Staatenlos_mit_Claim_ENG
Entrepreneur

Christoph Heuermann

Christoph Heuermann, 31 years young, is the founder and the face of Stateless. After studying administrative sciences, he gave up his residence in Germany at the age of 24 to travel to all countries of the world, to position himself optimally according to the flag theory and to advise others to do the same. This resulted in this website, a business with millions in sales and a Facebook community with more than 20,000 followers.

133 books I have read and can recommend:
To overview

Book a consultation now
SY Staatenlos

Catamaran

2020 changed the lives of many people. Christoph, however, has never stopped traveling and only knows lockdowns from hearsay. Since June 2020 he has been traveling on the SY Staatenlos, which he acquired in Croatia, a catamaran with which he can simply sail away from the increasingly blatant restrictions on freedom and work remotely from anywhere. The stateless catamaran also serves as a meeting place for the community and will be used by them several months a year for workations, seminars, retreats and more.

To the catamaran
SY Staatenlos

Catamaran

2020 changed the lives of many people. Christoph, however, has never stopped traveling and only knows lockdowns from hearsay. Since June 2020 he has been traveling on the SY Staatenlos, which he acquired in Croatia, a catamaran with which he can simply sail away from the increasingly blatant restrictions on freedom and work remotely from anywhere. The stateless catamaran also serves as a meeting place for the community and will be used by them several months a year for workations, seminars, retreats and more.

To the catamaran
Instagram

Christoph Today

Daily pictures and stories about his travels around the world.

To Instagram
Christoph's English language travel blog

Travel blog

Join him on his mission to discover all the countries in the world until he is 35. Get insights into exciting travel destinations, enjoy Christoph’s photography from 7 years of continuous travel or deal with his statistics.

To the blog
Christoph's English language travel blog

Travel blog

Join him on his mission to discover all the countries in the world until he is 35. Get insights into exciting travel destinations, enjoy Christoph’s photography from 7 years of continuous travel or deal with his statistics.

To the blog
Questions and answers

Answers from Christoph to typical questions

How did you become interested in a free life?

Looking back, it was all a funny coincidence. Even though I was most inclined towards the FDP in Germany when I was at school, I had little idea of liberal theory. I started studying political and administrative sciences at the University of Konstanz with the aim of one day becoming a well-paid global civil servant at embassies, the UN or the EU. However, my freshman seminar on “Political Philosophy” put me on the right track – with a communist professor of all places. I slept through the first hour because of a party – a lecture topic was assigned to me. It was, of all things, “Friedrich August von Hayek”, the classically liberal Nobel Prize winner, whose “Path to Serfdom” I worked through alongside other works in the following 4 months. I liked his ideas, so in my first term paper I compared Hayek's and John Stuart Mill's theory of freedom.

In den folgenden Semester-Ferien nutzte ich die Zeit um viele andere Bücher zu lesen. Mit Werken von Murry Rothbard, Hans-Hermann Hoppe oder Ayn Rand radikalisierte sich meine politische Anschauung rasant. Ich versuchte mich im Internet mit der damals (2012) doch recht kleinen libertären Gemeinschaft in Deutschland zu vernetzen. Im August besuchte ich die erste “Woche der Freiheit” gesponsort von der deutschen Hayek-Gesellschaft. Ein großes Engagement im libertären Sektor Deutschlands folgte. Ich gründete etwa den immer noch aktiven Hayek Club Konstanz, wo ich viel über Unternehmertum lernte als wir gegen den Widerstand der linksextremen AStA (die uns mehrmals verbieten wollte) viele erfolgreiche Veranstaltungen organisierten. Ein Stipendium bei der Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung, Praktika beim FDP-Politiker Frank Schäffler und dem Wiener “Scholarium” und der Besuch vieler Seminare und Konferenzen (Students for Liberty) prägten meine liberale Entwicklung. Durch die Grenzlage zur Schweiz lernte ich auch viele lokale Mitstreiter kennen und war regulärer Gast bei Institutionen wie dem Modelhof oder des Liberalen Instituts.

