The World Bank rating has classified Singapore as the world’s nicest country to do business, several times. The country has been ranked as number 1 in the 2016 report of doing business and as number 2 in the 2018 report, of the same category, from 190 nations.
The city-state continued to retain its top ranking position on the scales of the most competitive economy in Asia, in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report of 2018. It has continued to be at the topmost position in Asia, in the category of the Quality of Life survey, conducted by Mercer.
Singapore is an ideal world for living, working and playing, in this segment of the world. All these and a lot more make this comparatively full-of-youth island country, braving the inexistence of any natural resources, the right place for business and investments. Let us see how you can go ahead and register a business in Singapore.
Selection of a business name is the first major move in a Singapore company registration. The majority of the businesses go for names that reflect the products or services that are being offered. A key matter to focus on while picking a suitable name for your business is that the selected name must get approval from ACRA.
Normally, the time taken to approve does not take more than an hour and the name that has been approved can be kept reserved for 60 days after the date it has been applied for.
For making sure that the approval does not take much time and trouble, ensure that the company name:
· Is not already reserved
· Is not a violation of any trademark laws
· Does not match that of any already operational regional companies
· Does not sound or imply indecency or rudeness in any way
Deciding on the appropriate type of business is important for the growth and success of your company. A general information guide is most wanted in this case.
• A sole proprietorship is easy to set up but risky at the same time, since the sole proprietor bears all the risks caused during the business activities.
• A sole proprietor should be a Singaporean/Permanent Resident (PR)/Employment Pass (EP) Holder/Dependent Pass (DP) Holder. In the event of the owner being a foreigner who lives in a different country, a local Singaporean manager can be appointed.
• A kind of a business setup where the ownership is shared by at least two partners and at the most 20, is a partnership.
• A partnership is not independent of its owners/partners and neither is it a legal entity. Each partner has either joint or complete accountability towards all the partnership’s liabilities.
• A sole partnership must hire a local manager if none of the partners is a Singapore resident.
• An LLP is a blend of the positives of an independent legal entity and the functional flexibility of a partnership.
• The LLP must have at least two partners. However, there is no upper limit for this number. A partnership can happen between persons or companies.
• In contrast to a partnership, an LLP is a corporate body, independent and different from its owners/partners.
• LLPs must mandatorily appoint a minimum of one local manager.
A Private Limited Company in Singapore can have a maximum of 50 corporate or individual shareholders. However, in an exempt private company, the individual shareholders cannot exceed 20.
A Singapore company is a legal entity that is independent of its owners/shareholders. It can sustain liabilities and possess property. So, it can sue and be sued on its own. It has endless survival and it can contract with its regulatory members.
The taxation system for Singapore businesses is different for different entities. Sole proprietorships, general partnerships and limited liability partnerships are taxed at personal tax rates. Conversely, private limited companies can avail complete or partial tax reliefs for resident firms.
Singapore’s highest corporate tax rate is 17%. Nevertheless, its core corporate tax rate is the least in the world, inclusive of partial tax exemption, incentives and rebates. If one individual shareholder of a company holds a minimum of 10% of the subsidiary company shares, the firm has the right to the SUTE (Start-up Tax Exemption) Scheme. Non-resident firms can avail partial tax benefits.
For a foreigner keen on setting up a corporate entity in Singapore, they must either apply for their own visa or appoint a local nominee director who is a resident in Singapore.
This is the most common choice for a foreign entrepreneur, professional, officer, director or employee who intends to move to Singapore to work or do business here. You are required to incorporate your Singapore Company and acquire a work pass visa, popular as Singapore Employment Pass. For this option, we recommend registering your Singapore company with at least SGD 50,000 of paid-up capital to enhance the company's profile and increase the chance of getting your visa approved.
The Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass) scheme is geared towards foreign serial businesspeople, big-time innovators or seasoned investors looking to commence a business and move base to Singapore. This scheme comes from Singapore’s endeavor to bring in talent to the country and make it a regional business center.
