Singapore has gained a strong reputation as the business epicentre of Southeast Asia. With many benefits for founders, investors and employees, incorporating in Singapore has a huge competitive advantage, even for foreign founders.
Starting a business in Singapore or moving your business to Southeast Asia’s start-up hotspot is financially interesting for founders and investors.
The six reasons below explain why you should start a business in Singapore.
Foreign directors can own 100% of shares without the need for local partners. Therefore, many founders from the area flock together in Singapore.
This also means there’s abundant cash and know-how, resulting in fast economic growth. Eventually, this benefits start-ups in the area even more.
The Singaporean government imposes zero capital gains tax on sales of shares, properties and other financial assets. This allows for seamless exits without tax.
Such capital gains tax policies are attractive to foreign investors and that’s why many foreign founders have incorporated in Singapore before you.
Other tax rates in Singapore are favourable for start-ups and foreign directors. Singapore’s wide list of Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) ensures that directors who set up a business in Singapore don’t pay double taxes in their home countries.
Furthermore, businesses in Singapore benefit from free trade deals with a few dozen countries.
Finally, Singapore has a corporate tax rate of only 17%, which is the lowest rate in SEA. On top of that, new companies receive significant tax breaks during their first 3 years of incorporation.
In Singapore, start-ups can effortlessly conduct cross-border financial activities without restrictions on foreign currencies. This is why Singapore continues to be a leader in Southeast Asian VC and private equity investment, accounting for more than half of the total aggregate value of VC deals in the ASEAN region since 2014.
Singapore’s world-class legal system adds security to innovative start-ups. Moreover, the country is a world-top performer in terms of Intellectual Property (IP) protection.
Governmental support for R&D and innovations serves as a springboard for start-up success in the area. In 2020 alone, the Singaporean government drew 5.5b USD of funding to continue supporting the country’s start-up ecosystem despite drawbacks brought by COVID-19.
On top of the benefits listed above, angel investors and VC funds appreciate Singapore’s start-up environment thanks to its strategic location and advanced digitalisation.
Its central location in SEA makes Singapore an excellent base for regional expansion. On top of that, the country’s proximity to some of the world’s most significant economies—China and India—makes it a perfect spot to springboard into those markets.
Finally, the country is home to one of the world’s top-ranked airports, making it widely accessible for VCs from around the world.
As a foreign founder, you can enjoy even more benefits from setting up your company in Singapore.
The ecosystem we’ve described so far is favourable for VCs, which means you’ll more likely receive funding when you incorporate in Singapore.
But there’s more. The city-state has a booming start-up culture with more than 4,000 start-ups, over 500 incubators and about 150 VC funds. On top of that, start-ups can benefit from government support and grants; even for foreign founders.
In a way to attract more promising start-ups, Singapore has streamlined the incorporation process for foreign business owners. As a result, the country is a consistent top performer in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking.
The high digitalisation, friendly start-up environment and high living standards attract a highly-skilled, global workforce. This is reflected in Singapore’s second place among Asian countries in IMD’s World Talent Ranking.
Company registration with ACRA has a total cost of 315 SGD. If you choose to incorporate your business with Aspire, however, you’ll only pay 299 SGD thanks to an exclusive discount.
Incorporating a business in Singapore is easy thanks to the streamlined registration process. If you meet all requirements it can be done in a day.
If you need help to set up your business in Singapore, Aspire Kickstart offers various incorporation solutions.
After completing the short application form, our specialists will guide you through the entire online process.
Together, you’ll set up your Aspire Business Account and after successful incorporation, you'll proceed to open your business account in Singapore.