Why choose Singapore for your business?
There are many advantages to moving or expanding your business to Singapore. Among others, this South-east Asia country is best known for its ideal location, politically stable environment, business-friendly policies and as the gateway to other parts of ASEAN.
American-born businessman Jim Rogers, recognised as one of the giants of Wall Street, moved to Singapore in 2007. He knew then what the rest of the business world would later discover - Singapore has a tremendous amount to offer the international business community. Here is why entrepreneurs, corporations and ventures of all sizes consider Singapore the ideal location to set up their company or expand their business:
- Singapore is ranked #2 in by World Bank for ease of doing business
- Singapore is ranked #3 as the World's Most Competitive Economy
- Singapore is ranked #1 as the most politically stable country by World Bank
- Singapore is rated #1 on its global talent competitiveness by INSEAD
- Singapore is rated #1 as the country most open to trade
- Corporate tax rates are capped at a flat 17% on chargeable income
- 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% above S$320K
So what makes Singapore attractive to foreign entrepreneurs and firms?
Singapore’s Strategic Location
One major advantage of relocating your business to Singapore is its convenient location. Singapore is situated in the heart of Southeast Asia, making it possible for your business to access a market of 2.8 billion people within a few hours flight. Singapore’s port is one of the busiest in the world, and the country is classified as a premier International Maritime Center.
Singapore’s Changi Airport serves over 15 million passengers annually. The airport’s emphasis on competitiveness, efficiency and service have helped make it the “Best Airport in the World” for 20 consecutive years. A hub in the Asia-Pacific region, Singapore’s Changi Airport provides businesses with easy access to all major Asian markets.
Singapore Means Business
Singapore is known for its pro-business environment, capable of attracting sizable foreign investments and business entrepreneurs. In Singapore, you can turn your ideas into businesses with ease, and achieve significant profits. In stark contrast to many Western nations, it only takes about 1-2 days to incorporate a company in Singapore, with the government providing assistance along the way. Simply stated, Singapore is the easiest place in the world to set up and manage a business.
To find out more about Singapore’s exciting economic environment, refer to our Singapore Economy page.
Singapore’s Outstanding Tax System
Taxes are at the top of the agenda for any entrepreneur, and one of the key considerations for setting up a business anywhere in the world. One of Singapore’s unique advantages is its low effective personal and corporate tax rates. Personal income tax has a tier system that starts from just 0% and goes up to 22% for income above S$320,000.
Similarly, corporate tax rate is capped at a flat rate of 17% on a company's chargeable income. There are no capital gains taxes in Singapore, which follows a single-tier tax policy; for income that has been taxed at the corporate level, dividends can be distributed to its shareholders tax-free.
In an effort to move away from a dependency on income taxes and to make the economy even more competitive, the government has adopted a more broad-based consumption tax called Goods and Services Tax (GST). Singapore maintains one of the world’s lowest GST rates (currently 7%), ranking below the global average VAT/GST rate of 16.4%, and the Asia-Pacific average of 10.5%.
For more information about taxes in Singapore, refer to Singapore Taxation page.
Flexible Immigration Policies
Singapore’s open Immigration policy facilitates the relocation of foreign nationals who wish to setup businesses here. If you are an entrepreneur who needs to relocate to Singapore to run your business or need to hire foreign professionals, the government has anticipated your needs and made appropriate Singapore work visa provisions.
To help value adding individuals settle permanently, Singapore has a relaxed immigration policy, making it easier for foreign professionals to gain Singapore Permanent Residence (PR) status.
Comprehensive Intellectual Property Protection
IP protection is taken seriously in Singapore. Singapore is ranked third in the world and top in Asia for having the best IP protection in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2018.
Singapore has very strong copyright laws. In Singapore, it’s a criminal offense for a person or company to commit any form of copyright infringement.
In addition to registering a trademark in Singapore, Singapore businesses can also file for global trademark registration from Singapore as the country is a signatory to major IP conventions and treaties, such as the Patent Cooperation Treaty, Paris Convention, Berne Convention, Madrid Protocol, Budapest Treaty, Agreement on Trade-related aspects of IP rights, and World Intellectual Property Organisation.
An Honest and Open Government
Businesses do not exist in a vacuum – they need a supportive political infrastructure to grow and thrive. Singapore’s political system is one that enacts laws, decides priorities and sets regulations using a rational, pro-business approach. Singapore has a stable and orderly government, whose vision is to take this nation to the front of the industrialised nations.
The World’s Best Labour Force
Singapore has built an attractive, world-class, and productive work-force – a key ingredient for the success of any business. Since the country is primarily a knowledge-based economy, its manpower force is educated and professionally qualified. Singapore’s workforce is recognized for its high level of education, high productivity, technical proficiency, work-hard and work-smart culture. The Singapore workforce is both cosmopolitan and international, attracting professionals from all over the world, who bring with them their extensive knowledge and business expertise.
Singapore has a highly educated and productive workforce which plays a critical role in the success and sustainability of the economy. Training initiatives have also been put in place to prepare workers for challenges of the 21st century workplace. Singapore was also ranked first by INSEAD in its 2017 Global Talent Competitiveness index.
A Higher Quality of Life
Most foreign-born professionals and entrepreneurs who setup businesses and relocate to Singapore do so with their family. One of the top concerns for new residents of Singapore is the quality of life.
Singapore provides all of its residents with excellent public and private transportation, top quality healthcare, a safe and healthy living environment, easy access to many other nations, excellent schools, an outstanding support system for businesses, entrepreneurs and corporations, and an endless selection of cultural and educational opportunities.
To learn more about Singapore’s quality of life, see our Quality of Life in Singapore page.