Why Setup Company in Singapore
Singapore is one of the few first-world countries in Asia, with a highly efficient infrastructure, free market economy, a stable socio-political environment, an attractive tax regime and per capita income among the top five nations in the world. The Lion City’s economy was the fastest growing in Asia in 2011, surpassing even China at 14.5%.
At the same time, Singapore has consistently been ranked as the easiest place for set up company, do business and one of the most competitive economies worldwide by key ranking reports by top institutions like the World Bank and the World Economic Forum. You can easily setup a company in Singapore in just an hour. The main source of revenue is exports of consumer electronics, information technology products, pharmaceuticals, ports and financial services.
Moreover, Singapore is well known a thriving cosmopolitan city, brimming with diversity of cultures, languages, arts and architecture. One in three persons in the Republic hail from abroad, adding to the nation’s unique blend of different cultures, lifestyles and religions, all coexisting harmoniously.
The city-state is safe and orderly, and is also recognized as one of the cleanest and greenest cities in the world. It has an efficient and affordable public transport system, along with world-class healthcare services. Singapore’s primary, secondary and tertiary educational systems all meet international standards, making it an esteemed education hub and great place to raise a family.
Detailed below is a brief guide on all things pertaining to living, working, doing business and setting up a company in Singapore.
Singapore is open for business, and open to investors, entrepreneurs and professionals who can complement its economy. It boasts a highly-skilled workforce and welcomes with open arms high-skilled global talent. It is regarded as one of the most desirable Asian cities to live, work and play, which aids recruitment. It also invests heavily in training and education to meet the evolving needs of businesses. With over 110,000 expatriates and 7,000 multinational companies operating here, Singapore provides an excellent opportunity for global citizens to forge rewarding careers.
Furthermore, pro-business policies make it easy for corporations to do business in Singapore. For company investors, Singapore offers several ways in which one can enter and re-enter the country with relative ease. For instance, the Global Investor Program (GIP) eases the way for foreigners to set up and operate businesses in Singapore. Under this scheme, applicants must invest at least S$2.5 million in a new business or expansion of an existing business operation, or invest at least S$2.5 million in a GIP-approved fund.
Another option is the EntrePass, a visa that is designed to facilitate the entry and stay of entrepreneurs who will be actively involved in launching and operating companies in Singapore. The EntrePass has an initial validity period of up to two years and is issued upon the submission of a sound business proposal.
For professional who is looking for setting up a company in Singapore to run their own business, the Employment Pass (EP) is the best option for you. EP is issued to overseas applicants who has degree qualification.
For individuals looking to work in Singapore, the Personalized Employment Pass (PEP) is worth considering. The PEP is issued to overseas applicants who have last drawn monthly salary of at least S$8,000 or hold a skilled migrant visa.
With regards to cost of living, Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey 2012 ranked Singapore as the sixth most expensive city in the world for expatriates. Within Asia, Singapore remains the most expensive, after Japanese megacities Tokyo and Osaka. The major expenses are likely to be house rent, transportation (if you own a car) and children’s education (if you have children).
Here is a check-list to use after arriving in Singapore:
- get your Employment Pass endorsed
- go house-hunting
- open a bank account and apply for a credit card
- sign up for a mobile phone
- register for various government services
- learn how to get around
Various housing options include private condominiums and subsidized Housing Development Board flats. Major banks are DBS, OCBC, UOB and Citibank. Telecommunications service providers are Starhub, Singtel and M1.
Singapore has a population of approximately 4 million people. More than 75% are Chinese with the remaining 25%, mainly Malays, Indians and others. The different races live together with mutual respect and in racial harmony. The people is well educated and hardworking.
The People’s Action Party, its single dominant ruling party since its independence in 1965, rules Singapore. Singapore is one of the world’s most politically stable and corruption-free countries.
Infrastructure and Economy
Singapore has an excellent infrastructure with state of the art communication facilities and road transport system. It operates busy and efficient air and seaports and is a free port with no customs and excise duties on most items (The main custom duty is from cigarette and alcohol).
Singapore is also one of the leading international financial centres. All investors are well served by representatives of most major international banks, financial institutions, investment management companies and accounting firms, and legal firms.
The Singapore Government actively woos foreign investments with generous tax incentives and grant support. This has successfully attracted numerous international holding companies, corporate headquarters, business and service centers, group finance and treasury centres as well as investments in high tech industries, media and communications, shipping and financial services.
The most commonly used official languages are English and to a lesser extent, Chinese, Malay and Tamil which are also official languages.
Singapore Dollar (“SGD”)
No exchange control in Singapore.
Type of Law
In summary, you should choose Singapore and set up company in Singapore today because:
- Rated #1 in the world by World Bank for ease of doing business. You can easily set up company Singapore without physical presence.
- Rated #1 as the most politically stable country in Asia
- Rated #1 as the best labor force in the world
- Rated #1 in Asia for quality of life
- Ranked the third wealthiest nation in the world by Forbes Magazine
- Ranked as the third most globalized economy among 60 of the world’s largest economies in the recently-released Ernst and Young 2011 Globalization Index
- Low corporate tax rates: about 8.5 percent up to $300K profits and a flat 17 percent thereafter. In addition, new Singapore set up company enjoy full tax exemption on the first $100K of normal chargeable income for their first three consecutive years of operation.
- There are no dividend or capital gains taxes in Singapore
- There is no estate/death/inheritance tax in Singapore
- Low personal tax rates start at zero percent and max out at 20 percent above $320K
- Government grants, up to 60 percent of costs, provided for the purchase of technology like computers or accounting software
- No auditing is required for privately-owned companies with revenue less than $5 million
- Singapore has no restrictions on foreign ownership of business. The repatriation of profits and the import of capital are freely allowed. Shareholders, including investors who receive dividends out of company profits, are exempted from Singapore tax. Singapore is one of the best places to set up company and run your business.
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