ECOVIS Focus Hong Kong
Auditors, Accountants and Tax advisors in Hong Kong
International tax, audit, accounting and legal news
Relocation services Serbia: Ecovis provides full-scale services when moving to Serbia06.02.2023
The new Serbian government is continuing the policy of attracting foreign direct investments (FDI). Regulation on providing residence permits with start-up, talent and investor visas in Serbia was already introduced in early 2020. Its primary goal is to provide greater opportunities to people who want to work and realise their innovative ideas in Serbia.
After the new government announced consistency and the continuation of the policy of attracting FDI, Ecovis in Serbia recognised the potential in redefining relocation services and the advantages of supporting the global roll out of businesses in Serbia (see box).
Serbia has a free visa regime with many countries, as well as great local and regional logistic potential for reaching the whole world.
To present Serbia as a relevant participant in the international market, support the competitiveness of domestic employers and improve the demographic picture, the government has now adopted a “Regulation on the criteria for awarding incentives to employers who employ newly settled persons in the Republic of Serbia” (Official Gazette of RS, No. 67/2022).
We support companies wishing to relocate to Serbia.Alexander Samonig, Managing Partner, Ecovis Coordinator for West Balkans, ECOVIS SEE d.o.o., Belgrade, Serbia
Requirements and rules when moving to Serbia
The right to grant incentives is only available for newly settled persons who are employed by 31 December 2023. The incentives will be available for a maximum of 60 months, starting from 1 July 2022 and ending on 31 December 2028.
To be considered newly settled, an employee must not have been resident in Serbia for more than 180 days for two years prior to the conclusion of the contract with the employer. In addition, regardless of citizenship, the subsidy only applies if the employment contract is for an indefinite period and full-time. An authorised auditor must confirm the accuracy of the salary/tax/contributions calculation and the fulfilment of other conditions.
Ecovis supports companies willing to settle in Serbia
Ecovis helps companies wishing to move to Serbia with finding the right legal form for their business (e.g., entrepreneur, Ltd). This is the basis for obtaining a business visa, i.e., a residence and work permit.
For the residence permit, Ecovis offers two corporate apartments (active addresses) in Novi Sad. The client can later relocate within Serbia. However, it is also mandatory to register with the police. The service portfolio for supporting employers also includes the regular employment of foreigners.
For further information please contact:
Alexander Samonig, Managing Partner, Ecovis Coordinator for West Balkans, ECOVIS SEE d.o.o., Belgrade, Serbia
Companies House public register: The UK demands more information from its corporate entities03.02.2023
The UK Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill should receive Royal Assent (that is, become law in the UK) this spring. The new law gives Companies House more investigation and enforcement powers over companies which report incorrect information to the register.
The UK was one of the first countries to require corporate entities to make public their beneficial owners in 2016. Many countries followed this lead. On 22 November 2022 the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) passed a judgment in favour of applicants wanting to keep their names private which has caused some EU countries (e.g., the Netherlands and Luxembourg) to suspend, for now, public access to their registers of beneficial owners. Nevertheless, the UK is pressing ahead and seeking to give more powers to its registry (known as “Companies House”) so that it is a more active gatekeeper of accurate company information.
What will change with the new law
The changes are good news. The UK’s register has long been criticised for the ability of criminals to present it with incorrect information. The new law will, amongst other measures, allow Companies House to:
- verify the identity of new and existing directors, owners, and those who deliver documents to it
- share data with law enforcement bodies
- demand any information it wants for verification
- analyse information for the purposes of crime prevention or detection
- impose fines (without any criminal prosecution) for breaches of the laws on the disclosure of information.
The new law will give Companies House more powers to pursue inaccurate company information.Mark Lucas, Partner, Moore Barlow LLP – Member of ECOVIS International, Woking, UK
The Bill also amends the financial disclosures required of small companies by:
- requiring micro-entities (i.e., those with two of a turnover of GBP 632,000 or less, GBP 316,000 or less on their balance sheet, or 10 employees or fewer to file a profit and loss account (not just a balance sheet) and
- requiring small companies (i.e., those with two of a turnover of GBP 10.2 million or less, GBP 5.1 million or less on their balance sheet, or 50 employees or fewer) to file a directors’ report (and unabridged accounts).
Criminal activity will be more difficult
These changes are to be welcomed if they render the UK less open to criminal activity and misleading public information. They signal a change from a laissez-faire approach to an interventionist approach, which will come at a cost. Indeed, the law will be amended to expand the grounds upon which the Secretary of State may determine the fees to be paid to Companies House to include “investigation and enforcement activities that contribute to the maintenance of a healthy business environment”. Ultimately, more accurate, more reliable information will come at a cost to all but we at Moore Barlow are certain that this is as price worth paying.
For further information please contact:
Mark Lucas, Partner, Moore Barlow LLP – Member of ECOVIS International, Woking, UK
Investing in the Cambodian agricultural sector01.02.2023
Ecovis in Cambodia has recently been working with two agricultural companies. The intention is to set up cashew nut wholesale organisations with processing capabilities that will allow small producers to join forces to meet sales and profit goals. They also aim to attract external investors.
With the help of outside investment, Cambodian companies would be able to transform the current setup into an economically viable wholesale, processing and exporting supply chain, which will export a high-margin finished product to markets such as China, Japan, South Korea, Europe and the USA. Currently, these high margins are going to other countries, for example Vietnam, where raw nuts are sold directly. This could therefore be an international game changer.
We support Cambodian companies in finding attractive foreign investors.Murray Macmillan, Director of Financial Advisory, ECOVIS VSDK & Partners, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Producers assume that the cashew nut sector could thus rival the rice market in terms of margin if it can reorganise and keep the profits in Cambodia.
Cashew nuts are only one example of where this initiative can make a difference. It is to be expected that with government support, this service will extend from cashew nuts to other high value crops such as mangos and other fruits grown in Cambodia.
At ECOVIS VSDK
Our services include:
- Helping wholesalers to produce reliable financial information and to turn the financial history into reliable projections
- Assisting with credible business plans
- Assisting as intermediaries with overseas investment companies and agricultural aid associations
- Preparing presentations and documents
- Direct cooperation with external investors, also in English
For further information please contact:
Murray Macmillan, Director of Financial Advisory, ECOVIS VSDK & Partners, Phnom Penh, Cambodia