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Industry Guide | How to Start a Concerts, Sports Events, Magic Show or Events in Singapore

This article provides an overview of how to start a Concerts, Sports Events, Magic Show or Events in Singapore.

Singapore presents itself as a choice location for global Events to be held always.

Detailed below is an overview of the various aspects to organise an event in Singapore including: setting up of company, applying of work pass, opening a customs account, applying for licences and permits, taxes and fees etc.

Step 1: Incorporate a company

For starting up a business in Singapore, you will need to incorporate a company first. For detailed information on this, refer to Singapore Company Formation.

Step 2: Apply for work pass

Foreigners can perform certain activities in Singapore for short durations without a work pass. They can perform these activities for the duration of their short term visit passes subject to a maximum of 60 days. Beyond that, they will need to obtain a Work Pass. The waiver of Work Pass requirements does not exempt foreigners from having to comply with other specific legal requirements in Singapore. Click to understand the list of exempted activities.

Carrying out Work Pass Exempt activities without notifying MOM is an offence under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.

If you are interested to perform the event for more than 60 days, you must apply for employment pass for all the foreigner performers.

You may engage 3E to assist you for informing MOM for the work pass exemption or apply for the employment pass for you and your staffs.

You can start your business in Singapore once the work pass is approved.

Step 3: Hiring staff in Singapore

Looking to hire part-timers or temporary staff in Singapore? You may refer to the detail of Guide to Hiring Staff in Singapore here.

For any local employees (citizens and PRs) that you pay more than S$50 per month, you must fork over contributions to the CPF. You must shell out 16 percent and the employee must pay 20 percent. However, you might be able to save some money depending on various factors, including the age of the employee and residential status. Be sure to activate your CPF account right away so that you don’t miss any payments.

Besides, you will require paying Skills Development Levy. Skills Development Levy and it’s equal to 0.25 percent of the first $4,500 of monthly gross remuneration, but at least $2, for all employees, including, full-time, casual, part-time, temporary, foreign workers rendering services wholly or partly in Singapore.

You can engage 3E for maintaining the payroll of your Company. Our payroll specialists are well-trained and equipped with the most advanced payroll systems to process even the most complex payroll account.

Alternatively, you may consider engaging a recruitment agency for local part-time staff deployment to avoid all the above mentioned administrative processing.

Step 4: Register with Singapore Customs

All importers and exporters are required to activate their account with the Singapore Customs before they can import/export goods in and out of Singapore. Account activation is processed within 1-2 working days after submission of the application and you will be issued a Customs approval letter and is valid for as long as your company exists.

Kindly be reminded to activate your Custom account before importing your tools into Singapore.

Step 5: Register for Goods and Services Tax

It is compulsory for businesses to come forward to register for GST when their turnover exceeds $1mil per year. Businesses that do not exceed $1mil in turnover may register for GST voluntarily.

Step 6: Booking of Venue

Event Management Company can help you plan, book and host your event in style. You may consider the following factor when you are booking for the venue
– Easily accessible by driving or MRT
– Any nearby apartment which you may want to rent for staff accommodation
– Rental rate
– Storage of your goods and tools
– Accommodate the needs of your events or shows
– Availability

Step 7: Apply for licences and permits

Unless exempted, a public entertainment or arts entertainment licence is required under the Public Entertainments & Meetings (PEM) Act, Chapter 257, for any entertainment that is provided in any place to which the public or any class of public has access, whether gratuitously or otherwise. Please see Exempted Activities.

Step 8: Selling of ticket

SISTIC is the ticketing service and solution provider behind more than 1000 events every year. The leading provider in Singapore, it sells tickets to events ranging from pop concerts, to musicals, theatre, family entertainment and sports. You may engage SISTIC for assisting you in selling your ticket.

Step 9: Submission of tax clearance

Once the event is over, you must submit your final account to IRAS and obtain tax clearance before you can close off the company. The account must be audited if the revenue is more than SGD 5 million or there is any corporate shareholder in the Company.

Step 10: Closure of the Company

You may proceed to close your Company once the corporate tax and personal tax is settled.

Taxes and Fees

Customs and Excise Duty

An ad valorem rate is a percentage of the Customs value of the imported goods. A specific rate is a specified amount per unit of weight or other quantity such as $300.00 per kg. Duties may be temporarily suspended (up to the point of consumption) under the various Customs schemes.

Goods and Services Tax

Goods imported into Singapore are subject to prevailing Goods and Services Tax (GST) which is currently at 7%, if the goods are meant for local consumption. GST is administered by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) and collected by Singapore Customs. GST on all dutiable and non-dutiable goods are payable on an ad valorem basis, i.e. 7% on the value of Goods. The GST taxable is calculated based on the CIF (Costs, Insurance and Freight) value plus all duties and other chargeable costs, whether or not shown on the invoice. GST may be temporarily suspended (up to the point of consumption) under the various Customs schemes. Note that subject to certain criteria GST relief is granted for wine used at wine exhibitions and conference events approved under the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions & Exhibitions (MICE) Incentive Scheme “BE In Singapore – BEIS” administered by the Singapore Tourism Board.

You can charge your customers GST if you register with IRAS to collect GST. You can also get a GST refund on GST paid on imports if the goods are later exported out of the country. You have to be GST-registered with IRAS to qualify for the refund.

It is compulsory for businesses to come forward to register for GST when their turnover exceeds $1mil per year. Businesses that do not exceed $1mil in turnover may register for GST voluntarily.

Singapore Customs Fees

Singapore Customs charges procedural and administrative fees. The most efficient way is to pay all fees, duties and GST to Singapore Customs by GIRO, authorising Singapore Customs to make direct deductions from your bank account.

Corporate Tax

Business income is taxed at a flat corporate tax rate of 17 percent. New start-up companies (exempted private limited *) pay zero tax on the first S$100,000 of chargeable income (profit) for the first three consecutive years. A further 50 percent exemption is given on the next S$200,000 of chargeable income. From the fourth year onwards, you will still benefit from about 50 percent tax exemption on the first S$300,000 of chargeable income.

Personal Tax

Taxes are charged progressively (0 percent – 20 percent) on your chargeable income. Chargeable income is your business/trade income plus any other personal income, minus all deductions, reliefs and rebates. Please refer Income tax rates for details about the tax rate.

For non-resident individuals, your employment income is taxed at 15 percent or the resident rate, whichever gives rise to a higher tax amount. Additionally, director’s fees, consultation fees and all other income that you received will be taxed at 20 percent from YA 2005 forward.

On a Final Note

As outlined above, there are several legal requirements and licenses to be obtained in order to start your business in Singapore. It is therefore advisable to hire a professional services firm that can take care of the paperwork and obtain the necessary licenses on your behalf.

Ready to start your event in Singapore? Contact us today at info@3ecpa.com.sg