Schon im 2. Semester merkte ich aber, dass der Berufswunsch beim Staat zu arbeiten kaum mit mit meinen Werten zu vereinbaren sei. Auch der Weg in die Politikberatung oder Wissenschaft kam mir spätestens nach meinen Pflichtpraktika im 4. Semester nicht mehr richtig vor. Bei einem Auslandssemester in Madrid 2013 mit meiner anschließenden ersten Südamerika-Reise entwickelte ich mich persönlich stark weiter und beschloss zwar auf dem Papier zu Ende zu studieren, die bleibenden 1 ½ halb Jahre mich aber intensiv persönlich für den Eintritt in die Selbstständigkeit fortzubilden. Auf Konferenzen begegnete mir bereits die Idee des Perpetual Travelings – viel Reisen, frei sein und online Geld verdienen schienen mir genau richtig für mein Leben. Nicht nur mein neues Leben, sondern auch eine Geschäftsidee war geboren, schließlich gab es kaum gute Informationen über das Thema.

What do you like about freedom?

I wouldn't necessarily call myself a liberal, as over time I've leaned heavily towards anarcho-capitalism, which I think is much more logically coherent. The problem with liberalism is its lack of enforceability on democratic paths in societies that are already largely state-enforced. During my studies I saw through internships in Berlin and Brussels that political freedom is a utopian goal. Many people do not want to be free at all, but would rather be well taken care of. Anarcho-capitalists implement freedom for themselves through the right life strategy (flag theory), rely on entrepreneurial creativity (free private cities) or build parallel societies through technology (blockchain). In my opinion, this is the more promising approach. Nevertheless, I am grateful to liberalism and fully share its core values, even if I only believe in them in a much more radical form.

What does the average stateless customer look like? Are they mostly Europeans?

Stateless,ch is my first and therefore biggest blog, on which I mainly concentrate. Accordingly, my customers are mainly German, but also many Austrians, Swiss or Italians (South Tyrol). We now have our own blogs in English too. Spanish, French, Portuguese and Russian on the go. The French blog is called Libredetat.com. In the meantime, however, I am responsible for the whole world in my consultations, especially many Britons, Scandinavians and Australians.

Mein Ziel war es immer das Wissen der Großkonzerne und Family Offices den “kleinen Mann” zur Verfügung zu stellen. Anfangs lag mein Fokus vor allem bei Selbstständigen und kleinen Online-Unternehmern. Mittlerweile berate ich auch oft Mittelständler und Privatiers. Der typische Staatenlos-Kunde verdient zwischen 50.000€ und 5 Millionen Euro pro Jahr. Längst nicht jeder ist aber mobil und flexibel – oft drehen sich Beratungen darum im heimischen System soviel zu gestalten wie möglich. Gerade in Deutschland und der Schweiz kann man mit der richtigen Expertise steuerlich sehr viel herausholen. Ich bin weder Steuerberater noch Anwalt, kenne mich aber in allen Ländern der Welt gut genug aus um kreative legale Wege zu finden, die der typische Steuerverwalter nicht kennt. Mein Netzwerk aus  den wenigen existenten kompetenten Partneranwälten und -steuerberatern sorgt dann für die Umsetzung.

Wouldn't it be better to found a truly free country instead of constantly traveling?

It certainly depends on your personality and goals in life. Even if there were a completely free country, I would probably still choose the itinerary. So I can enjoy the most communist countries with a lot of freedom because I don't fall into the system. For example, my favorite country is Argentina – a terribly bureaucratic tax hell, but at the same time a great playground to live in. Personally, I can't imagine settling down - this planet is too beautiful not to discover every corner of it. Meanwhile, I also live part of the year on my "stateless" catamaran - sailing around the world takes freedom to a new level.

Unterdessen bin ich freilich bemüht freie Gesellschaften zur Realität werden zu lassen. Ideen wie Freie Privatstädte oder Seasteading (Staatsgründung auf dem Meer außerhalb der 12-Meilen-Zone) unterstütze ich seit langer Zeit ausdrücklich. Bei einem bereits existierenden Projekt von autonomen Sonderzonen in Honduras bin ich als Wagniskapitalgeber stark beteiligt. Ich denke, privat betriebene Sonderzonen, die auf freiwilligen, nicht einseitig änderbaren Vertrag beruhen, sind die bessere Lösung für unser Zusammenleben als große Nationalstaaten. Ich persönlich wünsche mir eine Welt aus zehntausend Liechtenstein und Monacos. Eben weil ich auch weiß, dass dauerhaftes Reisen nur für einen Bruchteil der Bevölkerung eine Option ist, da sie zu sehr auf Heimat Immobilität konditioniert ist.