If you do not want to relocate, you need to appoint at least a single Nominee Director for your company, to meet the statutory requirement. Singapore corporate service providers like Pearson & Partners can provide nominee director services when registering your company in Singapore. During the company registration stage, we will provide the indemnity and protection agreement for you so that the role of the nominee director will be limited only to provide his name on the company's profile. There is no power for the nominee director to do any financial transactions of the company at all. (Please see more on our company registration with a nominee director services here)
A private limited company that has been registered in Singapore and has another company as its shareholder, this is known as a subsidiary company.
• A Singapore subsidiary may be under 100% ownership of a foreign company. It is still has a legal status independent from the foreign company.
• For ease of taxation, the subsidiary might be considered as a Singapore resident company and in itself, qualify for tax rebates and incentives offered to domestic companies.
• A subsidiary company, having a minimum of a single 10% shareholder, is entitled to the new start-up company tax incentive – 75% barring on the initial S$100,000 of taxable income and an additional 50% rebate on the following $100,000 for the initial three continuous years.
• A Singapore office registered address (we provide our registered address services)
• Minimum opening paid-up capital of S$1 (if you are applying for your employment pass visa, again, we recommend incorporating your company with at least SGD 50,000 of paid-up capital.)
• At least One Shareholder + One Resident Director + One Company Secretary
The Companies Act necessitates the selection of a minimum of one director; essentially a Singaporean/PR/EP Holder/DP Holder. International businesses interested in moving any of their personnel from the head office to Singapore can file an application for an Employment Pass for their resources, once the subsidiary company has been registered.
Singapore has created a highly pro-startup environment. The presence of a range of funding from the government is among the fringe benefits of Singapore company registration.
We aim to help business owners decide on what is best for their Singapore company registration.
We help and recommend upcoming entrepreneurs about the right way to succeed in setting up their company in Singapore. If you liked what you read and want to know more, you can reach us by clicking here.
The Singapore Registry of Ships makes it easy and fast for you to register your ship in Singapore. Once all relevant documents have been submitted, ship registration will be completed within two hours, and there will be various benefits if registered as a Singapore ship. Relevant Act ∙ Regulation - Merchant Shipping Act - Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships) 1996 Procedure for ship registration Step 1. Check eligibility for ship registration in Singapore Step 2. Prepare application form - Approval for vessel's name - Apply for vessel’s official number and call sign / signal letters Step 3. Submit the relevant documents for provisional or permanent registration Step 4. Pay the initial registration fee and annual tonnage tax Step 5. Vessel Registered Prerequisites for registration Owner Only the following persons may be registered as owners of Singapore vessels: 1. Citizens / Permanent Residents (PRs) of Singapore 2. Companies incorporated in Singapore A vessel may be registered under the ownership of a foreign, or a locally owned, Singapore incorporated company 1) A foreign owned company is a company incorporated in Singapore in which more than 50% of its equity is owned by non-citizens of Singapore 2) A local owned company is a company incorporated in Singapore in which more than 50% of its equity is owned by citizens of Singapore, or by another local owned company Vessel Generally, ships less than 17 years would be considered for registration Provisional registration The Provisional Certificate is valid for a maximum period of one year with no possibility of extension. The vessel must be transferred to the permanent register before the end of this period. Documents to be submitted for Provisional Registration: - Application Form - Business Profile reported to Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) Appointment of A Manager Owners must appoint a manager whose residence is in Singapore. All communications relating to the vessel will be directed to the manager. The manager will be responsible for the operations of the vessel for all matters related to the crew, safety and prevention of pollution. ∙ An individual owner may appoint himself as the manager. ∙ A corporate owner may appoint a person in the company to be the vessel’s manager. ∙ If a company is appointed as the vessel’s manager instead, the name of the person in the company with the ultimate responsibility for the vessel and his status in the company must be clearly indicated. If there is any change in the manager, the owner must complete a new appointment of manager form and submit it to the Registrar within 7 days of the change. Evidence of Ownership - (New vessel) A copy of the Builder’s Certificate - (Existing vessel) A copy of the Bill of Sale or the transcript of