How an Employer of Record Can Help With Your Business's Immigration Needs

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Atlas Team

Atlas helps innovative companies like yours to expand, onboard, manage and pay international teams in 160+ countries.

Published: 01 Sep 2023

Expanding abroad can be complex, time-consuming, and expensive. However, working with an Employer of Record service (EOR) can support your business' immigration needs.

While international expansion can bring lucrative opportunities for businesses, venturing into new markets can be a complex, time-consuming, and expensive process. One that, for many, outweighs its benefits. But there is an alternative. By partnering with an Employer of Record (EOR), companies can be sure that all of their business immigration needs are in safe hands, making it far easier to overcome the associated challenges. Here's how.

The challenges of business immigration

When businesses pursue an international expansion strategy, they usually choose between two options: relocating team members to the target country or hiring local talent. Regardless of the approach they take, expansion can bring substantial benefits, such as accessing new markets, diversifying revenue streams, and accessing a wider talent pool. But amidst these benefits, businesses must also consider the potential challenges related to business immigration.

Expanding into a new country involves several critical steps, including establishing a local business entity, ensuring proper employment and payroll processes, and navigating complex regulatory frameworks. On top of that, maintaining compliance with local labor laws and tax obligations requires constant vigilance and expertise. And that's before you start thinking about running an effective and happy operation.

In particular, businesses should consider four main concerns before taking the plunge: cost, complexity, compliance, and communication.


Setting up a new business entity in a foreign country can be a significant financial burden when you do it yourself; it may set you back as much as $80,000. And that figure doesn't even include costs such as employment registration fees, bank setup, local legal and financial advice, etc. Ongoing expenses, such as payroll, benefits, and office space maintenance, can all further strain the budget.


Establishing an entity in a new country is also time-consuming and complicated; it can take as long as 20 weeks and often comes with various demanding requirements. From then on, you'll have to deal with compliance issues (more on that below) and implement new systems, such as country-specific benefits and global payroll management. If you're relocating team members, you'll also need to assist them with the move and support them in adjusting to a potentially unfamiliar environment.


Compliance is a primary concern when opening and running a new entity. Ensuring you have the proper employee visas and consistently adhere to local tax and labor laws is critical. This means ensuring you’re operating in line with things like standard working hours, leave entitlement, and termination procedures. Making things more complicated is the fact that these requirements differ across countries and are subject to change. Staying updated can be tricky, and non-compliance may result in severe penalties.


If this is your first time working as an international team, there will likely be some communication hurdles to overcome. Employing local talent may bring cultural differences that present challenges, and the impact of different time zones and a lack of in-person interaction can exacerbate these issues. As a result, a dedicated effort is necessary to foster integration and mutual understanding among team members.

In short, business immigration needs and considerations are wide-reaching, and handling them all as a business is a big undertaking that requires careful thought. Fortunately, there’s an alternative: working with an Employer of Record can make everything much more manageable.

8 ways an Employer of Record can help with your business immigration needs

An Employer of Record is a professional service provider that can assist businesses with their expansion into new markets by acting as the legal employer for their overseas employees. By partnering with the right EOR, such as Atlas, companies can overcome various challenges associated with business immigration and streamline their international expansion process.

Here are eight ways in which an EOR can prove invaluable:

  1. Speed to market: Creating a new local entity in an unfamiliar country is a long process without any guarantee of success. Working with an EOR allows businesses to hire employees under the EOR's local entity—enabling setup and talent onboarding in just a few days.

  2. Cost-effectiveness: Working with an EOR for your business immigration needs can be more cost-effective than keeping them in-house. The EORs already have established entities and systems, reducing overhead expenses for businesses compared to setting up entities themselves.

  3. Peace of mind: EORs ensure full compliance with local rules, such as tax and social security obligations. They also specialize in staying up-to-date with any changes affecting your company. And, as they act as the legal employer for your overseas employees, they assume all liability for compliance—meaning no risk for you.

  4. Visas & right to work: Reputable Employers of Record (like Atlas) will also handle permits and work authorization for your employees. They ensure that all necessary documentation is in place, enabling your workforce to start working in your chosen location without legal issues.

  5. International payroll management: Another significant challenge of having an international team is ensuring that global payroll is quick and correct. EORs can handle this, too—when you outsource payroll to Atlas, we’ll implement streamlined systems on your behalf, ensuring accurate and timely payments to international employees.

  6. Improved employer offering: As an EOR is a sizable employer, they can help businesses offer attractive employee benefits synonymous with larger corporations, such as health insurance—thus enabling you to attract and retain top talent.

  7. Relocation assistance: Moving people from country to country goes far beyond getting them on the ground. At Atlas, we offer extensive global mobility support and can help organize some of the most crucial considerations for international teams. This includes finding housing, office space, car leasing, relocation assistance, settling in services, and moving household goods.

  8. Local knowledge: A good EOR will also offer valuable expertise in understanding local culture and customs, thus mitigating some of the cross-cultural challenges that might arise in a new international team.

Partner with Atlas for your business immigration needs

International expansion can be a challenging endeavor for any business. But with the right partner, companies can simplify the process and enjoy the benefits of becoming a global company.

By entrusting your business immigration needs to an EOR like Atlas, you can focus on growth and success—while we handle the complexities of international expansion and ensure full compliance with local regulations.

Get started with Atlas today.