What You Need to Know About Living in Singapore as a Foreign Business Owner

Foreign Business Owner

Singapore is considered one of the top business destinations in the world for foreign business owners to incorporate their company due to its modern infrastructure, the booming tech industry, and cultural diversity. However, besides these reasons and the country’s convenient company incorporation process, foreigners also need to factor in living costs and conditions before setting up their business in the city-state.

So, if you’re a foreign entrepreneur thinking about getting company incorporation Singapore services to start your business venture, here is the essential information you need to know about living in the country.

Cost of Living in Singapore

Singapore is one of the most expensive cities to live in globally, ranking 4th place in the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2020. Due to its small size and land scarcity, rental prices are consistently on the rise. In addition, the government only permits a maximum number of cars on the road which means, buying and driving a car in Singapore is an expensive endeavour.

Depending on your lifestyle, you can expect to spend a minimum of S$1,200 to up to S$10,000 on a monthly basis.

However, despite these high costs, Singapore offers a high standard of living. It promotes a corruption-free business environment, political stability, and world-class education, healthcare, and public transportation, which foreigners can enjoy when they decide to opt for Singapore company formation.

Cheapest and Most Expensive Regions in the Country

When setting up a business in the country, destination plays an important role to determine its accessibility and consumer reach. In addition, the location you decide to establish your headquarters in should ideally be the same as your home for convenience. However, deciding on the region in Singapore to live and work in depends not just on its accessibility, but also on the cost of living.

The  Central Region, which covers Boat Quay, Suntec City, Raffles Place, Marina Square, Tanjong Pagar, and High Street is home to the city’s financial hubs and bustling shopping districts. Although it’s a popular destination for tourists, it’s also the most expensive.

While the Central Region is the most luxurious destination with the highest rent prices, the northern and eastern regions in Singapore are considered the cheapest options. But just because the northern and eastern regions are the cheapest, doesn’t mean that they offer no business opportunities. In fact, many expats favour living in these regions because they offer a high potential for economic success while being convenient and sustainable.

Mandatory Expenses

Regardless of which region you decide to live in, there are still mandatory costs you need to pay for. These include:

  • Utility Cost
    Water, gas, and electricity bills can range anywhere between S$110 to S$600 monthly, depending on the size of your home and the number of inhabitants. Usually, the amount goes higher when you have high water or electricity consumption. So, one way to save on costs is to minimize your usage.
  • Rental
    Depending on your location and house type, the rental value can vary. If you live in the North-East, East, or West, you may spend as low as S$1,700 on rent for a studio apartment. But if you live in the Central Region, you can expect to pay anywhere from S$4,000 to S$9,000 on rent.
  • Transportation
    Because renting or buying a car is an expensive option, most foreigners opt for public transportation. In such cases, you can expect to spend anywhere from S$100 to S$120 for your daily commute. Alternatively, you can also purchase an Adult Monthly Travel Pass with unlimited MRT access and bus services for only S$128 a month.
  • Taxes
    These are based on your residency status and income. If you are a non-resident staying in the country for less than six months a year, you need to pay a flat income tax of 22%. However, if you are a resident, you can expect to pay income taxes with progressive rates ranging from 2% to 22%.

Other expenses you might need to pay for include food and grocery, healthcare, and education, which depends on your budget and preferences.


With this information, you have a better idea of what to expect and how much money you need to earn in order to live comfortably as a foreigner in Singapore.

Though it is a costly venture, you can benefit from living and setting up a company in the country. So, as much as possible, take advantage of the business opportunities so you can enjoy Singapore’s comforts.

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