If the 19th century belonged to the United Kingdom, the 20th century to the United States, the 21st century will be remembered in history as the “Asian century.” The booming economies of India, China, and Southeast Asian region are attracting more and more foreign investors. These foreign companies are taking advantage of the burgeoning domestic markets, affordable and competitive labor pool, booming infrastructure, and the region’s increasingly wealthy middle class. In particular, foreign investors have preferred setting up their company in Singapore because it provides the most favorable environment for business owners looking to expand their business in the region. If these are not enough motivations to register a company in Singapore, here are 10 more reasons why you should:
1. Ease of doing business
The World Bank has consistently ranked Singapore top one in the world for ease of doing business. World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2015-16 rated Singapore as having the best IP protection, infrastructure, and incentives in Asia. The Global Innovation Index (GII) awarded Singapore in 2015 as the best-performing Asian country in terms of innovation performance. The Economist Intelligence Unit, Country Forecasts Report 2014 identified Singapore as the most attractive investment location, both regionally and globally.
These recognitions reflect how easy and hassle-free it is to do company incorporation in Singapore. For most Asian and even western countries, it will take a week (or longer) for a business to be compliant with government and regulatory requirements. In Singapore, it only takes an average of 1-2 days to register a business. Simply put, Singapore is the easiest place in the world to start and manage a business.
2. Stable political environment
The World Bank also rated Singapore number one as the most politically stable country in Asia. The Heritage Foundation rated Singapore as top two in 2018 Index of Economic Freedom. IMD World Competitiveness Report 2015 rated Singapore as the least corrupt country in the Asia region. In addition, Global Competitiveness Report 2015 – 2016 also cited Singapore as the most transparent country in Asia.
Because of the visionary approach to governance, coupled with sound political structure and policy-making measures, Singapore maintains a stable and transparent business environment. Both local and foreign business owners have a strong sense of confidence and security. After all, businesses need a supportive political system to ensure that their ventures grow and thrive.
3. Government and regulatory support
Besides political stability, the government also gives consistent regulatory support. One government-led initiative to promote entrepreneurship is the Startup SG. Startup SG acts as a springboard for budding entrepreneurs through access to available financial instruments, local support initiatives, and connection to a global business network. Other government agencies and programs dedicated to providing assistance to starting a company in Singapore are:
- Ministry of Manpower
- Economic Development Board
- International Enterprise Singapore
- Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority
- Enterprise One
- Singapore Personal Access
- Entrepreneur’s Resource Centre
Besides support and assistance, the Singapore government also offers protection through its rigid copyright laws that safeguard the intellectual property rights of a business owner. Any infringement on IP by any individual or company is considered a criminal offense.
4. Low taxation scheme
One of the major considerations for an individual or a company in starting or extending their business is the tax rates. What attracts local and foreign business owners to Singapore is the low taxation structure on personal and corporate taxes. Personal income tax uses a tier system that starts from 0 percent to 20 percent for income that goes above S$320,000. While corporate tax rates are peg at 8.5 percent for profits up to S$300k followed by a flat rate of 17percent in excess of.
Singapore also boasts of the lowest Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate, currently at 7 percent. This is much lower than the global average of 16.4 percent and Asia-Pacific average of 10.5 percent. Moreover, there are no dividend or capital gains taxes, estate tax, and inheritance tax in Singapore.
5. Economic growth opportunities
Singapore’s economy can unlock growth opportunities for your business. Forbes Magazine ranked Singapore as the third wealthiest nation in the world. Ernst and Young 2011 Globalization Index echoes this by citing Singapore as third most globalized economy out of 60 of the world’s largest economies. The steady growth of the economy makes it conducive for promoting new business ideas and opportunities. Coupled this with booming technology, state of the art infrastructure, rich historical and cultural heritage, and government support, Singapore becomes an attractive venue for fresh ideas to incubate, grow, and develop. What is more, Singapore government’s laws and regulations are crafted in a business friendly-manner that encourages foreigners to invest, work, and migrate. These processes are made less cumbersome with various assistance programs and services by the government.
6. Geographical advantage
Relocating or establishing your business in Singapore means taking advantage of its geographical location. Located in the center of the Southeast Asian region surrounded by Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, Singapore is often dubbed as the “gateway” to Southeast Asia. The ASEAN Economic Community of which Singapore is a member and a founding country, is an economic market worth US$2.6 Trillion and is collectively the third largest economy in Asia and seventh in the world.
The diversity of nations and cultures makes it an interesting business prospect for businesses across the globe. However, a lot of foreign business owners find it difficult to enter, especially without personal connection or experience in doing business in the region. This is where Singapore comes in. Singapore with its business-centric policies and regulations make it a hassle-free process to incorporate a company. Establishing a presence in Singapore gives your business access to other regional nations.
7. High standard of living
International human resources consulting firm Mercer’s 2018 Quality of Living Ranking placed Singapore on top as the Asian city with the highest quality of living, and 25th globally, out of 231 cities. Singapore appeals to foreign workers and business owners because it is conducive to raising a family. One of the important considerations for foreign business owners in establishing business somewhere else is if they could do so with their family. Relocating to an unfamiliar country can be very daunting especially if there are children involved.
Singapore boasts of a world-class education system, comprehensive healthcare system, reliable public transport system, and an excellent support system for businesses and business owners. A thriving social life is also possible with a wide array of dining and entertainment options. Singapore is also lauded for almost zero crime rate making it the world’s safest places to live and raise a family.
8. Flexible immigration policies
Singapore’s flexible immigration policies make it easy for foreign business owners and their families to relocate. The EntrePass is a visa program form foreign nationals who wish to establish a business in Singapore. if you rather want to go to the UK, check here how to track uk visa. The application process, requirements, and forms can be found online through Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) website. Once EntrePass application is approved, EntrePass holder can now start and operate a new business in Singapore. EntrePass is renewable and can extend to the family members of the pass holder.
9. Reliable connectivity
Singapore has the infrastructure in place to support connectivity among businesses across all industries. Besides the reliable land public transport system, Singapore is considered home to some of the world’s top companies because of its world-class airport and seaport. Consistently recognized by Skytrax as the best airport in the world, Changi International Airport serves over 80 international airlines with connections to more than 330 cities is. It does not only connect people, but also forward freights as it also hosts leading global logistics firms such as UPS and FedEx. Conversely, the Port of Singapore is the second busiest port in the World in terms of shipping tonnage offering 200 shipping lines with links to some 600 ports in 123 countries. The World Bank ranked it top one in Asia for logistics performance.
In terms of information and telecommunication technology, Singapore is recognized as the world’s most digitally connected country. It is ranked number one in World Economic Forum’s Networked Readiness Index 2016 report and IMD’s 2017 World Digital Competitiveness Ranking. Both measure the preparedness of countries to incorporate emerging technologies through digital innovation.
10. Access to a plethora of talents
The Economist Intelligence Unit consistently ranked Singapore at the top spot for Business Environment Rankings (BER). World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2016 – 2017 placed Singapore second out of 138 economies in the global competitive landscape. Such recognitions show Singapore as having the most conducive business environment for attracting both entrepreneurs and professionals alike. Because of favorable finance and foreign policies, better working conditions, open communication, and commendable employer-employee relations, businesses are growing and employees are highly productive. Singapore’s workforce and talent pool are a mix of both local and foreign professionals from around the globe bringing with them extensive knowledge and expertise that will help in growing your business.
Have other questions? Let us answer them for you. By hiring a corporate service provider in Singapore to help you set up a business, you get less hassle in doing paperwork and government compliance which will allow you to focus more on your core business.