its former registry, or any other similar document that can demonstrate its ownership Value of the Vessel The owner must declare the value of the vessel in Singapore dollars under the company’s letterhead if this is not already reflected in the other documents submitted (i.e. Bill of Sale). Tonnage Certificate All vessels must have their tonnages determined in accordance with the provisions of the Merchant Shipping (Tonnage) Regulations (which gives effect to the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969 (TM 69)). A tonnage certificate may be issued by the MPA’s Shipping Division or any of the classification societies authorized by the MPA (Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore) to do so. Class Certificate Class certificate may be accepted as evidence of seaworthiness. - (New vessel) Interim class certificate or Statement of entry - (Existing vessel) Statement of class maintained Tax benefits of SRS (Singapore Registry of Ships) To encourage companies to develop businesses in Singapore, ship registry offers benefits to Singapore-registered vessels. Withholding Tax (WHT) Exemption To further promote the growth of the maritime sector, qualifying shipping enterprises will enjoy automatic WHT exemption on interest and related payments made in respect of arrangements obtained to finance the purchase or construction of vessels, or the purchase of containers and intermodal equipment. Tax exemption Profits derived from the operation of a Singapore vessel are exempt from Singapore income tax. Singapore shipping industry Singapore registry of ships Source: MPA (Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore) BY NUMBER BY '000 GT 2008 3,843 43,702 2009 3,950 45,632 2010 3,978 48,783 2011 4,111 57,360 2012 4,232 65,018 2013 4,379 73,615 2014 4,595 82,249 2015 4,739 86,300 2016 4,717 88,023 2017 4,578 88,808 2018 4,456 90,944 2019 Jan 4,468 92,133 Feb 4,469 92,486 Mar 4,472 93,075 Apr 4,471 93,926 May 4,465 95,411 Jun 4,460 95,808 Jul 4,461 96,234 Aug 4,447 96,116 Sep 4,446 96,885 Oct 4,463 97,736 Vessel Arrivals Source: MPA (Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore) BY NUMBER BY '000 GT 2008 131,695 1,621,065 2009 130,575 1,784,669 2010 127,299 1,919,408 2011 127,998 2,120,282 2012 130,422 2,254,353 2013 139,417 2,326,121 2014 134,883 2,371,107 2015 132,922 2,504,155 2016 138,998 2,662,695 2017 145,147 2,799,585 2018 140,768 2,791,966 2019 Jan 11,678 248,250 Feb 10,275 214,560 Mar 11,509 229,405 Apr 11,243 226,032 May 11,697 235,454 Jun 11,138 227,457 Jul 11,554 238,851 Aug 11,739 236,774 Sep 11,547 244,462 Oct 12,026 250,282 ▶ The largest container ports worldwide in 2018, based on throughput (in million TEUs) Largest container ports worldwide - by volume of cargo handled 2018 The port of Shanghai was the largest container port in 2018, handling containers with a capacity of 42 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEU). In 2018, nine out of the ten busiest container ports were located in Asia. The world's largest container ports The busiest container ports in Asia include Shanghai, Singapore, and Hong Kong. In the United States, the neighboring ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach form the largest container hub in the country. The cities of Rotterdam, Hamburg, and Antwerp are home to the largest ports in Europe. The world's largest container terminals Singapore’s PSA International is ranked among the world’s leading marine terminal operators, followed by Hutchison Port Holdings, which is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands. PSA International operates several ports around the world, generating about four billion Singapore dollars in revenue in 2018. If you have any questions about Singapore company incorporation and investment, please contact us via Contact Us page. We will provide you with a variety of solutions for efficient business operations as well as practical advice on legal requirements.read more
Singapore is a lively international business center – and a perfect place where you can start and develop a business. To get a company registered in Singapore, all Singapore-registered incorporation service providers (alternatively called filing agents) are required to adhere to certain legal requirements that mandatorily include conducting KYC (know-your-client). It is highly probable that your attendance in person may be required in Singapore for getting your company’s corporate bank account opened. Putting in place a new commercial establishment can be an intimidating experience. At the same time, it can also be a sensational one. Most of the people are filled with confusion when coping with all the obligations set by the concerned authorities, concerning the process of registering a business in Singapore. If you are a foreign individual keen on registering a company in Singapore, you will be required to get help from a local business registration provider as they do not have the permission to self-register a new company in Singapore. The Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), which also acts as the Company Registrar of Singapore, governs the procedures for company registration in Singapore. Once you have decided to establish a new company or move an already operating one to the city-state, you must ensure to comply with the criteria framed by ACRA. The time taken to register