What do you accuse the traditional states of?

Enough to fill books. In a nutshell, I would just like to emphasize that all states rely on the organizing principle of "coercion and violence" - i.e. robbery - along with the "knowledge problem" mentioned so importantly by Hayek. Why should a state know better what is good for us than we do? Why should we delegate our innate responsibility for our fellow human beings to an external authority? Why should we allow ourselves to be robbed and still be thankful for it? Why should we allow ourselves to be protected without a right to compensation if this protection does not work? Why should we get educated when we're being brainwashed? Why should we use roads that we could build ourselves? In short: the state is antisocial, not those who flee it. True freedom is incompatible with the state fiction. That's why I will fight to the last breath to enable people all over the world to live a freer life.

What's so bad about paying taxes? What alternative(s) would you suggest? And what would happen if no one paid taxes anymore?

The problem of taxes can be defined on several levels. First, they are simply morally degenerate, since they propagate “coercion” and “violence” as a means of human coexistence. They dehumanize us by delegating our innate responsibility for our fellow human beings to a fictitious state construct that supposedly knows better what is good for us than we do. In this way, we are deprived of both the motivation and the opportunity for social responsibility. So taxes are antisocial – not those who avoid them.

Zweitens sind sie utilitaristisch gesehen kein gutes Mittel zum Zweck. Sie begünstigen Abwanderung von Leistungsträgern und Verschwendung von Geldern. Gerade in Demokratien sind sie besonders schädlich, weil sie wie kein zweites Regierungsinstrument für Stimmenkauf anfällig sind. In Ländern wie Deutschland, in denen 80% der Bevölkerung Nettostaatsprofiteure sind, die direkt oder indirekt mehr vom Staat bekommen als sie zahlen, ist das besonders fatal. Die Spirale zu mehr Steuern dreht sich damit  unaufhaltsam.

Natürlich stellt sich die Frage wie man menschliches Zusammenleben auf freier und freiwilliger Basis gestaltet. Der beste Ansatz hier ist die Idee Freier Privatstädte, die aktuell unter meiner Mitwirkung als Investor und Botschafter zum Beispiel in Honduras als Pilotprojekt umgesetzt werden. Hier schließt man freiwillig einen Gesellschaftsvertrag ab, der gewisse Rechten, Pflichten und auch Abgaben beinhaltet um in einem bestimmten Gebiet leben zu dürfen. Dieses ist vertraglich vereinbart und nicht einseitig vom privaten Betreiber dieses Gebietes aufkündbar wie bei Staaten üblich. Viel mehr kann der Betreiber sogar auf Schadensersatz verklagt werden, wenn Vertragsversprechen wie 100% Sicherheit nicht erfüllt werden. Man stelle sich mal vor den deutschen Staat zu verklagen weil er nicht vor Einbrüchen oder Diebstählen schützt.

Ferner sorgt der profitorientierte Betrieb jenes Gebietes für maximale Effizienz, sodass alle minimal nötigen Gemeinschaftsaufgaben für einen Bruchteil der in Deutschland üblichen Abgaben organisiert werden können. Die Gewerbe- und Regulierungsfreiheit in Kombination mit schaffensfrohen Bewohnern tut ihr übriges eine vernünftige Infrastruktur zu gewährleisten. Eine Welt aus Tausenden solcher Zonen würde Jedermann das Leben in Gebieten versprechen, die seinen persönlichen Bedürfnissen entsprechen. Auch kommunistische Modelle können gerne ausprobiert werden – aber nur bei freiwilligem Eintritt, was das Gelingen dieses Gesellschaftsmodells wohl konterkarieren wird.

In which countries can taxes be legally avoided? And why does it work better there than in Germany, for example?

