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Making relocation work for your business

How can relocation add value?

Business relocation and associated restructuring can deliver significant commercial, operational and tax management benefits. And it isn’t just large multinationals who are on the move, many smaller and privately-owned companies are now realising the potential gains.

Why move – the value of relocating

As the focal points of global demand and talent shift South and East and the pressure to minimise costs and improve operational efficiency continue to mount, the rationale for relocation is becoming ever more compelling.

Even if you haven’t yet considered the options, you’re likely to face probing questions from analysts and investors about how the various relocation options compare to your current structures and whether you could be losing ground to competitors as a result of not making a possible move. So how can relocation add value?

1. Going where the growth is

It’s important to ensure that key operations and decision making are aligned with where you see the biggest opportunities for investment and growth. Many internationally mobile employees will want to gravitate towards the main focal points of growth. Shifting demographics and changing labour costs also mean that you may need to seek out new sources of talent.

2. Sharpening cost competitiveness

Relocating to an offshore location can generate significant operational and administrative efficiencies, which could be critical as margins come under pressure in slow growth markets.

3. Easing compliance headaches

Many countries are imposing more complex compliance regimes. This is creating a huge burden for groups and is arguably accelerating the migration of businesses away from some of these markets.

4. Seeking more efficient tax arrangements

Many governments are adjusting their tax regimes to help encourage companies to relocate and create jobs within their markets. Particular areas of focus include IP management and other high-value functions.

Developing the right solution

  • Model your supply chain and identify key value drivers. This will help you identify areas where relocation/restructuring could add value.
  • Determine which functions and assets could, should or should not be relocated, and assess possible locations.
  • Undertake feasibility and cost-benefit analyses. This shouldn’t just look at the costs, but also any potential reputational issues.

The choices that emerge from these evaluations may prove very different from what you originally envisaged. While these assessments are likely to identify a number of challenges, most can be managed with

the right structuring and planning. What you cannot afford to do is simply consign relocation to the ‘too difficult pile’ as you could lose out to competitors as a result.

See also…

A global guide to business relocation

This guide includes detailed country profiles across 26 countries and an overview of an additional  32 countries. With the current considerable complexity, mitigating risk is crucial. Grant Thornton has significant experience in advising clients on how their businesses can benefit from relocation. Talk to your local firm about how Grant Thornton can help your organisation reach its growth potential.