a Private Limited Company in Singapore often ranges from 2 hours to 2 days, depending on how long it takes for ACRA to approve it (which depends on its receipt of all properly signed paperwork), along with the designing of the company’s constitution. Provisions to Register a Singapore Company Registering a company in Singapore becomes essential in case you are implementing any operation for profit continuously, except in the case of exemptions. You must be at least 18 years old to register a company in Singapore. In the event of you being a foreigner wishing to set up a business entity in Singapore, you must fulfil the following criteria: Appoint a registered filing agent (e.g., a legal firm, firm of auditors or corporate secretaries) to file an online application in your favor. Get a director on the payroll, who is a resident in Singapore (where necessary). Pre-Registration: Points to Keep in Mind Directors To register a company in Singapore, you must have a minimum of one local director. The director must be a standard resident in Singapore (can be a Singapore citizen or a Singapore Permanent Resident, or an individual who is an EntrePass, Employment Pass or Dependent’s Pass holder). A Singapore company can have any number of local or foreign directors that it may appoint. The minimum age of directors must be 18 years and they must be free of any bankruptcy or malpractice charges and have a clear record in the past. There are no conditions that stop directors from being shareholders. On the other hand, even non-shareholders can be designated as directors. Shareholders A Singapore, it is possible for a private limited company to hire at least one and at the most 50 shareholders. A shareholder may either be a common individual or a legal entity such as another company or a trust. Singapore firms can have 100% local or foreign owners. It is permissible to issue new shares or transfer current to a separate individual once the company has already been registered. Company Secretary In line with the Singapore Companies Act, all firms are to mandatorily hire a qualified company secretary, not later than 6 months after the incorporation. Only a natural individual who is a natural resident in Singapore can qualify to become the company secretary. It is worth stressing that in the event of only a sole director/shareholder, the same person can hold the position of a company secretary as well. It is prohibited to leave the post of the company secretary unoccupied for more than 6 months at a stretch. Paid-up capital The least paid-up capital to get a Singapore company registered is S$1. The paid-up capital (or share capital) can be hiked any time after the company has been incorporated. Registered address For the sake of registering a Singapore company, a domestic Singapore address is required to be the company’s registered address. The registered address has to be a physical address (this may be either a business or home address). A P.O. Box cannot be the registered address. Based on the HDB’s Home Office Scheme, persons are also allowed to use their residential address as the business address. This scheme applies to both, HDB and private properties. In case you intend to use your address of residence as your business address, it is advisable to check with the concerned authorities. Qualifying house owners/tenants require prior authorization from the HDB and those who own private residential property, need compulsory approval from the URA. In the case of Singapore firms, the registered office in Singapore must be both functioning as well as within accessibility of the public through normal business hours. Corporate tax Singapore charges a corporate tax rate of 17%. Singapore registered companies enjoy very attractive tax exemptions and incentives. For instance, a new start-up company will be exempted from paying tax on S$200,000 of the initial S$300,000 taxable earnings. It is noteworthy that capital gains or dividend taxes do not exist for Singapore companies. The Process to Register a Singapore Company ACRA has made the procedures to register a company completely electronic in Singapore. In normal circumstances, it takes 1-2 days for a company to be incorporated. For registration of a business, it is necessary for the candidate to log onto BizFile+ using his ID number and SingPass. Else, the applicant also has the choice to hire a registered filing agent (such as a Singapore-based business establishment agency), in case the applicant has no SingPass. 1. Select Company Name and Address For registering a Singapore company, the first step is to essentially get the proposed name for the company approved. This approval can be acquired by filing an application with ACRA. To check whether a shortlisted name has already been reserved, you will be required to search on BizFile+. Usually, it does not take more than an hour for the name to be approved/rejected, subject to the proposed name having certain terms (such as bank, finance, law, media and the likes) that may require the corresponding external government authority to review and approve it. In such a case, the name approval may come a few days or weeks later. For increasing the probability of getting your company name approved faster, you must ensure that the planned name: · Is not much like an already operating local company name · Does not violate any copyrights · Does not sound offensive or rude · Has not been taken by any other company already The reservation of an approved name lasts for 60 days since the date it has been applied for. This period can get an extension for another 60 days by way of an extension request that can be filed just before it expires. 