There is a long list of reasons why Singapore is a great place to start a business. For one thing, the world’s leading experts say so. It has the notable honour of having been voted ‘best country for doing business’ no fewer than seven times in a row. It is one of the busiest ports in the world. It is also a global leader when it comes to oil refining and distribution, electronic products, and financial services.
So, it is fair to say that Singapore has quite the presence on the world stage. Like a lot of Southeast Asia, the region is very welcoming to foreign investors and there are big tax advantages to be enjoyed. While it may be considered less economically mature than China, it is progressing at a rapid pace. Investments in new sectors like biomedical science, green technologies, and digital media are opening doors for entrepreneurs.
Keep reading for more on the benefits of launching in Singapore and why this corner of the world is on the verge of big things.
Flexible Leasing Options
One thing which you’ll hear about Singapore time and time again is that real estate costs are out of control. This is not an inaccurate claim. The region is so small that commercial space is in short supply. However, there are some clever ways to get around this.
Virtual offices, for example, offer ‘pay as you go’ access to fully equipped workspaces. There is no contract, no hidden fees, and you only pay for what you use. Visit www.servcorp.com.sg/en/ to take a look at the facilities located in central Singapore.
Business Friendly Taxes
The region has some of the lowest effective tax rates anywhere in the world. By utilising a single tier income system, Singapore chooses not to double tax its business stakeholders. In fact, taxes paid on chargeable income are the only thing paid, because all dividends allocated to stakeholders are off limits to the tax man.
If that weren’t appealing enough, corporate tax is capped at 17% per year, which is a much smaller rate than you’d pay in the US. Also, companies don’t pay any tax until they have a turnover of more than $30,000. There is a lengthy list of financial reasons to set up shop in Singapore, so do your own research if you’re considering a move.
Support for New Ventures
In 2013, the available venture capital in Singapore was roughly around $24 billion. So, it’s clear that the government has the cash to support new ventures. It also has a keen interest in doing so and this has placed it second only to China when it comes to the level of investment offered to start-up companies.
This is a great place to put down roots if you’re confident in your ideas and want a shot at taking them worldwide. Singapore and the other Southeast Asian territories are becoming proving grounds for new products. Goods can be produced cheaply and easily distributed throughout the rest of the world.
How to Take a Successful Step into Singapore
If you are thinking about expansion into Singapore, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the culture first. Also, as rent prices are so high, opting for a communal workspace, as opposed to a conventional lease, is recommended. It will allow you to scope out the market, mingle with investors, and start appealing to your target audience.
If the prospect of a shared workspace does not appeal, you could swap it for a serviced office. They work in a similar way – no long term commitments or lock in leases – but you do not have to share the office with any other tenants. Many providers do offer co-working areas, but they are separate from your personal suite.