Start Up Your Business in Singapore
Over the past few years, Singapore has become a hot prospect. Since it emerged among the top countries to start a business, Singapore has only strengthened its position. It has quickly become the epicenter of business in Asia with a booming and thriving economy. For instance, big companies such as Dyson’s, IBM, and General Motors have moved their headquarters or other functions to Singapore. As you can see, Singapore is an undisputed global business hub.
Some of the features that attract entrepreneurs and multinational to Singapore is the political stability, exceptional infrastructure, skilled workforce, and friendly business policies. Also, its government has immense respect for intellectual property rights, and this creates a conducive business environment. That said, Singapore is an excellent destination for anyone trying to start a world-class business.
Reasons to Start a Business in Singapore
Below are some of the reasons that make Singapore a favorable business destination:
One of the World’s Easiest Places to Start a Business
Starting a business in a foreign country is challenging. It becomes even harder if you want to start an enterprise that will go global. Singapore makes it easy for any entrepreneur to start a company. The policies surrounding and opening a business are extremely friendly. The efficiency of the entire process is unmatched. With the corporate tax capped at 17%, things cannot get any better. Moreover, the Singaporean tax authorities exempt startups from paying tax for a year. These exemptions could add up to SGD$125,000.
An Encouraging Legal Framework
Most entrepreneurs find it difficult to start a business in various companies due to complex legal procedures. The Singaporean system provides an encouraging and easy to navigate legal framework. It is based on the British Common Law system. Therefore, you get the best intellectual property protection. You can rest assured that no one will dare infringe on your rights. The dispute resolution measures put in place by the Singaporean legislators are impressive.
The Singapore government works hard to provide a conducive environment for all businesses. They have various programs such as SGInnovate, which helps entrepreneurs to access venture capitalists and investors.
When setting up a business, you want to hire the best talent in your industry. As one of the leading startup ecosystems, you can easily put together your dream team. Singapore is a country with immense potential concerning a skilled workforce. It boasts of an educated culture living in a thriving business environment.
Singapore has a world-class infrastructure. This includes an impressive public transport system, high-quality healthcare, and education system. It is said by the end of the next decade 8 out of 10 residents will be a few meters away from a train station.
Favorable Living Costs
In the city, the cost of living is ridiculously low. This makes everything else expensive. Fortunately, the cost of living in Singapore is reasonable. There are pocket-friendly markets, cafes, coffee shops, and so on. Fare to most places within the city range from SGD 4 to SGD 7.
Singapore is arguably one of the most business-friendly cities in the world for all industries. If you are planning to start a business in this country, you are undoubtedly on the right track.
So, what do you need to start a business in Singapore?
Below are some of the steps that you need take to start a business in Singapore:
Determine the viability of your business
Before you embark on a business, you want to be sure that it will work out. And even though there is no way of finding this out, you can gauge the viability of your business idea. Do some research and evaluate various aspects of your enterprise. A great business should offer a solution to some of the main problems that people face in a certain location. Other questions you need to answer is whether there is an existing market. If the answer is yes, the chances of succeeding are higher.
A Business Plan
If you have been thinking of starting a business in any part of the world, you need to have a solid idea and an action plan. On the plan, you should list down your financing needs, goals, and marketing strategies. The ultimate objective is to have all of the essentials well laid out on this document.
Pick a Company Name
Now that you have your plan in place, the next step is to come up with a company name. Work with a competent filing agency to validate the business name you have chosen.
They will take the matter up with ACRA-the national agency that oversees and registers businesses. Bear in mind that two different companies cannot have similar names. Therefore, you need a unique business name.
You also want to steer away from any trading name that may trademark and copyright issues. Like we said earlier, intellectual property rights are respected in Singapore. The best part is that you can run a quick Google search. This will help you ascertain if there is a business with a similar trading name in Singapore.
Using a business name with words such as finance, school, bank, and so on will delay the review process. Why? Businesses with these titles have regulating agencies. And even though this doesn’t mean that your company will not be approved, it will undoubtedly take several weeks.
Business Activity Type
When starting a business, you know what you want to do. Nonetheless, ACRA does not know. For this reason, it will require you to choose an SSIC code. This helps them understand what your business is all about.
Assemble a Team
There different types of businesses. In Singapore, a private company should be owned by a minimum of 50 people. Foreign businesses and citizens have the freedom to hold shares of such companies. In regards to directors, you can appoint several, but one of them has to be Singaporean. If you are a foreigner who wants to hold this position, appoint a resident director. The best part is that the second director (Nominee Director) does not need to be involved in decision making. The main objective is to meet the requirements.
Singaporean law requires every company to have a corporate secretary. The holder of this position is tasked with compiling various documents, reporting to the government, and tracking changes. Once you have incorporated your business, do not run it for more than six months without hiring a corporate secretary. Otherwise, you may get your company into legal problems.
You can visit the Visa Express homepage for help in preparing in a better way for this global business hub, especially in matters of immigration. They are experienced in processing the entrepreneur pass, work pass, and other types of visas. You can also work with them to incorporate your business.
Register a Domain
We are living in a world where every business needs an online presence. Consumers turn to the internet whenever they want a particular service or product. As such, registering a domain for your company is critical. It does not matter whether you are running a small or massive enterprise. After completing your registration with ACRA, find an easy domain name that will enable customers to find your website with the utmost ease. If your domain does not resemble your business name at all, ensure that it contains some of the keywords.
The law requires all businesses in Singapore to have a registered address. What does this mean? It means that you should have a mailbox.
Besides that, you need to be checking it frequently to ensure that is working. Fortunately, there are several companies in Singapore that rent out these mailboxes.
Decide On the Paid-Up Capital
You could decide that each share will coast 1 Singapore dollar. When your company becomes incorporated, you may increase the price of the shares.
If you are a foreigner, it is against the law to incorporate a company by yourself. The law requires you to work with a filing agent. The firm will collect your documents, fill out your forms, and send them directly to ACRA. You do not have to be physically present in Singapore and could do everything online.
Educate Yourself on Taxation
Regardless of where you decide to set up your business, taxation is a big deal. Getting your tax computations wrong could land you in serious problems with Singaporean authorities. And the only way to avoid any errors is to ensure that you are conversant with tax laws. Learn the ECI (Estimated Chargeable Income), and if you experience any difficulties, hire a local tax expert.
Here is a summary of company registration requirements in Singapore
- Company names-Should be approved by ACRA
- Directors- One resident director, the rest can be foreigners
- Company Secretary-has to be Singapore resident
- Paid-Up Capital
- Registered physical address
How long will it take to complete the registration process in Singapore?
The registration process of a business in Singapore takes a day. However, you have to work with a Singaporean service provider. If you do it by yourself, it could take much longer. You should also have all the necessary documents.
What is the easiest way to complete company registration in Singapore?
Usually, if you are a foreigner trying to register your business in Singapore, you will experience various challenges. It may take time to overcome them. A local service provider will come in handy. They have the necessary experience to get everything right the first time.
If you have decided to start a business or company in Singapore you are on the right track. It is arguably the best startup-friendly city in the world.