Choosing Overseas vs Onshore Custom Software Partners

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When you're building a startup or guiding a company through its early phase, implementing a solid growth strategy is crucial – and choosing the right custom software development partner is an important step in this process. The first fork in the road you may encounter is whether to find help onshore or overseas. We’ve noticed folks have strong opinions one way or the other about this, but it’s not either/or. There are times when onshore (especially local!) makes more sense, and times when overseas can instead make more sense. Let’s take a look. 

When overseas works 

We talk to a lot of business owners just launching their company or exploring a product idea. When you need a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) so you can find product market fit, and you know you’ll redo the designs and rewrite the code entirely once you’ve secured funding, choosing an overseas agency or individual developer works well.

When onshore/local is better 

Conversely, an onshore, including local, agency can be the right choice when you need solid design and code for a product that is proven out and ready to grow. This is not because overseas folks are less capable of producing strong work! It's that the human mind simply hasn’t caught up to the technical capability that is now possible. There are qualitative value-adds to working with an onshore entity:

  • Fluid communication
  • Real-time, or even in-person, collaboration
  • Issues caught and addressed more quickly and easily 
  • Higher likelihood of delivering projects on time, within budget, and to specifications 
  • Legal and reputational accountability 

In other words, when you’re comparing price tags, you must factor in more than the design and code itself. 

But wait there’s more! 

Within each of the overseas and onshore options, you also have the choice between an agency or an individual. $50 an hour for an individual is definitely enticing, versus $145 with an agency, but: if it takes an individual, say, 15 days to do the project versus 5 days at an agency, that works out to a grand total of $6,000 for the individual versus $5800 for the agency. With the agency, not only are you getting a slightly better total price, you’re getting the project two weeks earlier.  

Let’s recap


Onshore Agency

Onshore Individual

Offshore Agency

Offshore Individual

Project - Per Hour Rate 





Legal Accountability

✅ sometimes

Cultural/Local Market Context

✅ sometimes











Coda: Not sure if you’ve even got a product yet? 

It’s possible that you’re even earlier in the journey than needing an MVP or to work on product growth. Maybe you simply need to talk through your ideas, get an audit of code you already have, or look at business strategy. You can always ask an overseas agency or individual to help, but in our experience, it makes more sense to get guidance from others who operate in your home market – they’ll have much more context, and may also be able to offer you network contacts. 

What next?

At The SilverLogic, we're happy to provide our honest opinion during a consultation. If our group won’t be a good fit for development, we can still offer guidance on any of the other needs mentioned above or point you in the right direction. Drop us a line and let’s see how we can help make your idea happen

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