Taxes can be avoided on several levels and on some levels not at all. I also pay quite a bit of sales and consumption taxes in the countries where I stay. I think that's justifiable, because it helps finance the infrastructure I use. Even with a complete abstinence from consumption, you would still pay taxes, because taxes are incurred on even the most essential things. I still find indirect taxes relatively fair because everyone pays the same.

Bei direkten und progressiven Steuern ist das nicht so, diese kann man zum Glück aber vermeiden. Das internationale Steuerrecht läuft der Digitalisierung immer noch weit hinterher und wird auf absehbare Zeit viele legale Auswege ermöglichen. Auf persönlicher Ebene muss man sich praktisch nur dazu entscheiden, weniger als die Hälfte des Jahres in seinen Heimatland zu verbringen, “Sicherheiten” wie eine dauerhaft zur Verfügung stehende Wohnung aufzugeben und Ehepartner und Kinder falls vorhanden mitzunehmen. Dann gibt es immer noch über 80 Länder-Möglichkeiten auf unserem Planeten richtig strukturiert praktisch steuerfrei zu leben – bei durchaus guter Lebensqualität in Ländern wie Costa Rica, Uruguay, Thailand oder Dubai. Diese haben auch direkte Steuern – aber nur auf bestimmte Branchen wie Rohstoffe oder Banken oder nur für im Land erbrachte Leistungen, dazu in deutlich erträglicheren Maße, sodass Steuerhinterziehung kein Thema ist.

Man kann auch ganz darauf verzichten sich in die Beschränkungen staatlicher Systeme zu begeben und bleibt Dauertourist – Perpetual Traveler, wie ich es nenne. Ob man dann wie ich 60 Länder jährlich bereist oder sich nur Basen zu je 4 Monaten in 3 verschiedenen Ländern aufbaut, bleibt jedem selbst überlassen. So ein mobiler Lebensstil ist sehr flexibel und bringt Tonnen an Vorteilen neben der Steuer hinaus. Aber selbst wer meint in Deutschland leben bleiben zu müssen, hat viele Möglichkeiten auf Körperschaftsebene seine Belastung zu senken. Genossenschaften, Familienstiftungen und auch Auslandsfirmen, etwa in Nachbarländern mit einstelliger Körperschaftssteuer wie Polen (9%) bieten sich an unter gewissen Voraussetzungen.

Is your model of "Perpetual Traveling" feasible for everyone? For example as a family? And what type of work(s) is/are suitable for your lifestyle?

Definitely yes, but it takes a lot of courage to assert yourself against the prevailing security thinking in the area of ​​family and friends, especially in Germany, especially if things don't go so well at the beginning. First you are pitied, then smiled at, then envied.

That children need to go to school is conditioned to us by our own experiences in the forced school child abduction indoctrination system. More and more families prefer to let their children learn freely, which is forbidden in Germany. This is often a strong motivation to emigrate. In addition to free learning, there are of course a variety of other ways to ensure optimal education for your children on the go.

The most problematic are usually the "sunk costs" of older semesters, who have already built up something in Germany and are climbing the career ladder. They are too comfortable in their situation to dare to start such a life model. Even if they want to, they can't handle giving up what they've invested so much time in over the last few decades. You have to make them understand that you only live once.

Our world is becoming more and more digitized and after 1 year of corona lockdown at the latest, it should be clear that a large part of our modern service and industrial society can also be mapped digitally. There are thousands of opportunities to set foot here as a remote employee or freelancer. But it certainly makes more sense to create your own company and thus generate added value for the world. And that certainly doesn't mean 25-year-old life coaches, travel bloggers and (Ponzi) network marketers. Whether e-commerce, services or in the financial sector depends heavily on your personal profile.

To what extent will the Corona crisis affect taxpayers in Germany and worldwide in the future? What do you think? Do you see your way of life in danger?

I am very pessimistic about the future of our planet in the next decade, but very optimistic about my own situation. Crises are very convenient for every true entrepreneur and investor, because there is a lot that can be done there. The pressure to regulate and prohibit is certainly increasing because the free market narrative is the ideal enemy, even if the actual dynamics are exactly the opposite. The next economic crisis that is about to set in, and which will far overshadow 2009, is once again being attributed to capitalism, although it is actually attributable to the excesses of the money-printing central banks, massive misguided economic incentives and insane corona measures. In a monetary system whose most essential components, namely interest and money supply, are managed centrally, to speak of a market economy is the biggest laugh of the millennium.

