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Doing business in Singapore

November 4, 2013 | Valerie Wong

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.

Singapore is one of the most modern and developed countries in the whole South East Asian region. The infrastructure is in excellent shape, the power grid is very reliable and communications networks are very well developed, just like in a Western country. This means that for an American or European, setting up shop in Singapore would be quite similar to what they would see back home. Although office or retail shop space may be more expensive than in other countries, it is possible to find some good deals if one takes the time to do their research. Numerous virtual office providers also operate in the country and can get you set up with conference room, mail facilities, plus local phone and fax numbers.

The procedure to start a business is very simple. In fact, many entrepreneurs have remarked that registering a company in Singapore is easier than doing so in certain US states. With the advent of information technology, spending hours filling out lengthy and confusing forms is a thing of the past in Singapore. The entire process can be done online. One can get a new business up and running in Singapore in less than two weeks, sometimes in just a couple of days. To make things easier, English is the language in which business is conducted throughout the country. This means that communications with the government, as well as contracts, are all done in that language. Americans will love this, as it eliminates the need to hire translators to review documents, thus saving them a lot of time and money.

Another reason why Americans and Europeans look at other countries to set up a company is that they may have strong tax advantages in setting up shop in other jurisdiction. As far as taxes are concerned, Singapore is very attractive. The top corporate tax rate is among the lowest in the world right now, being only 17%. For the first three years of assessment, certain companies may be eligible to receive a tax exemption on the first $100,000 of their profits. Other tax exemptions may also be available to businesses in some industries. Companies that want to do everything possible to maximize the amounts of profits they generate, such as small or medium-sized businesses, will find the lower corporate taxes in the country to be extremely attractive.

Anyone who is interested in setting up a new business in Singapore will find a wealth of information about doing business in the country online. You can find detailed explanations on how to navigate the company registration process, how to file your first tax return, how to obtain permits to operate certain kinds of businesses, as well as guides on business culture and etiquette that is unique in Singapore.

Starting a business in Singapore soon? Servcorp is here for you. They have been offering quality virtual office solutions in Singapore and other countries in Asia for over 30 years. If you want to succeed in Singapore, make Servcorp your trusted partner