What You Should Know Before Starting a Business in Singapore
October 3, 2014 | Sharon Cheong
Many expatriates wish to start a business in Singapore for various reasons: its robust economy, low crime rate, and excellent social services being on top of the list. However, starting a business in Singapore as a foreigner can sometimes require nerves of steel. But do not worry. As long as one is aware of the possibilities and possible pitfalls of having a Singapore-based business, it's an achievable and worthwhile goal.
Singapore is one of Asia's (and the world's) top countries. Though relatively small in its geographical size and population, the country thrives and stands out in all aspects of life. Singaporeans are more driven to excel in whatever they do. They tend to be more innovative and progressive in their approach to earning a living.
Singapore is home to three ethnic groups comprised of Chinese (76.7% of the population), Malay (14%) and Indian (7.9%). The rest (1.4%) is composed of other Eurasian communities. Doing business in Singapore may seem quite daunting due to its numerous laws pertaining to seemingly minor infractions with harsh consequences. Not so, as long as you observe Singaporean laws and regulations.
Things are looking bright for Singapore, unlike neighboring countries whose initial promise was met with disappointment. By the latter half of 2013, Singapore's economy had already grown by 3.7%, which was a better growth than initially projected. The Gross Domestic Product or GDP forecast remains on track as 2014 rolls around, according to Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. As long as the growth is between 2% to 4%, Singapore's economy is still on the black instead of in the red. Of course, the PM admits that there have been some "rough spots" during Singapore's climb to the top, testing the country's resilience as a whole.
Next month millions of people around the globe will make a list of resolutions they hope to live by in the new year; an annual attempt to start afresh and turn over a new leaf - and as a company you can follow suit.
A recent report compiled by jobsDB offers business owners crucial insights into the changing drive and determination of the nation's job hunters. But given the rising pay demands of ambitious job-seekers, what does this mean for your business?
Are Asian Countries Going to Be Business Superpowers?
Are Asian Countries Going to Be Business Superpowers?
When it comes to business superpowers, the United States is still in top position. After all, many of the world's largest companies, such as Coca-Cola, Apple, Microsoft and McDonald's began their operations there before becoming the multinationals that they are in today's time. Even after the effects of the recent economic downturn, the USA still remains a good place to do business in general. Getting the necessary paperwork and permits to start a company is easier than ever, access to credit and banking facilities remains strong, and so is the country's overall infrastructure.
Singapore's economic growth has progressed amidst fluctuating global economies. In spite of being one of the smallest countries in terms of geographic size, Singapore is one of the economic leaders not only in Southeast Asia, but in the world. Considered as one of the economic gateways of Asia, Singapore is indeed a sought-after country by foreign investors. It is not surprising then that Singapore is host to large conglomerates and is called "home" by some of the richest and most powerful people across continents.
While virtual office solutions are handy at giving you all the joys of having an office without an office (from an online receptionists to receiving calls cheaply through voice-over IP or VoIP, which is also Internet-based), it lacks the actual office address that makes other corporations thrive. If you're establishing a business in Singapore, you want your clients and customers to have some sort of address to turn to so that they don't feel like they're being gypped when transacting with you. In turn, it's simply a lot more professional to have some sort of address in Singapore that can be used to send you mail or to conduct interviews and meetings in from time to time.
Richard Branson is among the most respected entrepreneurs. He is known for actively searching problems to solve, seeing the challenge as his road to success. He's a creator who loves to establish many different businesses under his wing, as evidenced by his long, successful, 40-year career as an entrepreneur wherein he developed many different and unique brands with his boundless creativity. Along his way to success, he has given quite a lot of advice and recommendations to his peers, his fans, and his contemporaries by speech and through living by example. He is particularly fond of talking about hiring people, managing staff, and running a business.
Singapore may well be the "melting pot" of Southeast Asia. The people are an interesting mix of races and cultures; the old and the new. Its strategic geographic location gives Singapore an edge regarding its role in international free trade. Business registration in Singapore is deemed as one of the easiest and hassle-free when compared with other countries. According to the latest World Bank report, Singapore ranks 9
According to the most recent annual World Bank report, Singapore is the best place in the world in which one can run a business. Because of this, a large number of foreign entrepreneurs have set their sights on the country as a place to set up their business. But what makes Singapore such a great place for businessmen from all over the world? One just has to see what the World Bank report measures. It takes into account certain elements such as the ease of starting a new company, getting the necessary permits, setting up bank accounts, as well as enforcing contracts.
Economic Review of the First Six Months of 2014 in Singapore
July 25, 2014 | SERVCORP
Singapore's economy is undergoing some challenges for the short term because the nation is moving towards higher-value-added industries for long-term upsurges in productivity. However, the country is unable to escape from its dependence on cheap mass production services. To be more specific, the island state for the first six months of 2014 is attempting to move away from manufacturing and other "low-end" industries, so that it could concentrate more on value-added sectors such as pharmaceuticals and biotechnology (which many first-world nations depend upon to raise their own GDP and economy). Because of this transition and the fact that it became so successful because of these low-end industries that growth slowed to a crawl.
