Singapore is considered as a business epicenter of Asia. It has been consistently acknowledged and referred to as a true global business hub – one that features developed infrastructure, political stability, open business policies, a skilled workforce, the use of English as the main working language and respect for intellectual property rights.
The social fabric of Singapore consists of a blend of Asian, European and American influence making it widely attractive, friendly and advantageous to the international business community. Singapore is called the “Lion City” also because of its strong currency and infrastructure which in turn makes it the best place to set up an overseas corporation.
Singapore is consistently ranked highly in international surveys
- #1 Best business environment in the Asia Pacific and the world
- #1 in the Asia Pacific and #5 in the world for Best global innovation
- #1 in achieving human capital (knowledge, skills, and health) in the world
- #1 in Asia for effective governance and enforcement of rule of law
- #2 in the world for economic freedom
- #2 in the world for the easiest place to do business
- #2 most competitive economy in the world
- #2 in Asia and #7 in the world for best logistics supply chain performance
- #2 in the world for best labour/employer relations
- #3 in the world for best Intellectual Property (IP) protection
- #3 in the world for the most motivated workforce
- #4 in the world for the least corrupt economy
Here's What You Are Missing If Your Business Is Not Here In Singapore
1. Ease of Starting a Business
Compared to many countries that are considered as business hubs, it is easier and quicker to register a company in Singapore as the process takes just a few minutes to complete, given all the proper requirements are completed and the application is duly submitted. A company in Singapore can be set up by anyone, including foreigners.
If you have a friend or a relative staying or working in Singapore, you may be able to start and operate your business in Singapore at a cost next to nothing.
2. Very Low Start Up Cost
If you have a sibling, a relative or a friend residing or working in Singapore, you can incorporate and start your business for as low as SG$1. This is significantly minuscule if you consider the same in India where it takes at least SG$450 to incorporate your business as Pvt. Ltd. In case you don't have anyone you know and trust in Singapore, there are agencies who can make arrangements for you. Read our article How To Incorporate Your Business in Singapore for more information.
You can contact us on email@example.com for guidance at a more personal level.
3. Professional Image
Singapore is perceived as a honest, modern, well-functioning and law abiding country. This positive perception of the Singapore reflects 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.
4. Foreign income exemption
Singapore-based holding companies or headquarters can repatriate dividends from their directly held foreign subsidiaries to Singapore free of Singapore tax.
Foreign-sourced income is taxed only when it is repatriated back into Singapore. In addition, tax is not levied on foreign-sourced dividends remitted back into Singapore if – the dividends are received from a country with a headline corporate tax rate of at least 15%, some tax was paid in that country (such as withholding tax paid on the dividends or income tax paid on the profits out of which the dividends were paid), and the exemption is beneficial to the Singapore company.
5. Very Attractive Tax System
Singapore is particularly attractive to entrepreneurs who want to incorporate and build a new business. It has one of the world’s simplest and most rational tax system. It levies no tax on capital gains or on dividends received from a business. This makes
Singapore uses a tiered tax system for both personal and corporate taxes. New firms receive significant tax breaks during their first 3 years reducing their tax rate to 0% for first S$100k of income. The corporate tax rate is capped at 17%.
Similarly, the personal tax rate starts at 0%, rises very gradually to a maximum of 20% for incomes above S$320,000. Corporate profits are not double taxed when they are passed to shareholders as dividends. In other words, dividends are distributed to shareholders tax-free. Finally, Singapore charges one of the lowest value added tax rates in the world.
6. 100% Foreign Ownership
Singapore allows a foreigner to own 100% of the stock of a Singapore incorporated company. You do not need any local shareholders. This enables you to start a company with the type of capital structure that you desire and distribute its ownership to suit your investment needs. Furthermore, there are no restrictions on the amount of capital that you can bring from your home country to invest in your Singapore company.
7. No Currency Controls
Singapore imposes no restrictions on the repatriation of profits. No taxes are imposed on capital gains from the sale of a business. Similarly, no tax is levied on dividends paid to the shareholders.
Singapore does not impose any restrictions on the movement of foreign currency into or out of the country. This frictionless movement of funds across borders can provide extreme flexibility to a business. Compare the situation with countries such as China and India which impose huge hurdles to the free movement of foreign currencies.
8. Government 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 labor costs of a new business. These benefits are available to local as well as foreign-owned businesses.
Over the last decade, Singapore has nurtured its venture funding community. It is now the premier venue in Asia for venture funds. By incorporating and locating your business in Singapore, you can avail yourself of access to these funding sources.
9. Geographic Location
Singapore’s central location in Southeast Asia makes it a metaphorical business gateway to neighbouring counties such as Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand. Some of the most important economies of the world (China, India, Malaysia, Australia) are a short plane ride away.