Strategic reasons for doing business in Singapore
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 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 20% for income above S$320,000.
Similarly, effective corporate tax rate for Singapore private limited companies for profits up to $S300,000 is below 9% and capped at a flat rate of 17% for profits above $S300,000. 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 has become a one-stop center for businesses seeking to manage their IP assets. The World Economic Forum (WEF), the Institute for Management Development (IMD) and the Political Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) have all ranked Singapore top in Asia.
Singapore has very strong copyright laws. In Singapore, it’s a criminal offense for a person or company to conduct willful 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 industrialized nations.
The World’s Best Labor 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.
As an added inducement for employers and entrepreneurs interested in starting a business or creating a branch office, Singapore boasts of the “Best Labour Force in the World” in the latest rankings.
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.
Business Legislation and Efficiency
Competitiveness & Business Environment:
|Government||Economic Performance||Expatriate Living|
|Singapore is ranked 4th in the world and 1st in Asia for having the least corruption in its economy.||Singapore is ranked No. 2 worldwide as the city with the best investment potential for 15 consecutive years.||Foreign talent rank Singapore as Asia's best country to work in.|
|Singapore is the first choice for Asian expatriates.|
|Singapore is ranked the most transparent country in the world and Asia||Singapore is the world leader in foreign trade and investment.||Singapore is the best place in Asia to live, work and play.|
|Singapore immigration laws for foreign talent are the least restrictive in Asia.|
Rankings of Singapore ( Reference)
Singapore tops Asian social capital - Caux Round Table
In 14th place, Singapore has emerged as the highest-ranked Asian state in a global index of wealth and social resilience. The index, produced by the Caux Round Table, ranks 200 countries according to pillars such as economic activity, quality of life and legal and political institutions.
Asia's most liveable city - Mercer Quality of Living Survey
Singapore has been ranked as the Asian city with the highest quality of living, as well as the city with the world’s best infrastructure, in the latest Mercer Quality of Living Survey.
Best Passenger Experience Awards - Metro Awards 2008
Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit system, better known as the MRT, has won the “Best Passenger Experience” award at the inaugural Metro Awards in Denmark. The award, which was given out during an annual conference for the urban rail industry, was based on criteria such as: value for money, efficiency and reliability, track record, cleanliness and security as well as the ability to deal with overcrowding.
Singapore wins Global Water Awards 2008
NEWater, Singapore's high-quality reclaimed water, has been garnering a lot of recognition from around the world. The latest accolade it has received is the "Environmental Contribution of the Year" title at the Global Water Awards 2008.
Singapore Best City in the World to live in for Asia Expatriates - ECA International 2007
Asian expatriates have voted Singapore as their preferred destination, according to a location ranking survey of 254 cities, conducted by ECA International. The report said Singapore won the award because of its excellent infrastructure and facilities, coupled with its cosmopolitan makeup, low crime, socio-political stability and favourable climate.