2. Put in place the company’s constitution to be submitted Registering a Company in Singapore comprises submitting a company constitution (that was earlier referred to as Memorandum and Articles of Association) to ACRA. The constitution is a legal instrument that aligns rules and policies on the internal governance of a company, its hierarchy, the entitlement and liaisons of its shareholders and other rules essential for the operation of the company. This document is normally seen by attorneys as a component of the incorporation process. In the event of preparing a company constitution right from the basics, you can get to see several sample Constitutions here. 3. Complete registration on BizFile+ After the selection of your company name, address and formulating your constitution to be submitted, you can go ahead and complete the other requirements on BizFile+. Other essential details comprise shares information and also particulars of the directors and company officers. The registration fee is S$315. After payment of the fee, it barely takes more than 15 minutes to set up a company. In case, the application is sent to be evaluated for approval, for example where the company intends to establish a school, the layout process would range from 14 days to 2 months. Associated Documentation for Company Registration At the time of registration To register a company in Singapore, ACRA has set requisites for provision of the following details: Name of the Company A summary of its commercial operations Shareholders’ details Directors’ data Registered office address Company secretary’s information Company constitution The closing date of the company’s proposed financial year Official Paperwork after Company Registration ACRA will issue several documents confirming the incorporation of the company, which include: 1. Certificate of Incorporation As per its process, ACRA sends an official email message that confirms that the company has been incorporated. The email notification will comprise the company registration number and it is regarded as the official certificate of registration in Singapore. A printed copy of the certification of incorporation is henceforth issued as a standard because, in normal circumstances, it is not mandatory in Singapore. A hardcopy can be acquired on request made online to ACRA, only after the company has been registered. A fee of around S$50 shall apply and the printed copy can be obtained from the office of ACRA, on the next business day. 2. Company Business Profile A business profile along with the company details can be acquired from ACRA through an online request on BizFile+. By and large, the document (a PDF file) can be downloaded in just an hour after the request and its contents are as follows: Previous names for the company (if applicable) Company name and registration number Registered office address Date of Registration Company secretary’s particulars Principal undertakings Paid-up capital Shareholders’ details Directors’ particulars From the above-listed documents, email notification of incorporation and company business profile are enough in Singapore for all legal and contractual matters, inclusive of the opening of corporate bank accounts, signing office lease, telephone/internet services subscription and others. Preparing your Shareholder Contract In addition to the constitution of the company, there is one more formal paper that is mandatory for the registration process of your company in Singapore. This is the shareholder agreement. This agreement is a paper that makes clear the norms and standards of the management of a company. It also has details about the relations between different players like directors, shareholders and managers. A shareholder agreement adds value to the company constitution by including certain rules, even when they are not within its ambit. A detailed shareholder agreement allows for smooth management of the company and minimizes disputes between various business parties in the company. Post-registration Tasks Application of licenses Once the company has been registered successfully with ACRA, you might be required to file an application for a license or permit prior to starting business operations. Applications for new licenses can also be filed via the GoBusiness Licensing portal (previously referred to as the LicenceOne portal), a single-window portal, using which entrepreneurs can apply for more than one licenses all at the same time, using a simple application and method of paying. All you need to do is select the ‘Self-Service’ option to apply to the concerned body. If you intend to register a company in the food and beverage industry, GoBusiness Licensing has rolled out a new Guided Journey feature, to help you identify and apply for the essential licenses. To access the Guided Journey feature, you must be a CorpPass user. This facility will be implemented in all other sectors in the times to come. GST Registration Registration for Goods and Services Tax (GST) with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) is