Singapore is a country that is start-up friendly, trades across numerous borders and enforces regulations that protect both its investors and its employees, then it would be prudent to fund your start-up in Singapore. The country is known as a key player in regional trading and the fact that it is also a reputable financial centre ranks Singapore as one of the most profitable countries for business investors.
At this point of writing, there are already over 100,000 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore, all of which benefit from the country’s pro-business policy such as a flat corporate income tax rate of 17% (which is further discounted to 9% for companies with annual profits of less than S$300,000). It is estimated that these SMEs contribute to a whopping 35% of the country’s economy and it is an industry that keeps over 50% of the Singaporean workforce employed.
Currently, Singapore hosts over seventy international airlines and has signed free trade agreements (FTAs) with key world leading economies such as China, the United States of America, EU, Australia and New Zealand. These agreements help foster greater business opportunities for Singaporean companies and aids in leveraging the business operations in Singapore to other countries across the globe.
Singaporean citizens and permanent residents are all eligible to form their own start-ups in Singapore regardless of whether one intends to create a private limited company, sole proprietorship or a limited liability partnership. Even foreigners and non-residents can easily incorporate a company by appointing a nominee director who is a resident and by “renting” a local address.
A private limited company (also commonly referred to as a Limited Liability Company) is easily identified by the words ‘Pte Ltd’ at the end of the company’s name and business operations run with the understanding that all directors and shareholders of the company are liable only to a certain extent in the event that the company incurs losses or debts. For this reason, most Singaporean companies are private limited companies as this form of business is considered to offer the least financial risk.
Like the private limited company, the limited liability partnership also operates with the understanding that the business operates on a separate legal identity. This form of partnership is suitable for professional services such as architecture or lawyer firms and consultants.
Finally, the sole proprietorship entity is meant for businesses that run with only one individual being in charge of the entire business operations. This also means that all liabilities as well as assets are owned by this one individual.
With an impressive 95.9% literacy rate and a strong workforce that can converse fluently in English and Mandarin, Singapore is set to be a strategic link between Western and Asian business operations.