Around 45% of Singapore professionals will continue to carry out work during their summer break - but with 48% of the country's men making their holiday business as usual how can business owners and employees avoid the stress associated with working an increasing amount of hours?
Singapore is a melting pot of Chinese, Malay, British and Indian cultures which is actually reflective of its immigrant history. Since its independence from the United Kingdom, the Republic of Singapore was driven to excel in all facets of life. The people of Singapore push themselves a bit more in pursuit of financial gains and prosperity. Though stressed out from the daily grind of school, work and family, Singapore is still deemed the happiest country in SEA.
Advances in technology made it possible for people to communicate with anyone in any part of the world where there is an internet connection. The same technology led to the development of virtual offices, where employees work online from home. Studies point out that by 2016 more than 60 million employees are expected to work from home.
Out of all the countries in the world, Singapore is one of the few that managed to change its status from a 3rd world nation to a 1st world one in less than half a century. A former colonial outpost that started out relatively poor has now prospered significantly, and its inhabitants are reaping the rewards. In fact, the country now ranks number 3 on a global scale of average annual incomes. While, of course, not everyone in the country is rich, Singapore does have a high proportion of wealthy individuals. More than 15% of households in the country have an annual income of over 1 million dollars.
How to Choose a Serviced Office Provider in Singapore
June 9, 2014 | SERVCORP
Singapore is a "tiger" in the field of economic growth. The small country is considered a "giant" in terms an investment destination. It is actually ranked as the fifth largest international financial hub in the world and second to none in Southeast Asia. Singapore's status as a major trading center in Asia-Pacific is a fact.
What if you could run your business in a professional way without the high price tag of a real, physical office? A virtual office can cut costs, and it is a great option for shrewd and frugal business owners.
Many foreign businessmen are attracted to Singapore due to the country's low corporate taxes and highly developed infrastructure, which rivals that of many European nations. But before you consider setting up a business there, you should be aware of some unique attributes that the country has to offer for foreign investors. There are some positive elements, as well as a few negative ones.
Singapore is deemed as one of the cleanest (if not the cleanest) country in SEA. It is modern, well developed, efficient and definitely one of the richest countries among its neighboring nations. The country is a veritable melting pot of peoples and their cultures. It has become an economic force in Asia and has attracted numerous multinational companies, educational facilities and institutions, and small and medium companies to set up base in Singapore.
"Know your enemy as you know yourself," as the saying goes. Your target market might not be considered your "enemies", (it's your competition, you should truly watch out for), but you must also know them like the back of your hand so that you can survive in the world of business.
How to Prevent Cash Flow Problems for Your Business
October 30, 2013 | Valerie Wong
It is no secret that a large number of small businesses will fail within their first five years of operations. Numerous studies have shown that cash flow problems remain the biggest reason why small businesses fail. If you run a small business or are planning on starting one soon, one thing you need to do right away is to develop strategies that will prevent cash flow issues. Here are some of the most important considerations
When it comes to setting a Singaporean business, it's all about observing proper protocols and SOPs (standard operating procedures). No one enjoys paperwork, but even if you were to set up businesses in neighboring ASEAN countries, you'll be faced with the same bureaucratic requirements anyway. With that said, paperwork with Singapore is rather straightforward as long as you know what you need to do. First, get a Singaporean VISA. Next, define your business sector and field so that you have a good idea what industry you should be entering. Explore the different entrepreneurial opportunities, for example, textile or hotels and restaurants.
Singapore experienced two global recessions in the course of 9 years. During the 1997 Asian financial crisis, recession was shorter and milder, thanks to the excellent management done by the government. The government gradually depreciated the value of the Singapore dollar to soften the impact on the economy. Labor costs were lowered with a limited impact on local demand and disposable income. Before the year was out, Singapore's economy recovered.
Singapore's International Enterprise chief executive officer Ten Eng Cheong recently stated that Vietnam is a country with promising long-term potential. Off the back of that, do you know how to accurately identify prosperous overseas markets, and how to judge if they're worthy of your investment?
Investment Ideas in Singapore
April 21, 2014 | Valerie Wong
As a foreigner, when it comes to setting up businesses and investments in Singapore, it's important to remember to respect the Singaporean culture. Just as you'd never do anything that would also raise the ire of the "Liberal Left" (like insinuate any racism or sexism), neither should you do anything disrespectful to the Chinese, Indian, British, and Malay melting pot of cultures that is Singapore. It's a country full of immigrant history, which should be good news to foreigners interested in investing there. Some other ASEAN countries are hard to adapt to because of how foreign the culture is to, say, Westerners. Thanks to Singapore's immigrant legacy, non-Singaporeans have an easier time acclimatizing themselves to the country.
