E27.CO: Singapore can be called a business nation: values this country has contributed to the world’s economy have totally changed the way a business can be run. Singapore has led in the World Bank’s Doing Business Survey for years persistently proving its status of “the world’s easiest place to do business”. Everything in the country works for tremendous business results.
Winning location at the intersection of the most important trade routes between Eastern and Western world, one of the most relaxed tax system on the planet, easy schemes of setting up a business, powerful investment profile, network readiness, open-armed attitude to foreigners, educated manpower, and tension-free multicultural atmosphere are factors that turn Singapore into an Asian magnet to attract most perspective entrepreneurial ideas.
How does Singapore manage to stand first in World Bank’s rankings for more than nine years and outstrip its main competitors in the region – Hong Kong and New Zealand? The organisation that publishes its ‘Doing Business’ report yearly since 2004 estimates many factors such as tax affordability, schemes of opening a business, registering property, international trading, protecting investors and so on.
Knock up a company in two days!
Hong Kong can boast its low corporate tax, while the New Zealand is known for its neat and effective startup planning. But Singapore overwhelms by its innovative approach to registration and other paperwork. The most striking fact about Singapore is that you can set up a company there in two working days. It sounds unbelievable if compared with the practice of Western countries. No corruption, no red tape – just smart and easy regulations. Moreover, the government acts as an assistant in this procedure.
Other Singapore business facts are impressive as well:
— Handling tax problems takes Singaporean businessmen only 82 hours yearly, while the same disaster takes more than 170 hours in the USA.
— Singapore has world’s easiest export and import regulations: you need to hold only four documents for exporting/importing goods; that’s why this country is #1 in international trade.
— Singaporean government offers various business structures available for implanting in the country: sole proprietorship, private limited, subsidiary, representative or branch office, and others.
— Singapore takes the lead in protecting investors and boasts the second world’s best investment potential during the last 14 years.
— Singapore represents Asia’s most developed business environment and network readiness.
— Singapore is praised for the world’s second best insolvency solutions.
— The government introduces more relaxed tax schemes for new companies.
Singaporean government is very business-hearty. It always seeks for the most rational, efficient and advanced ways to achieve the pinnacle of industrialisation. It supports business in every stage of development and is especially skilled in crisis management. Singapore is one of the most politically stable countries in the world. And as money likes silence, when all around is calm, everyone simply does their business. It is mainly the achievement of the previous generation of politicians who were said to run the country as a company. And it means a lot for a businessman who looks for a sound place for his enterprise.
Tax paradise for your startup
Pro-business government takes care of creating thriving conditions for entrepreneurship. Personal and corporate taxes are very low here. The tax rate grows gradually along with your income. For example, the personal income tax grows depending on your earnings from zero per cent to 20 per cent (for revenues more then US$320,000). For corporate incomes the tax rate would be 8.5 per cent until your revenue reaches US$300,000 (for incomes higher than this threshold, the tax rate is fixed at 17 per cent).
The revenue which was taxed at the corporate level isn’t subject to taxes. Singaporean government implies no taxes for your capital gains and dividends, as well as there is no inheritance/death/estate tax. Consumption tax is also extremely low – only seven per cent (compare with global average at over 16 per cent and Asian average at over 10 per cent).
Singapore corporate tax is 0.5 per cent higher than that of Hong Kong; however, the Singaporean government masterly balances this difference with various tax exemptions for new companies. For example, private limited companies are freed from paying a corporate tax for the first US$100,000 of their revenues (but no longer than during three consecutive years). For the next US$200,000 of income such legal entities pay only half of their corporate tax. Another example how Singaporean government gives SMEs an easy time is individual tax approach to every niche of business. It really works and lures more talented businessmen to Singapore.
Winning location and premium transport system
The tiny island located in the very centre of Southeast Asia has a winning position for international trading and accesses a huge Asian market of almost three billion people. For 20 years, Changi Airport, which serves flights to 57 countries, has been topping rankings as the best airport in the world.
Singapore is also home to the busiest and premium high-end sea port which links the country with 600 ports all across the globe. Add to this the easiness of import/export operation, and you get a mighty trade hub that has a potential to spread your business’ influence all over the world.
Open-armed immigration schemes
While creating luring conditions for foreign investors and entrepreneurs, Singaporean government doesn’t forget about hospitable immigration policy and provides numerous visas for different business purposes. If you plan relocating to Singapore for incorporating a company there, consider applying for EntrePass or Employment Pass (if you arrive amidst or after incorporation).
Employment Pass is a basic visa used for both corporate and individual employment needs. Investment visa is offered for investors who consider getting involved in Singaporean economy. The programme means investing at least US$2,500,000 and gives right to apply for permanent residency right away. This honourable status is also granted to employees who meet certain criteria.
Working in Singapore isn’t allowed without holding specific work visa. Immigration conditions for foreign talents are quite pampering. Well-educated and experienced foreign professionals, executives or specialists aren’t subject to quota or levy restriction; they are also eligible to bring their family to the country, start their own business and become permanent residents eventually. Nevertheless, criteria for Employment Pass get tougher in order to solve the problem of local employment: the government increased the salary threshold to US$3,300 and forced the local employers to consider local employees fairly for jobs.
But getting Employment Pass is still possible if you possess exceptional educational qualifications (a degree preferably) and skills beneficial for local economy and involve professional visa help. Numerous immigration consulting agencies working in team with accounting and law companies make the process of relocating to Singapore and incorporation even easier.
Leader in protecting Intellectual Property in Asia
World Economic Forum and the Institute for Management Development recognised Singapore’s leadership in IP protection in Asia. Guarantee the safe and sound popularity of your trademark by registering it in Singapore and then proceeding with global registration of your trademark. Singapore signed many global conventions and can ensure the safety of your IP rights.
A magnet for brains
The latest rankings praise Singapore as the motherland of world’s most skilled, educated and motivated labour force. Brains and hands are keys to success of any business, and Singapore takes the lead by setting high educational and work standards. The Singaporeans are known as hard working, well-grounded in high-end technologies and increasingly English-speaking.
The government maintains the same standard for foreign employees by very meticulous and strict approach to selecting: it welcomes degree holders with exceptional skills and experience. Such knowledge-geared attitude to manpower lures brains from all over the world. All labour regulations are business-friendly, and the government seeks for creating perfect conditions for sharing know-how when foreign and local workers collaborate with each other, not compete.
Decent quality of life
Singapore can offer you green healthy environment (quite unusual for such an industrial country), premium healthcare and transportation, top-notch educational institutions, decent housing and vast variety of cultural benefits. The cost of living isn’t that high as in, for example, Hong Kong. It is especially noticeable in prices for housing: in Singapore, a foreigner is offered a variety of pocket-friendly housing options. English is widely spoken which simplifies business management and private life. Singapore attracts by its multicultural spirit which can be seen in fashion, food and lifestyle.
Singapore is a modern, high-tech and business-geared society that offers incredible incentives for entrepreneurship. Neatly carried out and relaxed tax system with exemptions and boosts for new companies, smart and brief incorporation scheme, the government’s support, brainy manpower and high quality of life make Singapore a premium business destination where innovative-ness is valued and revenues are encouraged.