8 Essential Points for Business Setup in Singapore

April 20, 2017 3:25 pm

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Over the last 50 years Singapore has undergone one of the most radical transformations the world has ever seen in history, in terms of economical and infrastructural development. From a small rural fishing village during the 1960s, the country with exceptional leadership and vision under the late Mr. Lee Kuan Yew has now become what is currently one of the strongest economies in the world.

Today in 2017, Singapore has been rebranded as the easiest place to do business globally, and has been No.1 consecutively 10 years running across the world. This is the case attributing to a number of factors, but ultimately owing to the government fully supporting businesses from local and foreign regions. In this report we’ll be covering key factors that you should know about setting up a business in the hub of South East Asia. From existing business owners to investors planning to set up shop in the region, these are the 8 essential points and reasons you should know as to why Singapore is the best choice for enterprise.

1.    Lowest Taxations in the world

One of the biggest factor that has made Singapore famed to be the best place to start a business is its taxation system, one of the lowest in the world. Businesses headquartered in Singapore benefits from a network of over 50 countries of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA). DTAA essentially prevents double taxation of a business income earned in one jurisdiction by a citizen of another jurisdiction, providing for a huge increase in profits and earnings. The agreement also provides for a number of reduction and exemptions of tax for certain types of income.

Naturally, this is a huge appeal and reward to businesses of any kind. As such, many enterprises from around the region have chosen Singapore to be where they are headquartered.

2.    Favourable Policies that Support Business

As we mentioned earlier, Singapore is extremely pro-business and that is evident in its many policies that support and encourage new businesses to be set up and existing ones to expand. 2 of the most significant policies are the Free Trade Agreements (FTA) and Investment Guarantee Agreements (IGA).

The many free trade agreements in place in Singapore allow businesses to do trade and investment between 2 or more countries easily and at a lower cost. Currently with 21 such FTAs implemented, business is significantly easier for Singapore-based exporters.

The investment guarantee agreements (IGA) also promote larger investments between 2 or more countries. It is what creates the legal framework necessary that protects and encourages major investments.

3.    Security and Protection

Singapore ranks top in Asia, and second in the world for Intellectual Property Protection. This is one of the chief factors that deter businesses and enterprises from setting up a business in certain regions, but not the case for Singapore.

Singapore adamantly protects businesses in terms of innovation, investments, research and development from unfair competition stealing or misusing their proprietary. This has driven significant investment and economic growth from major enterprises such as Proctor and Gamble, Continental, and Mead Johnson, as they have stated the strict policies and rulings keep their multi-million dollar R&D safe from the hands of second-tier knock offs led to them choosing Singapore to invest in.

Similarly for smaller businesses and start-ups, this ruling significantly helps them from being outbid or bought out once they have a winning product or innovation.

4.    Easy Registration of Business

Registering and creating a business in Singapore is remarkably easy. All of it can be done online at Bizfile created by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

Reservation and approval of a name for the business is the first step, followed by registering and submitting relevant information on the online platform together with the payment of the registration fee. Once approved, the company can begin business upon an e-notification of incorporation from ACRA. Undoubtedly one of the easiest and most streamlined bureaucratic processes in the world.

5.    Range of Premises to Locate

Singapore is now a first-world country with one of the finest urban infrastructural developments in the world. For businesses of any size deciding to set up shop here, there is an entire range of premises available that can suit your needs.

From inexpensive offices in the heartland or industrial areas, to the most up class luxurious premises in the Central Business District, investors will have a choice. Factories and larger facilities needed by the respective industries also have the assurance of premium infrastructure and facilities.

6.    Recruitment and Talent

What Singapore is known to lack in is its land size and natural resources. What we do have however to make up for that is one of the strongest pools of local and international manpower and talents, ranked number 2 globally for the most talent competitive country in the world.

Renowned to have one of the best education systems in the world, Singapore offers one of the most educated and talented demographic of citizens globally. Across any industry, the country has to offer a wide range of talents. With many online recruitment platforms and headhunting agencies available, the recruitment process for businesses will be both rewarding and extremely convenient.

Recruitment will be one of the least complaints for new businesses.

7.    Funding and Assistance Grants Available

Unquestionably one of the most appealing stimulants, and also the rarest in the region, is Singapore’s generosity in offering grants and funding for new start-ups and existing businesses.

Many governmental agencies are in place to provide such assistance to businesses in the country, the main few being SPRING (under the Ministry of Trade and Industry) and EDB, the economic development board that supports and creates an extremely favorable pro-business environment.

A few of the funding initiatives available are as follows:

  • Government-aided equity financing schemes
  • Cash grants
  • Business incubator schemes
  • Debt financing schemes
  • Tax incentive schemes

All of these which significantly aid any business financially and can be found here.

8.    Growing and Strong Market and Economy

Last but not least, the biggest factor that encourages businesses big or small to be set up here is the nation’s powerful economy and consistently growing market. In terms of net international investment position per capita, Singapore is ranked first in the world.


Every industry has a favourable starting ground and access to the market across Asia and in the world by simply being based in Singapore. The pro-business policies in place, the strong and ever-growing economy, the large and most competitive global pool of talents, and a dozen other factors. It is truly apparent that Singapore is one of the best places in the world to start a business and to invest in one.

So there you have it. The 8 biggest factors that showcase all the noteworthy aspects you need to know about setting up shop here. Big enterprises to small businesses, everyone has a slice of the pie in the little red dot.

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