Steve Jobs was definitely a pioneer in the business world. His accomplishments are widely known. After all, we are talking about a man who took a company that seemed to be heading straight into bankruptcy and turned it around so that it became one of the most well-known consumer brands in the world. If you met Jobs when he was young, you probably wouldn't think that he would one day be at the head of one of the largest and most successful companies in the world. He had no degree or certifications in the technology field. He had zero business management experience. But he still managed to propel his company to success.
So you want your meeting to go without a hitch. If you're in charge of setting up your meeting room (or, at the very least, you're the one who has to tell the custodian or janitor of the building how the whole panel, table placement, and whatnot should be dealt with), then here are some handy tips and recommendations you can try out. A meeting room should not be used just because it's there; the professional way to handle things is to adjust your meeting room in accordance to your needs. Rearranging chairs and tables to face one way or another isn't just an aesthetic choice; it could also make or break the meeting itself.
Reducing the environmental impact of your business
July 2013 | Servcorp
The haze hanging over Singapore recently should serve as an important reminder for everyone to do their bit for the environment - and that includes local businesses. With that in mind, we explore how your business can reduce its environmental impact in just a few simple steps.
You need secretarial services in Singapore. Why? It's because you're most likely to go the ecommerce route a la Amazon.com when establishing a startup, since it's the cheapest method out there. The technology to allow third-party, on-call, 24/7 secretarial services exists; it's the same tech that has made virtual office solutions (specifically VoIP or voice-over IP) possible.
Short Guide to Foreigners about Investing in Singapore
February 28, 2014 | Valerie Wong
When it comes to setting up investments in Singapore as a foreigner, it's important to remember that SOPs and proper protocols must be observed. Standard operating procedures when it comes to Singapore investment and establishment of startups involves a lot of paperwork, which is something no one enjoys. With that said, it's a necessary "evil" in all countries, not just Singapore. The specific bureaucratic requirements of Singapore investors are as follows: A Singaporean VISA, an awareness of the different entrepreneurial opportunities available to you as a foreigner, and defining from the get go what you want to invest in. You can't just "invest" in a country without having a clear idea of what to invest in.
The economic complexion of Singapore is quite positive for 2014. After having a lackluster 2013 for most of the year, Singapore has made a rebound with 3.7 growth in the last quarter of 2013, which therefore means it has a promising 2014 ahead of it. This is reflected by the salary increases for everyone in the country, including those in the lower income bracket. What's more, the forecast for 2014's growth is around 2% to 4%, depending on how well the Singapore economy goes for the first quarter. Regardless, the Southeast Asian "tiger" and contender should end up with better jobs and more opportunities for its workers.
Singapore responsible for the world's second most effective use of IT
May 2013 | Servcorp
Out of 144 economies, Singapore recently ranked second for its use of IT to boost growth and competitiveness. Is this a sign that the nation's reliance on IT will continue to pay dividends in the long term?
In terms of setting up your own small business in Singapore, it's important to remember that you're in a foreign place, and going by what you know in terms of marketing and appealing to your native country isn't going to cut it here. Expatriates and Singaporean foreign residents who have been immersed in Singaporean culture have a better chance of making it in Singapore in terms of building and spearheading a Singaporean small business when compared to their peers who have no idea how the culture of Singapore works. Proper SOPs (standard operating procedures) and protocols should be observed as well.
For a small island country that was once a colony of the British Empire, was occupied by the Japanese, subsequently became a part of Malaysia upon its independence from Great Britain, then ultimately expelled by the parliament of Malaysia in 1965, Singapore has come a long way. The small republic is now recognized as one of the Four Asian Tigers.
Singapore is a nation that has experienced a significant amount of growth during the last decade. Even during the economic meltdown that affected North America and many countries in Europe, Singapore has remained prosperous and was left relatively unscathed by economic problems overseas.
Many businesses are guilty of putting off paying their debts until a time that suits them. While this makes sense if you're thinking about things from a selfish standpoint, the truth is that by paying them back quicker you'll be encouraging business stimulation across the country, while making your own situation less cluttered.
The shift towards cloud based business management systems is gaining momentum and promising new ways for businesses to collaborate and grow. Basic IT applications are no longer fads and businesses must integrate IT concepts into all spheres of management.
What Business Leaders Can Learn from Sir Alex Ferguson?
November 15, 2013 | Valerie Wong
Running a football team and running a successful business can be quite similar in some regards. With that in mind, we can turn our attention to Sir Alex Ferguson, one of the greatest football managers the world has known so far. How did he manage to succeed and what is his approach to leadership? By learning how some of the most successful people in the world handle things, you can in turn learn some valuable lessons that can be applied to your business.
Singaporean virtual office solutions work just like the virtual office solutions of other Southeast Asian, East Asian, European, American, Oriental, Western, or in general global virtual office service. This package essentially enables you to access office services such as a receptionist, voicemail, and fax (among other things) virtually or through the Internet. If you're wondering whatever happened to the vision of a future filled with paperless offices, the future is here. The future has become so advanced and high-tech that predictions of the future by movies like Back to the Future (which features faxes in the bathroom) look ironically dated. That's the magic of the Internet for you.