Since I started my life and business in 2015, there have been an extreme number of measures designed to reduce tax avoidance. Every law pushes the limits of what is feasible, but in doing so already harbors a new legal loophole. The beauty is that tax avoidance is a race in which the individual will always outperform the state, provided they have the necessary knowledge, creativity and courage. This also makes my own entrepreneurial position a practical monopoly that you can copy but not achieve. I myself am pretty sure that I will continue to live tax-free in 10 years.

What form of investment would you recommend to our readers? Do you have an insider tip? And how do you feel about statutory pensions?

90% of my own assets are tied up in illiquid long-term unlisted company investments (private equity). Despite my nomadic lifestyle, I am heavily invested in agriculture, for example I am a partner in one of the largest walnut plantations in Georgia or own my own grape vines near Mendoza, Argentina. I have interests in companies in real estate, resource exploration and other industries, and I provide venture capital to potentially revolutionary projects such as the Free Private Cities outlined above. All companies that are built on solid foundations instead of hype and will therefore survive the next crisis well. On the other hand, I don't think much of stocks in the current market situation - the upside is simply far too small compared to the downside in the event of a potential crash.

I prefer to play speculatively with crypto currencies, in which I have been invested since 2012. Unfortunately, as a poor student, it was not enough for large sums of Bitcoin at the time. But in the past few years, like right now, I was very happy with price gains of over 10,000% for some coins. But I'm not a HODLer, but regularly shift the profits into company shares. I consider the current crypto boom to be unsustainable and see a strong correction in the near future, which will be initiated by stricter regulation and a loss of trust (e.g. tether cover).

At the moment, I think it's best to invest in yourself and your survival. I bought and upgraded a catamaran in which I can survive difficult times and reach better areas self-sufficiently with enough water, electricity and food. Furthermore, my land holdings in good agricultural locations also provide food in emergencies. I can currently only recommend a large garden. The limits of the unthinkable are shifting.

As a result, I can’t get much out of the pension. You have to be completely “brainwashed” to be responsible for your money in a pyramid scheme with the hope that you will get it back after several decades. My motto has always been to spend every day of my life as if I were retired. Without a bit of added value, however, life is boring, which many retirees accept. That's why I'll definitely work until I'm old, but at the same time, at the age of 30, I'm no longer dependent on ever having to work. That is exactly why my investments have a more long-term character.

Emigrate from Germany? What do you have to pay attention to in any case?

Books can be filled with this question, but at the same time one should not overthink it. In many cases it is sufficient to buy a flight ticket and deregister. Once thrown in at the deep end, most things will take care of themselves. Of course, this depends on the individual life situation and is more recommended for a student with a university degree than for a employed family man.

From a tax point of view, it is important to deal with issues such as extended limited tax liability, exit taxation, disentanglement or relocation of functions. But these are only relevant if you earn some money in Germany. The typical freelancer or sole proprietor usually gets off with a black eye. But if you have a GmbH and structured it incorrectly from the start (no holding company), moving out of Germany can be very uncomfortable if you don’t know the solution. An average profit of just €100,000 in a limited liability company leads to an exit tax of almost €330,000 when deregistering from Germany.

It is important to understand that one does not formally become “stateless”. You remain a German citizen, can renew your passport at any time, access all kinds of other documents and also return to your home country at any time. Subsequent taxation is only permissible in exceptional cases, for example if the emigration was not planned for the long term from the outset. Anyone who has actually spent several years abroad can return without any problems and put the money they have earned tax-free into the German economy as long as there is a proof of origin.

And are there also easy-to-implement ways to legally and sustainably avoid taxes within Germany?

I have described the best setup for German residents here. Above a certain income and/or wealth, the German system offers numerous legal opportunities to optimize your taxes. Legal forms such as cooperatives, family foundations and corporations in Germany and abroad make the tax burden bearable, even in Germany, when combined correctly. However, it is important to limit consumption – tax benefits only encourage investment.

