Planning your Company expansion to Asia?

When thinking about company expansion plans, it is highly important to think of a few factors prior to setting up a business in a foreign country. Obviously, one of the main key deciding points would be the location of the new branch or office. However, there has been one country which for the past few years has consistently been ranked as the best place in the world for setting up businesses. Singapore is one of Asia’s rising economic powerhouses and this is all due to the government administration which has implemented processes which reduce bureaucracy and red tape. There are countless programmes and schemes that cater to new start-ups. The way of living is highly cosmopolitan and vibrant and of course, the food – as the case for most countries in Asia – is heavenly! Anyone thinking of starting a business in Singapore will definitely profit from this handy guideline.

Planning For Expansion

Before one sets up a company in Singapore, it is important to think of how this new office will actually impact the operations and workflow of the company as a whole. After all, registration of business in Singapore is merely the stepping stone in ensuring that the company is able to expand within the region. A project timeline will need to be set and some serious questions asked. What will be the main responsibility of the new office in Singapore? Will it be an offshoot of the head office or will it merely be tasked with different operational roles? How will the company be structured once registration of company in Singapore has been completed? It is better to be detailed and throughout in planning so that there are less potential pitfalls and roadblocks during the actual process.

Company Registration Requirements

It is also important to find out key questions pertaining to the registration of the business. After all, one would need to know the official process of starting a business in Singapore and the timeline one usually encounters throughout the application. Fortunately, an online application can be approved in days. However, if one wants to register a company in Singapore, one also needs to be aware of the policies and regulations pertaining to company registration in the country. For instance, in order to set up a company in Singapore, all documentation needs to be in order. This also involves documentation relating to key personnel in the company such as the Director and Company Secretary. The registered company is free to have as many Directors as possible but at least one needs to be a resident of Singapore. It is also compulsory to have a Company Secretary to be wholly responsible for records keeping and compliance matters.

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Taxation Matters

When going through overseas company expansion, one main question everyone thinks about is the taxation incurred on company profits and dividends. The main concern is double taxation – where the company might potentially be charged both in the parent country and also in Singapore. Luckily, Singapore has many international tax treaties with countries around the world. As such, one can go about starting a business in Singapore without any fear of being taxed twice on the same amount. Additionally, Singapore has the lowest corporate tax rates in the world. It is taxed at 17% and this has been a major reason why many renowned companies have opted to register a company in Singapore. The Singapore government has also implemented various programmes, schemes and incentives that help new start-ups get through the first years of operations. This frees up company income which instead of being channelled to the tax department can now be utilised for the benefit of the company.

Singapore Government Grants

A key consideration would also be the Singapore government grants that one would be eligible for after going through registration of company in Singapore. The government has implemented the Business Angels Scheme which links entrepreneurs and companies with “angels” who are more than happy to provide backing either in the guise of monetary assistance or financial backing. One of the more prominent Singapore government grants is the Innovation and Productivity Capability scheme. Under this programme, any eligible company which can prove that they are implementing different innovative plans i.e. research, technology, human resource, etc that can contribute to overall productivity would be eligible to receive funding or financial assistance. Yes, there are definitely many things that one needs to consider before embarking on overseas company expansion efforts. After all, moving operations to a new country – even if it is just a minor part of the overall company – will place the organisation in a whole new ball game all together. As such, it is always good to have all the facts right before starting on such an ambitious endeavour. There are many migration and financial consultants which would be able to assist in ensuring that all documentation is ready prior to applying for business opportunities in Singapore.