We once lived in a world where few countries enjoyed economic prosperity while the majority of countries watched with envy, wishing to have the same opportunities. Today, we live in a global economy, where all countries can participate and benefit from the trading of goods and services that occurs on a global scale.
As the global economy has opened up the trading borders of nations, some countries have prospered tremendously, while countries that are considered superpowers have seen their economic power decline. This argument can be made with regards to China’s growing economic power, compared to the United State’s stagnant economic growth. But beyond China, there is another Asian country that is reaping the benefits of being a major player in the global economy – Singapore.
What is so significant about this?
Open borders for business means that enterprising individuals, also known as entrepreneurs, have the opportunity to expand their businesses beyond their local community. You don’t have to suffer in your country if you are frustrated with the lack of economic opportunities. Countries are welcoming entrepreneurs with open arms because entrepreneurship promotes innovation and economic development.
Many entrepreneurs are moving their businesses beyond their national borders, as doing business on an international level is looking more and more attractive.
Singapore is a hot spot for this global economic activity. The great business environment and economic opportunities that exist in Singapore are attracting entrepreneurs, corporations and investors.
Singapore is the country with the largest foreign currency reserve per capita of any country in the world. Singapore is going to be the financial center of Southeast Asia, probably Asia, and likely one of the top financial centers of the world. – Jim Rogers, US Investor
Why are entrepreneurs choosing to locate their businesses in Singapore? Here are a list of reasons:
- Singapore is rated as #1 most competitive economy on the world
- It is also #1 in Asia for intellectual property protection
- Singapore is #1 in Asia for sustainability
- Singapore is rated #2 in the world by World Bank for ease of doing business
- Singapore is ranked the #2 wealthiest nation in the world by Forbes magazine
- Singapore is rated #1 as the most politically stable country in Asia
- Singapore is rated #1 in Asia for quality of life
- Corporate tax rates flat 17%
- There are no dividend or capital gains taxes in Singapore
- There is no estate/death/inheritance tax in Singapore
- Personal tax rates start at 0% and max out at 22%
- Singapore’s network of over 50 comprehensive Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements
- Singapore’s many free trade agreements and the Investment Guarantee Agreements
- Protection of your ideas and innovations thanks to Singapore’s strict enforcement of its strong intellectual property laws
The facts listed above illustrate why Singapore is a favorite destination for entrepreneurs wanting to relocate themselves and their business entirely or simply expand their operations globally.
Take for instance the ease of doing business in Singapore. The country has a score of 87.34, compared to 82.15 for the United States. On average, entrepreneurs in Singapore need only 2 1/2 days to set up a company.
What are some of the words used to describe Singapore?
- Comfortably diverse
- I love taxes here
- Safe living environment
- Cutting-edge business community
- Relaxed, stable lifestyle
Singapore provides many advantages for an entrepreneur who wants his business to grow in its prosperous environment. For instance, Singapore provides a great strategic location in Southeast Asia. Its location gives your business access to a market of 2.8 billion people. Its pro-business environment attracts foreign investors seeking to invest in great business ideas. Singapore has an open immigration policy, which makes it simple for entrepreneurs to get work visas and to gain permanent residency status.
Related Article: Singapore – The Ideal Destination for your Business
How to form a company in Singapore?
The best approach for a foreign entrepreneur who wants to set up and operate a business in Singapore is through the Global Investor Programme.
Entrepass facilitates the entry and stay of entrepreneurs who plan to be active in the starting up and operation of a business in Singapore. The pass lasts for up to two years and can be reissued with the submission of a well-designed business proposal. Entrepass allows an entrepreneur to leave and re-enter Singapore frequently with no hassle. The pass can be renewed as long as the business in Singapore remains in operation.
Related Article: Singapore Company Registration Services
Registering a Company in Singapore
Businesses must register with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority. If you want to set up a representative branch for your business in Singapore, you must appoint two local agents to act on your behalf. The agents must be residents of Singapore – citizens, permanent residents or foreigners with employment or dependent passes.
The government agencies to approach:
- Banking, finance, and insurance – Monetary Authority of Singapore
- Legal – Legal Services Regulatory Authority
- All other industries – International Enterprise Singapore
Special licenses are needed for businesses that operate in banking, insurance, and stock broking. These licenses are also required for the manufacturing of cigars and firecrackers.
Related Article: Model Constitutions of Singapore Companies
Government’s Assistance in Business Growth
Singapore works extremely hard to ensure that businesses are given the best environment and assistance to grow.
The following agencies can be contacted when seeking help to grow our business:
- Economic Development Board – provides complete investor support and promotes a first- rate business environment in Singapore.
- Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board – the enterprise development agency for growing innovative companies. It also has a hand in helping small and medium businesses become more competitive. The agency aids businesses in financing, capabilities and management development, technology and innovation, and access to markets.
- Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority – oversees the registration and regulation of business entities and public accountants. This agency also provides information on new business structures, compliance requirements, and governance practices.
- SMEPortal.sg – a one stop site for entrepreneurs looking to start, sustain and grow their businesses. It features links to government information and services, also industry help and how-to guides.
Related Article: 16 Singapore Start-Up Grants and Schemes
Great Labor Force
Singapore has an attractive, world-class, and hard-working labor force. Great employees are needed for any business to succeed. Singapore is a knowledge-based economy and its labor force is educated and professionally qualified. Singapore’s workforce is recognized for its focus on higher education, high level of productivity, technical knowledge, and work hard and work harder culture.
Employees can be found through online recruitment portals and headhunting agencies. More can be found out about the labor market, along with information about hiring and training at SMEPortal.sg. You can also explore training programs that the Economic Development Board offers in partnership with many businesses.
As entrepreneurs, our ability to do business is no longer confined to our home countries. It used to be that only large corporations could expand their businesses on an international level. Now entrepreneurs operating on a smaller scale, can do business from pretty much anywhere they choose.
Singapore is one of the top destinations for entrepreneurs seeking to expand on an international level. Singapore is a country focused on continued economic growth, so it pushes to provide entrepreneurs with an environment where they can grow their businesses for continued success. The country understands that a healthy, competitive business environment is what attracts continued investment into its infrastructure – both talent-wise and financially.
Take advantage of the business opportunities that exist in Singapore. You may soon find that the opportunity to build a business will no longer be so easy to take advantage of when more entrepreneurs learn about the vibrant business environment in Singapore.
Related Article: What Expats Can Look Forward to in Singapore
Planning to start a business in Singapore?
Let Rikvin help you register a company quickly and easily with our unrivalled 20-year expertise in Singapore business incorporation.
Eric comes from banking background. He provides consultancy to local and foreign entities on the ideal market-entry strategies for setting up or expanding operations in Southeast Asia.
Eric also provides advisory to fund managers and family offices on structuring as well as applicable tax incentives. He has also set up many VCC structures for licensed fund managers.