easy when done via BizFile+. In majority of the situations, it is not mandatory to register for GST in the case of companies having a turnover that is more than $1 million, continuously for one entire year (12 months) OR even when the business owner anticipates the turnover to surpass the figure of $1 million in the coming 12 months. Registering a trademark It is possible to get a trademark registered with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) via BizFile+. A trademark is a unique symbol that helps you distinguish your business’ goods or services from those of other entrepreneurs. Your company name or logo can be portrayed in a graphical form. Opening a corporate bank account To open a corporate bank account, you may file an application with the Bank of China, DBS Bank, Maybank, OCBC Bank, State Bank of India or UOB via BizFile+ just after you are done with the registration. Reserving a Domain Name Once a new business entity has been registered, you are permitted to reserve a maximum of five choicest domain names (that end with “.com.sg” or “.sg”) with the Singapore Network Information Centre (SGNIC) via BizFile+. In the event of the reserved names being available for registration, you will receive a prompt notification. Activating the Customs Account In collaboration with Singapore Customs, ACRA has made it easier for business entities, keen on engaging in commercial ventures, to start their Customs Account. New traders can use the UEN Custom Accounts to apply for import, export, or trans-shipment permits or certificates, via TradeNet®. Subscribe to GeBIZ Alerts You can use BizFile+ to subscribe to the GeBIZ Alerts service. GeBIZ Alerts is an e-service offering from Enterprise Singapore which keeps subscribers informed about the latest Government procurement prospects published on the Government Electronic (GeBIZ) portal, according to their choices. Conclusion Each year, Singapore experiences a massive arrival of talent from all over the world. The cause behind this strong liking is Singapore’s highly business-friendly atmosphere. This write-up has been very promising and backed by data on the topic of Singapore company registration. It clarifies many concerns of applicants keen on registering a company in Singapore. We recommend our clients to register the type of company that suits their purposes in the best ways. Selection of the appropriate business arrangement for company registration in Singapore is a major decision since it can impact the tax applicable to the new undertaking. Do get in touch with us for more information and getting your company easily registered in Singapore.read more
Since 1960s, due to its small territory and lack of resources Singapore has been pursuing a national development strategy by attracting foreign capital. In 1967, the Economic Expansion Incentives (Relief from Income Tax Act – Chapter 86) was introduced to attract investment to Singapore and encourage investment of Singapore-based local companies. In order to attract foreign capital, the Singapore government has proposed various investment incentives, including tax benefits, tariff-free benefit and reduction of investment barriers. Under the open economic policy, Singapore has grown into a logistics and financial hub. Today, about half of the goods traded in Singapore's ports belong to transit trade. Factors such as superior business infrastructure, relaxed government regulations, rapid policy decision and enforcement, high English-speaking populations and stable working environment contributed to Singapore’s competitive advantage in becoming a logistics hub. Geographical Advantage Based on its geographical advantage, Singapore has grown to become an offshore foreign exchange market, transit port and one of the world's top three oil markets. Singapore is a strategic hub located between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and is optimized to serve as a gateway to Europe and Asia. The fact that Singapore is sheltered from natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons also lay the foundation for growth as a hub of transportation and logistics. High-Tech Logistics System Singapore has grown into a logistics hub covering the marine, aviation and land sectors by building superior infrastructure such as ports and airports. Based on the global logistics infrastructure, Singapore's Changi Airport has become Asia's largest air transport destination, while global logistics companies such as DHL, UPS, FedEx and DB Schenker use Singapore as their Asia-Pacific base. Singapore has also become the world's third largest crude oil market after New York and London, and the world's largest shipping oil market. Singapore's port management capability is world-class, responsible for 20% of the world's transshipment volume, and we have established a high-tech logistics service system to efficiently handle large-scale shipments. TradeNet, a trade automation system, reduced operating costs by up to 50%, accelerated customs clearance for air freight within 15 minutes, improved information accuracy and customer service. In addition, through PortNet, which is a port automation system, all related parties exchange information in real time without using documents in processing their work, and this helps efficient planning, managing and controlling of container ports. Preferential Policy