Singapore is home to many of the world’s largest multinationals, including those operating in the information technology, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and financial services sectors. These companies establish operations in Singapore to serve local, international markets, and in doing so leverage Singapore’s advantages as a gateway to these markets.
These advantages include:
- A low corporate tax rate – corporation tax on trading profits is 17%;
- A common law jurisdiction, similar in nature to that of the US and the UK;
- Availability of fiscal incentives for R&D activity;
- Strong international broadband and transport connectivity; and
- Supportive legal and economic environment for internationally trading businesses.
For companies with income arising from cross-border activities, Singapore has established avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements (DTA) with other international jurisdiction. A DTA also makes clear the taxing rights between Singapore and her treaty partner on different types of income. These agreements also provide for reduction or exemption of tax on certain types of income.
Incorporating a business in Singapore
Known for its pro-business environment, one can easily turn ideas into businesses and achieve significant profits in Singapore. Compared to other countries, it usually takes only 15 minutes to incorporate a company in Singapore. However, it may take 14 days to 2 months if the application needs to be referred to other authorities for approval or review. An online platform is also available for individuals who wants to incorporate a local company but are not in Singapore.
Strategic Geographical Location
As Singapore is situated in the heart of South-East Asia, entrepreneurs can easily venture into other Asia countries. The port is one of the busiest in the world and the country is classified as a premier International Maritime Centre (IMC). With its international airport, location and maritime centre, Singapore is a prime location where businesses can easily venture out into other ASEAN countries for investments.
Following are some helpful information in setting up business in Singapore: