Biz Tips: What to Consider When You’re Considering Moving Your Business

Biz Tips: What to Consider When You’re Considering Moving Your Business

Biz Tip:

What to Consider When You’re Considering Moving Your Business

When Siyata Mobile was seeking greater access to capital to support its growth plans, the wireless provider turned to an international solution. The company engineered a reverse takeover transaction that allowed it to move ownership of the business from Israel to Canada. Siyata’s valuation increased more than fivefold within the company’s first 27 months on the TSX-V.

The success of Siyata Mobile’s move to Canadian markets might seem unique, but it’s not exclusive. A change in jurisdiction can open many doors for companies, and it could be the right financial move for your business as well.

5 Things to Ask Yourself Before Relocating

Moving your business to another country can take several forms. One could be physically moving your headquarters to foreign soil. Another could be listing your business on a foreign stock exchange. Other options include reincorporating the business on foreign soil (for tax purposes or other reasons) and setting up a local presence in another country to complement your home country operations. The options vary, but the decision-making process is similar for each.

Here are five questions you should ask yourself — and know the answers to inside and out — before you take the leap.

1. What’s the motivation for the move?

Understanding exactly why you’re making a change — and being able to articulate your reasoning to investors and partners — is an important first step in getting your company out the international door. Are you hoping to open your business up to new commercial markets? Access fresh sources of capital? Connect with an untapped pool of talent?

Knowing your goals from the outset of a move will let you plan strategically and aim in the right direction — whether that means bringing on international advisors with local market expertise, or in rare cases, uprooting and relocating your entire operation.

2. Do you understand the jurisdiction?

Companies must start by exploring the underlying domestic tax structure and regulatory nuances of wherever they hope to be financed, incorporated, or physically based. For instance, U.S. companies that choose to go public on a Canadian stock exchange may be subject to certain tax liabilities if the transaction triggers a disposition for tax purposes. These regulations may seem apparent, but they typically require more investigation than people expect.

You’ll also want to understand the investor base where you’re looking to land. If there are opportunities to build capital locally, having a physical presence can be helpful to making those connections.

Any company considering a move should hire a lawyer who knows the laws of the land. Only a local legal expert has the experience and proficiency that companies need to accurately explore the strengths and weaknesses of a jurisdiction.

3. What are the immigration policies?

U.S. business are asking this question right now as the Trump administration moves to restrict immigration. Tech companies that recruit foreign-born professionals could face talent shortages as a result of these impending policies. Businesses could also face consequences as a result of where they’re moving from.

Canada, by contrast, has embraced openness to entice both foreign talent and companies. Be sure your team will be welcome on foreign soil before you take steps in that direction. You’ll want to make sure your existing team can at least visit — if not live — in the new jurisdiction.

4. How will your financial reporting need to adapt?
As soon as any part of your business crosses a border, you may run into the challenges of revenue recognition and foreign exchange transparency in a different currency. Knowing how to properly transfer money across borders and how to maintain clear financial statements that investors can understand becomes an important piece of the moving puzzle.

Furthermore, tax and accounting standards can vary from country to country. For example, not every country has adopted the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which means that how you track and report your financials may need to change as you relocate.

5. How will you navigate the established rule of law?

It’s a global truth that certain markets read as being more stable to investors. Are you moving your operations or headquarters to a location where there is an established rule of law? Will your company benefit from tested emerging market issuers, or are you headed into an unsteady emerging market where the regulations are less formalized? Relocation should open your business to new opportunities, not set it up to be the next casualty of irregular markets.

Make Your Move Work for Your Company

Even without any unusual entanglements, adapting to the rules and regulations of a new country can be onerous. While going abroad may offer your business real opportunities for growth, it’s crucial to weigh the benefits and hazards of any new location. Establishing connections with local professionals and partners can streamline your transition — you wouldn’t land a plane in low visibility without an expert on the ground guiding you to a safe arrival.

Mobility is one of the biggest advantages that today’s businesses enjoy. Moving your company to a new country could be one of the smartest strategies for your operations. But with constant sea changes taking place in tax laws, immigration policies, and international relations, it’s important to do your homework. With this checklist of questions in hand and local legal experts by your side, you’ll set your company up for a successful moving day.

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