Why SG

is an Ideal Location

for your Business

Many MNCs find it advantageous to site their headquarters in Singapore, next to over 150,000 SMEs. Business owners all over the world regard Singapore as the gateway to Asia, growing their businesses and using the country as a launch pad to the region’s other emerging markets.

 

So what makes Singapore attractive to foreign firms?

“SINGAPORE HAS BEEN CONSISTENTLY RECOGNIZED AS
ONE OF THE WORLD’S BEST PLACE TO DO BUSINESS
BY WORLD BANK’S DOING BUSINESS ANNUAL REPORT.”

 

Singapore has a unique position in the global economy and a pivotal role as a business epicenter in the heart of Asia.

The city-state has been consistently reputed as a global business hub – one that features developed infrastructure, political stability, pro-business environment, a competitive workforce, the use of English as the main working language and sound intellectual property protection.

 

Singapore’s wide network of trade agreements and tax treaties, ease of doing business, attractive tax system coupled with its robust economy and strong currency makes Singapore the most competitive Asian country and therefore makes it the best place to set up an overseas corporation.

 

Singapore is the fourth world’s most powerful financial centre in 2017 [Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) 2017] and a top location for investments in the Asia Pacific region. Major international banks and financial institutions all over the world have established their branch office in Singapore.

 

Singapore is the world’s busiest port, contributing its success to factors such as strategic location and excellent infrastructure that enhances its efficiency and productivity.

 

Singapore is a unique convergence of the East and West. The social fabric consists of a mix of Asian, European and American influence making it attractive and friendly to the international business community. A former British colony, Singapore’s legal and financial structures bear close resemblance to the US and the UK.

 
“IT IS NO WONDER THAT
SINGAPORE HAS BEEN REPUTED AS A GLOBAL BUSINESS HUB –
ONE THAT FEATURES DEVELOPED INFRASTRUCTURE, POLITICAL STABILITY,
PRO-BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT, A COMPETITIVE WORKFORCE
AND SOUND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROTECTION.”

  • EASE OF STARTING BUSINESS
  • FRIENDLY BUSINESS ECOSYSTEM
  • FOREIGN INCOME EXEMPTION
  • INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROTECTION
  • LOW TAXES
  • WIDE NETWORK OF TRADE AGREEMENTS
  • AND MORE ...

EASE OF STARTING BUSINESS

Compared to many countries, it is easier and quicker to start a Singapore company as it only takes one day to complete the incorporation process. A Singapore company can be set up and owned by anyone including foreigners. Legal age to own a Singapore company is 18 years old.


BUSINESS FRIENDLY ECOSYSTEM

Singapore’s business environment has been recognized by a long list of accolades and international rankings such as World Bank’s Doing Business Report, the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report and Global Information Technology Report as well as Economist Intelligence Unit’s Country Forecasts Report.

These rankings are testament to the quality of Singapore’s capabilities and infrastructure. As a result, Singapore has attracted thousands of multinational corporations (MNCs), many of which have chosen Singapore as their Asia Pacific headquarters.

VIBRANT FINANCIAL CENTER AND AFFORDABLE ACCESS TO FUNDING

Singapore is a vibrant nerve center to increasing number of commercial banks, fund managers and capital markets services license holders. It is not only a hub for wealth management and investments in Asia, but has the fourth largest forex trading center, the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

As a result, entrepreneurs are in good stead to have access to a combination of private and commercial banking services to fund expansion of their business at low borrowing costs.

FOREIGN INCOME EXEMPTION

Singapore-based holding companies or headquarters can repatriate dividends from their directly held foreign subsidiaries to Singapore free of Singapore tax.

This is because Singapore adopts a territorial basis of taxation. Foreign-sourced income is taxed only when it is repatriated back into Singapore. In addition, tax is not levied on foreign-sourced dividends remitted back into Singapore if the dividends are received from a country with a headline corporate tax rate of at least 15%, some tax was paid in that country (such as withholding tax paid on the dividends or income tax paid on the profits out of which the dividends were paid), and the exemption is beneficial to the Singapore company.

STRATEGIC POSITION AND NETWORK OF TRADE AGREEMENTS

Singapore is home to the world’s top players across all industries, in part, due to its location in the heart of Southeast Asia and close proximity to surrounding emerging markets. By means of Singapore you can reach out to the other countries in Asia effectively. Singapore preserves good international connection with other countries when it comes to trade and industry

Singapore’s network of FTAs now includes 21 bilateral and regional FTAs in force and 41 Investment Guarantee Agreements. Ongoing FTA negotiations with other countries are being facilitated.

These agreements facilitate business and trading across borders and make it less costly for Singapore firms to expand their operations internationally.

ATTRACTIVE PERSONAL TAX FRAMEWORK

The Singapore personal tax structure is progressive, with its marginal rates range from 0 – 22% but various personal reliefs available to residents further lower their effective tax rates.

 

In addition, Singapore offers the Not Ordinarily Resident (NOR) Scheme which grants a favorable five-year tax treatment for qualifying individuals working in Singapore with salaries of at least S$160,000 per annum and spend at least 90 days per year outside Singapore for work purposes. Under the NOR Scheme, income earned by the individual during the duration spent outside Singapore will not be taxed.


INCENTIVES FOR HEADQUARTER SETUP

Multinational companies which relocate their headquarters to Singapore can apply for regional headquarters (RHQ) and international headquarters (IHQ) incentives. Companies which are conferred the RHQ status enjoy a concessionary tax rate of 15% for qualifying income arising from headquarters activities and operations carried out from Singapore. Those awarded IHQ status enjoy even further attractive tax rates of between zero and 10%.

Regional headquarters which use Singapore as an international intellectual property (IP) holding location may claim writing-down allowance (WDA) for the cost of acquisition of the IP.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROTECTION

Singapore is ranked fourth in the world and top in Asia for having the best IP protection. [World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018]  

STRONG LEGAL SYSTEM AND HIGH DEGREE OF PERSONAL SAFETY

​Singapore has one of the most stable political environments in Asia, offering entrepreneurs and investors sense of security and comfort. Its judicial system has been recognized as one of the most efficient in Asia, enforcing anti-corruption laws to assure investors can conduct business without fear of bureaucratic malaise.

Moreover, through strict law enforcement, Singapore has a persistently low crime rate and offers residents a high degree of personal safety. In the event of cross-border disputes, businesses can rely on Singapore’s reputation as a world-class arbitration facility.

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