficulty level: moderate – some experience of employing overseas will be beneficial.

Preparation time: up to 6 months.


  • A suitable legal entity in your target country.
  • A contract of employment, preferably dual language (any employment lawyer can provide this).
  • An HR Manager (must be familiar with current HR laws of the specific country).
  • A payroll system and administrator.
  • A local bank account.
  • Policy and procedures for General Data Protection Regulations compliance.
  • A pension scheme (must meet the regulations of the target country).
  • Mandatory benefits schemes (tip: embellish with your favourite supplementary benefits!).
  • Expense management system.


Step 1 – Investigate what type of entity is required in order to employ in your target country. Open that entity.

Step 2 – Get a clear understanding of the employment regulations and statutory cost of employment in your target country. This can make your European Employment Cake quite rich! Repeat step one if necessary.

Step 3 – Open a bank account in your target country so you can pay staff and local taxes. Be prepared to visit the country in person for this step. Tip: allow enough time for step 3, this can take many months.

Step 4 – Appoint your local advisors; you will need a lawyer, an accountant and an HR manager. Did you buy the right ingredients?? You may also need to procure a pensions adviser, a payroll company and a benefits provider.

Step 5 – Make your offer of employment! If the talent you have identified has not been able to wait around, your European Employment Cake may be unusable.

Step 6 – Onboard your new employee! Negotiate the employment contract (use a good quality translator to change any clauses as necessary), capture employee details, set the employee up on payroll, benefits and pension schemes and manage in accordance with local HR laws.

If you don’t have time to make your own European Employment Cake or are missing some key ingredients, excellent alternatives can be purchased off the shelf.

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Published On: July 1st, 2019Last Updated: March 10th, 2022

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About the Author: Paul Sleath

Paul is responsible for global marketing and communications including brand, advertising, digital marketing, and demand generation. Paul has a wealth of experience previously co-founding PEO Worldwide and was also the former managing director of CPM People/Stipenda.