Business is growing substantially in Singapore, as is evident by being ranked in the top ten places for businesses in the world by Forbes in 2018. Entrepreneurship thrives on that growth and luckily incorporating a business in Singapore can be very simple. In fact, it only takes 24 to 48 hours to incorporate companies in Singapore in most cases. This might be due to the help of the government and service companies who walk entrepreneurs step by step through the process. However, there is much more Singapore has to offer entrepreneurs than just fast and efficient processing times as it has been titled number one on World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business survey. Singapore provides low taxes, talented workforce, a pro-business government, geographical advantage, and modern infrastructure across all platforms making it the perfect place for entrepreneurs.
Just one example of Singapore’s vast potential can be found in Block 71. Here, over 100 start-ups and venture capital firms gather to make the most populated entrepreneurial ecosystem. In this block is also over 30 funding and support firms ready to take on new start-ups. Powering this system is a diverse, well-trained, highly educated, and dedicated workforce along with a corruption resistant government.
Singapore’s Inherent Business Benefits
There are several reasons entrepreneurship is so successful and booming in Singapore. One that stands out the most is how liberal personal and corporate tax rates are. This tax leniency has made Singapore much more appealing than other countries that have high tax rates and sometimes double taxation on both the personal and corporate side. In Singapore, the corporate tax rate is capped at 17 percent. Firms can also get a tax break the first few years of operation and pay as little as 0 percent on up to $100,000. Double taxation is also a very low concern for companies here because of the extensive networking of agreements with over 50 countries. These agreements are made with the specific intent to protect companies in economical transactions. For countries outside of these agreements, Singapore provides Unilateral Tax Credits. The city-state also does not tax capital gains or dividends distributed to the shareholders.
Location is another big factor in business success. Singapore’s geographical location makes it a hub of international trade. The Port of Singapore is the second busiest port in the world by tonnage and first in the world for transshipments. The Changi airport is also the fifth busiest in the world for international passengers and cargo and awarded the World’s Best Airport. This concludes that from a logistical standpoint, Singapore is very well established and ready to handle any entrepreneur.
How to Get Started
Incorporating in Singapore is slightly different for foreigners than locals. Foreign entrepreneurs must use the services of a filing agent to submit the application on behalf of the company. To start, the company must have at least one shareholder, secretary, and resident director. For foreigners, it is possible to be the sole owner and the director simultaneously but only after the company has already been approved by the government and officially formed. The company must have a valid local registered office in Singapore along with at least one dollar in paid-up capital. Foreigners will also need a copy of foreign passport, proof of overseas residential address, bank reference letter, and a personal and business profile. After all required materials are gathered, they must be submitted to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).