Did you know that the World Bank Group in 2016 rated Singapore as one of the best countries in the world when it comes to doing business?
Indeed, there are numerous benefits of expanding or setting up your business in Singapore even today. The Southeast Asian country is well-recognized for its politically stable environment, ease of incorporation and operation, attractive tax system, and business-friendly policies, let alone the gateway to other parts of ASEAN.
Besides these factors, Singapore’s GDP growth ranks amongst the world’s highest, i.e., an average of 7.7%, helping it rightfully gain a reputation as one of the Four Little Dragons of Asia.
So, if you have been considering setting up your business in Singapore, read on. In this guide, we will discuss six reasons why choosing Singapore as your business hub is the most promising and worthwhile investment.
- Established Infrastructure
Anyone who has ever visited Singapore would agree it has an astonishing infrastructure, including highway networks, internet infrastructure, commercial buildings, subway, and more. The country has experienced marked advances in technological infrastructure.
According to the IMD: World Digital Competitiveness Ranking, Singapore takes the 2nd spot in being the world’s most digitally competitive economy. While most of its infrastructure has been developed over the last decade, its modern design can fully meet any business’s growing demands.
For instance, whether yours is a startup or you’re planning to expand your established business in Singapore, you don’t need to invest in infrastructure or building big offices. In fact, you can easily hire a remote workforce or rent a coworking space Singapore has to offer while providing a premium working environment to your remote workers.
- Attractive Tax System
For any entrepreneur, taxes are always a major concern, let alone the key consideration when setting up a business anywhere in the world. It is exactly what makes Singapore one of the top choices for business owners, thanks to its low effective personal and corporate tax rates. The country has the most competitive tax structures in the world, with the highest corporate tax rate on taxable income capped at a flat rate of 17%.
Moreover, no capital gain taxes are applicable as the country follows a single-tier tax policy for any income taxed at the corporate level. Shareholders’ dividends can be distributed absolutely tax-free. Similarly, the government, rather than relying on income taxes, has adopted a broader consumption tax commonly known as GST or Goods and Services Tax, at the lowest rate of 7%, considering the Asia-Pacific average of 10.5% and global average GST/VAT rate of 16.4%.
- Ease of Operations
Besides consistently topping the Ease of Doing Business status in the World Bank’s report, the city-state is highly regarded as a stable location for international expansion, let alone a triple-A-rated economy. It is especially evident in terms of investor protection, international trade, insolvency resolution, and construction permits.
Moreover, both local and overseas firms are offered equal opportunities with transparent regulatory and economic policies fully backed by a pro-business government.
Indeed, the country’s sustained growth is the result of its openness to global technology and capital, ease of doing business, investment-friendly policies, and support for free-market competition. It is not only a thriving multicultural and modern society but also an internationally connected business centre.
- Benefits and Support for Startups
For anyone willing to establish a new business in Singapore, the country provides a host of funding, grants, and subsidies for both international and local startups. These benefits include initiatives like the Enterprise Development Grant, Startup SG Tech, R&D, and EDB Singapore’s Innovation and Capability Development. All of this helps enhance the scope of business operations while subsidizing labour costs.
While the government has established certain criteria, businesses can easily avail these grants depending on their category. Also, to promote business development, the country has introduced some remarkable measures like IHP (International Headquarters Programme), GTP (Global Trader Programme), and RHP (Regional Headquarters Programme). In short, Singapore’s business infrastructure is not only startup-friendly but also innovative, fully supporting the emerging culture of entrepreneurship.
- Strategic Location and Connectivity
One of the best reasons to set up your business in Singapore is that the country is located in the heart of Southeast Asia. Besides having the world’s best airport and being the hub for several leading logistics firms like FedEx and UPS, it is also a regional transportation hub, serving 100+ airlines, flying to 350+ cities in around 100 territories and countries worldwide.
It is located close to economic superpowers like Japan and China and emerging markets like Indonesia. Also, being a global hub port, it is classified as a premier international Maritime Centre. Also, Singapore’s port is connected to around 120 countries through 600 ports with 200 shipping lines, handling around 15% of total container transhipment worldwide.
- Protection of Intellectual Property
Singapore has very rigid copyright laws thanks to the supportive political infrastructure and corruption-free environment. For instance, it is considered a criminal offense for a company or a person to commit any form of copyright infringement. Also, businesses operating in Singapore can easily file for global trademark registration from Singapore as it is a signatory to all the major treaties and IP conventions like the Paris Convention, Patent Cooperation Treaty, Berne Convention, Agreement on IP rights, World Intellectual Property Organization, and more.
Moreover, the country’s political system enacts laws and sets regulations with a pro-business and rational approach. It has an orderly and stable government with a vision to take the country ahead of the industrialized nations.
The Final Words
Nothing is more important for a business than operating in a country with a strong financial and economic landscape. Singapore has proven to provide a competitive advantage in expanding and starting a business amongst its regional peers, time and gain. It offers an effective tax system, excellent infrastructure, protection of intellectual property, and ease of doing business.
Certainly, due to all these factors, thousands of entrepreneurs worldwide are now making Singapore their new home for starting and expanding their business every year.