Singapore is ranked as one of the best country and has always ranked amongst the top 5 business destinations in the world when it comes to Ease of Doing Business, as surveyed by the World Bank. Singapore has received many accolades for its business friendly policies to attract foreign start-ups and companies. These policies include several tax exemptions, grants, assistance and hand holding schemes
- Rule of law and low corruption : Singapore recruits its “best and brightest” citizens into its civil service and pays them extremely well so that there is little temptation for corruption. If any official misconduct is discovered, Singapore has meted out harsh punishment for such corruption. As a result of these policies, the country now ranks as one of the least corrupt countries in the world.
- Stable political/ economic climate and a robust economy : Singapore have strong political stability. Singapore is the best country when it comes to enforcing contracts, protecting minority shareholders and getting construction permit. Singapore has a well-developed free market economy that is based primarily on trade, finance and manufacturing. All of these attributes make Singapore a very robust and well managed economy.
- Business friendly tax structure and incentives : Singapore has one of the world’s simplest and most rational tax system. The highest corporate tax rate on taxable income is 17%. The tax on capital gains and dividend income is 0%. No withholding tax is levied on post-tax dividends paid from Singapore. Equally important, all foreign-sourced income is tax exempt. New firms receive significant tax breaks during their first 3 years reducing their tax rate to 0% for first S$100k of income.
- Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements : Singapore has an extensive network of Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) with over 80 countries. These agreements are designed to ensure that economic transactions between Singapore and the treaty country do not suffer from double taxation. The key benefits of a DTAA are a) the avoidance of double taxes, b) lower withholding taxes, and c) preferential tax regime, all of which play an important role in minimizing the tax burden for a holding company structure.
- Support for Startups : The Singapore government adopts very pro-growth and innovation friendly policies. It provides many grants, tax incentives and in-kind assistance schemes to startups. Within certain preferred sectors, the government can also subsidize the labour costs of a new business. These benefits are available to local as well as foreign-owned businesses.
- Strategic geographical location with superb connectivity : Singapore has a unique advantage in its geography. The country is strategically located at the crossroads of the main trade and shipping routes of the world, including the major sea route between India and China. Some of the most important economies of the world (China, India, Malaysia, Australia) are a short plane ride away.
- Modern infrastructure : Much of the infrastructure has been developed in the last decade so it is very modern and new. Singapore has a world-class infrastructure which includes the country’s airport, highway system, subways, internet infrastructure, commercial buildings, museums, hotels and public parks.
- A skilled, productive workforce : Singaporeans have a reputation for being hardworking, rule-following, productive and highly educated. Singapore makes it easy for a foreign professional to obtain and maintain work visas or permanent residence (PR) status. Nearly a third of the country’s workforce is from abroad. Nearly every young or middle-age Singaporean speaks English.
- Immense Purchasing power : Singapore has a highly developed market economy and has the world’s highest percentage of millionaires, with one out of every six households having at least one million US Dollars in disposable wealth. Singapore is also a high wage country. All this sums to that there are a lot of people spending money, and that creates great conditions for business helping them to get success in the Singapore market.
- No restrictions on repatriation of profits or import of capital : There are no restrictions on the amount of capital that you can bring from abroad to invest in your Singapore company and further there are no restrictions on the repatriation of profits. There is no tax levied even if you choose to sale your business.
- Easy investment available : If you require an investment for your company then there are several ways to get access to easy capital at any stage of development beginning from government grants, accelerators, incubators, Venture Capitals, banks and financial institutions.
- Professional Image : Singapore is perceived as a rule following, well-functioning, modern and honest country. This positive perception of the Singapore brand rubs on its businesses as well. By locating your business in Singapore, you will signal professionalism and quality to your customers, partners and suppliers. The first impression they will have of your business will be that of a professional, competent, honest, and well-run firm.
- IP Protection : Singapore provides a robust intellectual property (IP) rights regime, backed by a trusted legal system and strong IP infrastructure. The government’s IP policy is attuned with the aim of encouraging innovation, creativity and growth of industry and commerce in Singapore.
- Smart Immigration policies : Singapore provides a variety of visa schemes for qualified entrepreneurs and working professionals. The government is always looking to attract foreign investments and augment its local workforce with high-level talent from across the globe, which is in line with the liberal immigration policies of Singapore.
Form of Business Entities
The most common form of business entity in Singapore is a private limited company (a company limited by shares). Other form of entities that can be formed include a sole proprietorship, limited liability partnership and a subsidiary company.
The minimum requirement for incorporating a Company is as below:
- 1 Local Director (Should be Singapore Citizen, permanent resident, or a person having Employment Visa);
- 1 Shareholder; Same person can be both director and shareholder;
- Company Secretary;
- A Local address to be used as Registered Office address;
- And $ 1 as paid-up capital.
The annual compliance requirements are very low and simple and provide exemptions from unnecessary or complicated paperwork.
Incorporation for Singapore locals
A Singaporean local has options to incorporate either a private limited company or a sole proprietorship or a limited liability partnership. Since they reside in Singapore then they would not require our nominee director service and can themselves act as a local director. Also, if desired, we can provide a suitable business address to act as a registered office address for the company.
Non- residents who intend to carry on business in Singapore can either operate the company remotely or relocate to Singapore. They can either incorporate a wholly owned subsidiary company, a branch office or a representative office in Singapore. A subsidiary company is a locally incorporated private limited company and the majority shareholder is another local or foreign company.
One of the requirement of a Singaporean corporation is it is mandatory to have a local director. We can provide businesses with a local director to satisfy this requirement.
We will provide a full suite of services to get your company legal requirements including providing Company Secretary, Registered Address, and Nominee Director, and Employment Pass services.