Common FAQs about Setting up a Business in Singapore
How should I set up a company in Singapore?
There is many good business opportunities in Singapore and it’s extremely easy start the process of your company incorporation in Singapore. You simply register your business with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and within 3 to 4 days, you will have registered as well as incorporated your business (paying $65 for registration and naming fee).
What type of government incentives and assistance are available?
To assist companies, the Singapore government has rolled out several schemes. Visit the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) website and find a comprehensive list of development and incentive schemes and various tax and financial incentives as well.
Likewise, startups can also approach SPRING Singapore. They offer startups assistance in financing, management and capabilities development, support for innovation and technology, and access to wide variety of markets.
How do Singapore’s governments choose which industry they will offer incentives to?
The EDB has a complete list of incentive schemes for business. The assessment is done based on the strength of the application as well as the merits of the project. If you need to find out whether your industry is included in Singapore government’s industry list, please visit the EDB website.
What type of business capital is available in Singapore?
The venture capital base seems to grow in Singapore. If you need to find more about venture capital firms in Singapore, you can visit the Investor Relations Asia Pacific (IRAP’s) website.
Likewise, SPRING Singapore is another organization you should look as they offer several government funding and schemes for seed capital, including:
- SPRING SEEDS – You are liable to get funding up to S$1million. Third-party investment must at least be S$75,000.
- Technology Enterprise Commercialization Scheme or TECS – This is a grant offered by SPRING for conversion of breakthrough technology ideas into a profitable business. The grant is competent: proposals are often ranked by a team of expert reviewers. They look upon the assessment of commercial merits of proposed ideas, and only the best are selected for financing.
- Proof of Concept or POC – This scheme is for entrepreneurs wishing to nurture their ideas at initial stage. They’ll receive up to 100% funding for qualifying costs for projects that are supported by the scheme, which is up to S$250,000.
- Proof of Value or POV – If you wish to carry out further research on technology project and development of working model, through POV you can receive up to 85% funding for qualifying costs for projects that are supported though the scheme (up to S$500,000).
What different types of Free Trade Agreements or FTAs are offered by Singapore?
Till now, Singapore offers up to 18 FTAs, each covering key market representing 60% of the total global GDP. For more information (full list of FTAs), you can visit the Singapore FTA Network. Additionally, if you don’t know how much your business will benefit through reduced import tariffs that result from the FTAs, please visit their site.
If I am an employer, what do I need to remember regarding the remuneration of employees?
In addition to paying salaries to your employees, you will also contribute to your employees’ Central Provident Fund or CPF accounts. Your employees have to be either Singaporean or its Permanent Residents (PRs). The CPF contribution which goes for a social security savings is a must for both employers and employees.
The contribution rate for employees who are aged 50 or below is currently 16%. Likewise, medical benefits and insurance may be required for high-risk occupations.
In terms of sponsoring for Employment Passes or EPs for foreign employees, will you (small business) be disadvantaged?
The answer is: No. There is no specific fixed number of EPs a firm can employ as each EP application is assessed on its own merit.
Are capital gains subject to tax in Singapore?
No, there is no capital gains tax imposed on companies operating in Singapore.
I want to close down my business in Singapore, what are important things I need to be aware of?
You must inform all concerned authorities before closing down your business, including the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), Central Provident Fund (CPF), and any other licensing bodies.
For more information on necessary steps and documentation you need to take in order to wind up a business in Singapore, please visit the online website of ACRA.