Hong Kong’s position as Asia’s leading financial hub has shifted considerably in recent years. As a result numerous companies are re-assessing their corporate strategies, with many looking to relocate to Singapore. But what does a relocation to Singapore actually entail? What’s involved? What do you need to watch out for?
For Hong Kong companies looking to make the big move, Singapore offers a number of business advantages.
Like Hong Kong, it’s a former British colony. It also boasts a cultural outlook that’s friendly to the international business community. It’s financial and legal structures are western in nature. Singapore is also the world’s most competitive economy, based on a recent global competitive report issued by the World Economic Forum.
Singapore is also an easy place to set up and run a business. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2022, Singapore is ranked second among 190 economies for ease of doing business.
All up, Singapore is a great place to relocate your business. But what are some of the key issues businesses need to consider when making the move?
When relocating to Singapore carefully consider your staffing requirements
Apart from the bureaucratic and Governmental tasks involved, perhaps the most important decision you’ll need to make involves staffing. Do you have valuable employees you can’t afford to lose? Do you relocate employees and their families? Or hire new staff in Singapore?
For many companies making the move involves a little bit of both. But it can get messy and expensive.
When relocating to Singapore partner with a workforce management specialist
Fortunately, there are a number of workforce management specialists like CXC with expert staff on the ground in both HK and Singapore to assist you with sourcing and onboarding new employees, as well as arranging all immigration and work visa matters for employees relocating from Hong Kong. They can streamline the entire operation on your behalf, including liaising with Government departments and even finding suitable office space or accommodation for your staff and their families.
Banking and finance regulations are important when relocating to Singapore
After staffing, setting up the appropriate banking and financial arrangements in Singapore is a mission-critical issue. When moving a business from Hong Kong to Singapore a new company needs to be set up and all of the assets and liabilities of the Hong Kong company transferred to the new company.
You’ll also need a corporate bank account in Singapore. Early on, you’ll want to transfer all your banking assets to Singapore so you’ll have uninterrupted and hassle-free banking transactions during the move. By the time you’re settled into the new country, you’ll already be up and running, and ready to carry out transactions.
You’ll also want to evaluate your intangible and tangible assets and determine what you can bring to Singapore. For tangible assets, we’re talking about your equipment, machinery, and other hardware that affect business operations. Intangible assets such as Intellectual Property (IP) will also need to be considered when moving your company from Hong Kong to Singapore.
Once you move to Singapore, you’ll also want to review and renegotiate all contracts with your vendors and/or clients from Hong Kong to make sure that all contracts comply with Singapore legal requirements.
Another great reason to relocate your business to Singapore
Finally, don’t forget that Singapore is keen to attract foreign business investment, and offers a wide range of incentives and assistance programs.
As part of your planning, don’t forget to contact the Economic Development Board (EDB) in Singapore, a can-do government body with the role of encouraging investment in Singapore.
Depending on the scale of your business and plans for Singapore, assistance in the form of tax incentives and cash grants are amongst the many programs available.
Thinking of moving to Singapore? Either as an employee or an employer? CXC are global workforce management specialists with expert staff on the ground in Singapore ready to assist. If you’d like to find out more, don’t hesitate to contact us!