In 2014, the World Bank once again rated Singapore as the best place in the world to do business. Politically stable, with one of the world’s most globalised economy and an incredibly high standard of living by international standards, its not hard to understand why so many businesses choose to cultivate a presence in Singapore. The World Bank’s report highlights many of the advantages of operating in Singapore including:
Located in the heart of one of the world’s booming economic regions
It’s no secret that Asia has overtaken the west as the world’s economic powerhouse and Singapore is located right in the centre of the action. Flying from the world class Changi airport, most of Asia’s major business hubs can be reached in no more than a few hours flight. Given Asia’s size and strength as a manufacturer, locating to Singapore means you are able to keep a close eye on your supply chain and are ideally positioned to understand the needs of the powerful Asian market of 2.8 billion people.
A country committed to business
Singapore has a well established reputation as one of the world’s business capitals. In the past decade, the city has cultivated a pro-business environment which attracts enormous foreign investments and business entrepreneurs from all industries. The major appeal of Singapore as a business hub lies in the ease with which you can manifest your business ideas and turn a substantial profit in relatively little time. It takes only 1-2 days to incorporate a company in Singapore, a process which is facilitated and actively helped along by the government.
An unparalleled tax system
There are few countries in the world which can compete with the low personal and corporate taxation rated offered by Singapore. Personal income tax is attributed according to a tier system which starts at 0% and caps at 22% for income over S$320,000. For Singapore private limited companies with an annual profit of S$300,000 and below, the effective tax rate is approximately 8.5% and is capped at 17% only for the portion of profit above S$300,000.
Singapore follows a single tier tax policy so income that has been taxed as the corporate level can be paid out in tax free dividends to shareholders.
There is also the absence of capital gains, estate, death and inheritance taxes.
Another innovative development in Singapore’s tax system is its Goods and Services Tax (GST). This is a broad based consumption tax designed to draw dependency away from income tax and keep the economy competitive. Currently, the GST sits at 7% which well below both the global and regional averages.
Singapore has a number of immigration schemes for foreign nationals who wish to relocate or set up a business in the city. The government has established a number of schemes which enable foreign nationals to incorporate and run a business in the city with immigration passes including the Employment Pass, the Personalised Employment Pass, the S-Pass, Work Permits for foreign nationals and Singapore Permanent Residence under PTS scheme.
Sophisticated intellectual property protection
Many businesses come to Singapore seeking to manage their IP assets as the city is well known for its strong copyright laws. The World Economic Forum (WEF), the Institute for Management Development (IMD), and the Political Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) have all identified Singapore as Asia’s top country for IP protection.
As Singapore is a signatory to many major IP conventions and treaties such as the World Intellectual Property Organisation, Madrid Protocol, Berne Convention, Budapest Treaty, Agreement on Trade-related aspects of IP right, Paris Convention, and the Patent Cooperation Treaty, companies established here are also able to file for global trademark registration as well as registering a trademark in Singapore.
Transparent and stable government
With a stable, commercially progressive government at its help, Singapore has the ideal political climate to support of the growth of businesses. Known for employing a rational pro-business approach, the Singapore government is highly effective at enacting laws, setting regulations and identifying priorities with a view to lead the industrialised nations in economic excellence.
An outstanding labour force
Singapore’s workforce is characterised by its tenacity, passion, and vision and is known as the best in the world. With a primarily knowledge based economy, Singapore’s workforce is both well-educated and professionally qualified. A typical enterprise in Singapore will employ tertiary qualified workers who have a strong work ethic, are technologically savvy, are highly productive, and subscribe to a work smart culture. The city’s workforce is multinational as the high quality of working conditions and lucrative professional opportunities which the city offers attracts carrer minded individuals from around the world who in turn enrich Singapore’s economic sector with their considerable knowledge and experience.
A high standard of living
Singapore is a fantastic place for foreign national to move with their families as it offers an outstanding quality of life. With a stable government, world class infrastructure, access to top quality healthcare, a sustainable living environment, excellent schools and a culture which is both rich and vibrant, its little wonder that professionals around the world are clamouring to establish themselves in Singapore.
Choosing to incorporate in Singapore is a decision to invest in the future of yourself and your company. For more information about the wide range of business support services Ottavia offers, or to learn more about the ways the Singapore government works to enrich the country’s economic life and attract foreign companies and entrepreneurs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.