8 Reasons to Start a Business in Singapore
You’re reading this because you’ve heard great things about Singapore and the fast-growing markets in Asia. Indeed, this cosmopolitan city-state makes an excellent base for MNCs and start-ups looking to scale up their operations in the region. In this article, we share the top 8 reasons why your company would benefit from doing business in Singapore.
World’s Easiest Place to do Business
For over a decade, Singapore has retained the number 1 spot on the World Bank’s global rankings for ease of doing business. Did you know that you can incorporate a company in Singapore with just a paid-up capital of SGD 1? Singapore is also well-known for its efficiency – it takes 2.5 days, or just a day if due diligence has been conducted – to start a business here, compared to the average of 20 days worldwide!
Excellent Tax Benefits
The headline corporate tax rate in Singapore is 17%, which is one of the lowest in the world. In addition, your new start-up can enjoy annual tax exemptions of up to SGD 125,000 in the first three years. From the fourth year, you get to save big on your tax bill as up to SGD 102,500 of your company’s income would be tax-free.
If you qualify as a tax resident, you will get to enjoy low personal income tax rates of 0% to 22%, depending on your total income. This means that if your annual income is about SGD 85,000, you pay just about SGD 3,925 in personal income taxes each year.
Reliable Legal Framework
If you are from the United Kingdom or America, Singapore’s legal framework would be no stranger to you! This former British colony’s legal system is based on English common law and is ranked top in Asia for having the best intellectual property (IP) protection by the World Economic Forum. With a reliable and non-corrupt legal system, as well as strong dispute resolution mechanisms in place, Singapore is your best bet as a launchpad to Asia.
Strong Government Support
Singapore may be a small country, but it is a vibrant and robust financial hub with exciting opportunities abound. The Singapore government pushes hard for innovation through a slew of initiatives ranging from FinTech sandboxes to programmes such as SGInnovate, which makes it easier for start-ups to access mentors and venture capitalists.
Industry verticals are also being transformed and supported by the government’s Industry Transformation Programme, which aims to help companies – especially smaller firms – innovate, scale up and internationalise.
Access Global Talent
Here’s the biggest surprise for you – Singapore has overthrown Silicon Valley as the world’s number one start-up ecosystem! In terms of talent, that is. Indeed, Singapore’s workforce is effectively bilingual, and has been ranked the most talent-competitive by the Global Talent Competitive Index for the fifth straight year. When you incorporate here, leverage the capabilities and know-how of an educated and multi-cultural talent pool for better business performance.
A Tech-Minded Community
There’s a reason why companies like Amazon and IBM are using Singapore as a testbed and design centre before rolling their technologies out to the masses – innovation is an integral part of Singapore’s business culture. Plug into the flourishing start-up community here, as well as connect with like-minded entrepreneurs and tech giants at networking opportunities such as the Singapore FinTech Festival. To interact with more movers and shakers, get a hot desk in co-working spaces such as the CSO (Raffles) and MOX Offices (SG).
In contrast with her regional neighbours, Singapore is known for her rapid economic growth. The Republic has recently topped a survey of more than 200 cities for her city infrastructure, which considers everything from the quality of healthcare and education, to recreation and transport. Having an excellent public transport system means that you won’t have to wait for long before the next train or bus arrives. In fact, by year 2030, 8 in 10 households would be living within 10 minutes of a train station!
Reasonable Costs of Living
While some have expressed concerns about the high costs of living in Singapore, it really boils down to your lifestyle choice. Instead of upmarket cafes, head to hawker centres or coffee shops, where you can enjoy delicious and affordable local fare for SGD 4 to SGD 7. Instead of living in the city, look for accommodation further afield in neighbourhoods such as Woodlands, Yishun or Bukit Panjang to save on rent. A train ride from Woodlands to Singapore’s Central Business District, for instance, takes just 45 minutes!
At Reliance Consulting, we will help turn your ideas and dreams into business reality. Whether you are looking for answers or assistance on company incorporation, have a chat with us to get started today.
 CNBC https://www.cnbc.com/2015/10/28/singapore-is-still-the-easiest-place-to-do-business.html
 World Bank Doing Business 2018 http://www.doingbusiness.org/content/dam/doingBusiness/media/Annual-Reports/English/DB2018-Full-Report.pdf
 Channel NewsAsia https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/commentary-where-will-singapore-s-next-tax-dollar-come-from-8799104
 IRAS https://www.iras.gov.sg/irashome/Businesses/Companies/Learning-the-basics-of-Corporate-Income-Tax/Common-Tax-Reliefs-That-Help-Reduce-The-Tax-Bills/
 IRAS https://www.iras.gov.sg/irashome/Individuals/Locals/Working-Out-Your-Taxes/Income-Tax-Rates/
 MINLAW https://www.mlaw.gov.sg/our-legal-system.html
 IPOS https://www.ipos.gov.sg/about-ipos/singapore-ip-ranking
 MAS http://www.mas.gov.sg/News-and-Publications/Media-Releases/2018/MAS-Proposes-New-Regulatory-Sandbox-with-FastTrack-Approvals.aspx
 Business Times https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/technology/sginnovate-launched-to-unify-innovation-efforts-in-singapore
 Straits Times https://www.straitstimes.com/business/economy/singapore-budget-2016-govt-launches-45b-industry-transformation-programme-to-grow
 Straits Times https://www.straitstimes.com/business/economy/singapore-overtakes-tech-mecca-silicon-valley-as-no-1-for-global-startup-talent
 Business Times https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/talent-index-ranks-singapore-tops-in-asia-pacific
 CNBC https://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/26/amazon-launches-prime-now-services-in-singapore.html
 FinTech News http://fintechnews.sg/3109/fintech/ibm-unveils-new-design-studio-in-singapore-to-create-cognitive-driven-digital-experiences-for-clients/
 Straits Times https://www.straitstimes.com/business/economy/spore-city-infrastructure-no-1-survey
 LTA https://www.lta.gov.sg/content/ltaweb/en/public-transport/mrt-and-lrt-trains.html