Nevertheless, the financial and above all time expenditure for such structures should not be underestimated. I'd rather live completely tax-free with expenses of €2000 and have no bureaucracy to consider at all, such as bookkeeping. I prefer to have the option to consume all my money, even if my savings rate is actually over 80%. I'd rather spend time in a country with a pleasant climate, where I can fly my family from Germany, than eke out an existence in an envious society in a cold, wet country with a dilapidated infrastructure. Taxes are by no means the only or even the most important reason to turn your back on Germany.

What would motivate you to go back to Germany permanently?

At the moment I can hardly imagine this scenario. The few reasons for visiting Germany such as freeways without limits will soon be history. If I were invited to become German Emperor for a few years, I would be happy to provide my services for my home country. Because it would have to change tremendously. A complete reform of the welfare state towards tolerable taxation and good incentives is only a small part. Germany could be the greatest country in the world, but above all it needs a major change in mentality. In a democracy with 80% net state beneficiaries, that will never happen.

Even after a “big bang” in one generation, this change in mentality cannot be achieved. It takes several decades for German society to heal once the system is put back in order. In this respect, I limit myself to short visits to people I value who have decided to live with the system. Finally, I can appreciate that most of humanity longs for security rather than freedom. Nevertheless, by implication, I will not allow my freedom to be taken away from me. Not now and certainly not in the future.

How does a perpetual traveler travel in times of state corona lockdowns?
A perpetual traveler can neither be forbidden nor made mad from traveling. However, he focuses more intensely on a few countries that offer as many freedoms as possible. His mobility and overview of global dynamics help him to find a location worth living in in the long term. Potential risk areas, for which government travel warnings are issued, are usually of particular interest to him.
The global travel restrictions hit me on the Yemeni island of Socotra in mid-March - relatively surprising in a few days without a reasonable internet connection. With one of the last flights we went back to Egypt and a short time later via Dubai to Sao Paolo in Brazil. Because of various local acquaintances, I wanted to spend the expected global lockdown on the Riviera Maya in Mexico, which was a very good decision for the time being. Only after Easter (mid-April) were there significant restrictions, which culminated in the flight from Playa del Carmen to Sweden at the end of April. By the way, everything was very relaxed back then without a mask when everyone thought that no planes would take off. After an extensive road trip of 6000km through Sweden with skiing fun in the last open ski area in the world, Croatia opened up for entry at the end of May for economic reasons, which also included tourism. Since the beginning of June I have explored all of Croatia and neighboring countries such as Slovenia and used the time to fulfill my long-cherished dream of owning my own ocean-going boat - the purchase of a Lagoon380 catamaran. Equipped accordingly self-sufficient, we can now simply sail away from the next lockdowns.

What is your expectation? Will there be freedom to travel again in the future?

In principle, I expect that freedom to travel will be restored, but many countries are now taking a different approach and no longer relying on extreme mass tourism. Because of their proximity to China, some Asian countries tend to focus more on luxury tourism and make it difficult for backpackers to enter the country. Others now want to enable a longer-term stay in the country via “Digital Nomad Visa”. Thanks to digitization enforced by lockdowns, location-independent working will flourish in the coming years and favor such programs. However, collecting countries quickly will become more difficult in the next few years – but not impossible. Unfortunately, a corona vaccination will probably be mandatory.

You have traveled to almost every country in the world. If you now had to choose a single country in a final corona lockdown, where do you like it best?

Basically, I'm more of a fan of Latin American countries, because they correspond to my preferred way of life in many ways. These include Colombia, Peru or Argentina - unfortunately all countries that are driving very hysterical corona lockdowns and are thus being set back a decade in their economic development. There is more measure in Brazil and Mexico, which I also appreciate very much. Large, scenically diverse countries with many different climate zones, excellent food (at least for steak lovers), open-minded people, a positive mentality and zest for life and relatively good infrastructure at acceptable prices. I don't see high levels of crime as a counterargument, as this is much easier to calculate than in Germany, for example. Some areas are simply no-go zones, but also offer little that is interesting.

Book a consultation now

Known from: