Doing business in Singapore

Singapore is increasingly a hub for international businesses.

10 May 2021

Strong trade, numerous investment opportunities in Singapore itself and throughout Asia make the city-state an alluring location for corporations and companies.

Singapore sits at a crossroads between the East and the West, and the jurisdiction is increasingly a hub for international businesses.

Singapore has a very competitive business environment, and that’s been a very strategic goal of the government. The authorities have been very successful in facilitating doing business here, and they’re committed to maintaining this. Singapore is one of the most attractive places to do business in the world.

Fiscal and business environment

Singapore’s corporate tax rate is set at a maximum of 17%, which is competitive when compared to other locations. The government also has a track record of introducing various regimes and tax incentives to make the jurisdiction a top contender for businesses.

Singapore also has an extensive network of Double Taxation Treaties. Given many of the companies that have a base in Singapore are international firms, the robust agreements serve as a welcome incentive to those corporations.

The jurisdiction is also known for its many Free Trade Agreements (FTA). Driven by Singapore’s advantageous location and excellent port and air infrastructure, the FTAs facilitate imports and exports. The result is many firms use Singapore as a hub for doing global trade.

Singapore is also applauded for its Intellectual Property (IP) laws. The government have particularly focused on making the jurisdiction a world leader for IP legislation. The aim was to encourage startups and innovators to base themselves in Singapore given it offers stringent protection for registered IP. The plan has worked. In addition to beneficial IP law, there are also some highly beneficial incentives which firms can benefit from, too.

Doing business easily

We often hear Singapore lauded as ‘one of the easiest places to do business in the world’ but what does that mean?

Practically, one aspect is that Singapore is very modern and forward-thinking. It’s possible to do a lot of administration online, and the authorities have facilitated setting up operations, recruitment and bureaucracy.

Our clients often turn to us because they are setting up a new entity or transferring foreign operations to Singapore. While it’s a great place to do business, knowing your way around the legalities and requirements can be challenging for those that aren’t familiar with the administration and processes. Our clients often turn to us as a local service provider who can handle accounting, payroll, ongoing company administration, compliance, and understand how best businesses can benefit from Singapore’s excellent environment.

For more information, please contact Lisa Tan, Executive Director, ZEDRA Singapore.

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