on Port Facility Fee Singapore has a policy of offering preferential rates for foreign cargo using the port of Singapore. Transshipment cargo is subject to lower port unloading fees compared to domestic freight, and there are benefits such as a longer storage period. Logistics facilities along the harbor coastline save time and money by reducing the shipping distance, and Free Trade Zones in the harbor provides a wide range of facilities and services for the storage and re-export of customs goods. Excellent Business Infrastructure Singapore has gained international competitiveness by maintaining a state-run telecommunications, finance, aviation, port, broadcasting and other services under its 100-percent government-owned investment holding company, Temasek Holdings. Temasek Holdings is known to actively invest in foreign banks, 29 ports in 17 countries, including Korea's Incheon International Airport and Busan Port. Transportation network and financial infrastructure equipped under government initiative led the investment of global banks, brokerages and insurers in Singapore. As a result, Singapore's financial sector has developed to a world-class level and is now regarded as Asia's financial hub. In 2006, Singapore established a strategy to foster the country as an Asian financial IT hub by introducing ICT innovation technology to the financial environment, and is continuing its leap into the Asian financial IT hub. Stable Working Environment and High-Security Ranking Singapore has well-trained workforce and a stable working environment with fewer labor disputes. As labor market instability can be a major risk factor for foreign companies planning to expand its business abroad, stable working environment of Singapore can be seen as a great incentive for foreign companies to decide entering Singapore. Singapore is also the world's most secure country so that the difficulty of sending labor force from the home country can be reduced. Language In addition to English, Chinese is mainly used as an official language in Singapore. Given the growing difficulty in English communication in Hong Kong after Hong Kong's return to China, the environment in Singapore, where English is being used as an official language, is becoming increasingly attractive to global financial institutions and multinational companies. Tariff and tax benefits In Singapore, all products except some alcoholic beverages are imported without tax, and consumption tax is imposed only on four major items: liquor, tobacco, automobiles and oil products. Singapore is subject to a tax rate of up to 17 percent for companies and 22 percent for individuals, which is significantly lower than that of OECD countries. Singapore investment has been revitalized at both corporate and individual levels because Singapore residents are not subject to inheritance and gift taxes. Government deregulation and enforcement of corporate-friendly policies In Singapore, you can set up a corporation within a week, and the requirements for corporate registration are minimized: at least one resident director with minimum required capital of one Singaporean dollar. In addition, since foreign capital is treated the same as domestic capital, there is no investment barrier nor restriction on capital movement. Companies of a certain size or smaller may be exempted from reporting duties as they are included in the audit exemption list. In 2016, the Singapore Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) published its Fintech Regulatory Sandbox implementation plan. Traditional legislation often makes it difficult for Fintech firms to obtain immediate approval for the innovative service they developed. The Singapore government decided to operate a regulatory sandbox to test-prove new services in a secure and controlled environment, fearing that the development of innovative technologies would be prevented and the development opportunities would be lost if newly developed solutions could not be released due to a regulatory barrier. Regulatory sandboxes allow companies to test a given solution in a controlled environment for a set period of time without having to go through a long-term approval process or align the product with a defined legal category. Once companies enter regulatory sandboxes, regulations on financial soundness, minimum paid-in capital, credit rating, etc. will be greatly eased, and only compliance with the regulations such as a ban on money laundering and terrorist funding is required. In 2001, as Singapore government took action to enhance customer's confidentiality regarding financial transaction information, U.S. and European funds aimed at tax avoidance along with the property of Southeast Asian neighbors in which political and economic situations are unstable has been introduced and led the rapid growth in private banking sector of Singapore. Singapore has facilitated the inflow of capital from abroad by introducing and implementing corporate-friendly policies. As we have introduced above, Singapore has established itself as a logistics and financial hub and is expected to continue its growth. If you have any questions about establishing and investing in Singapore, please contact us via Contact Us page. We will provide you with a variety of solutions for efficient business operations as well as practical advice on legal requirements.read more